Hopefully I will be able to highlight at least one sci-fi game here on Rock, Paper, Shotgun every weekend until the inevitable heat death of the universe. Not because I want to see the triumph of entropy, you understand, but because I like writing about SF and recommending neat things.
This weekend’s neat thing is Approaching Infinity [official site]. It’s a very retro PC experience, which I’d probably compare to Spiderweb’s Exile RPGs (the ones they remade as the Avernum series), the jolly old but still good StarFlight series and – this is going to trigger a fairly selective set of memories, I think – LucasArts’ old Desktop Adventures games. Or, you know, any number of roguelikelikes, which are probably a better comparison than two of LucasArts’ most infamous flops.Rather than having you delve into a dungeon, floor by floor, Approaching Infinity has you pilot a starship around sectors, exploring anomalies and battling hostile ships, and occasionally landing on planets and exploring them with away teams. It’s turn-based and is best played with the numpad, which is not something I often write but proves strangely satisfying when I do.
Although it was released a couple of months ago we managed to miss that nugget of news, but fortunately version 1.10 has shown up to give us another chance. 1.10 is composed of fixes, tweaks and a couple of bits of additional content, so nothing to write home about – though anyone who has already been playing the game should be aware that the patch is not compatible with older save games, so don’t update until you’re ready to bid your heroes farewell.
No trailer, but here’s a gentle Let’s Play which should introduce you to the game’s basics.