Construct Starships & Deconstruct Enemies In Reassembly

Reassembly screenshot

Hey there, space captain! What’s your favourite part of being a space captain? If your answer to that question is “spaceships”, I have some fine news to share.

I was mighty pleased when Reassembly [official site] launched earlier this week, having been intrigued by its rogue-ish gameplay and snap-together spacecraft construction for some time. I’ve since spent a little time with the game and it’s not disappointed, although my homely designs have.

I’ve a few initial thoughts on the game, but first check out this sumptuous trailer:

Building improbable spaceships is my favourite part of Reassembly’s concept. My first design worked on the “they wouldn’t start you with a turkey” principle, taking the basic, starting ship and slapping a few new guns on. Sadly, this didn’t quite achieve the desired effect of ‘not losing every fight’.

Next up I removed the front of that starting ship and bolted two pyramids of six lasers in place. Why be subtle when you can be ridiculous?

At this point I discovered the testing feature, which automatically pits your disgusting creation against a bunch of stock designs. Alas my pyra-laser didn’t fare too well in this context, so it was back to the drawing board once more. My third effort was basically a missile boat which fared slightly better than the previous two designs. Still not terribly well though. Clearly I have much to learn about the design and construction of warships. Who knew?

When you’re not designing ships, Reassembly has you exploring a randomised map and helping your faction (other ships and space stations the same colour as you) to capture territory from and fight off the ships of other factions (other ships and space stations a different colour to you – wait, wait, what are we teaching people here?).

It’s all rather fun and compelling, even if like me you’re absolutely dreadful at the start. I especially like the way that bits of pretty much every ship, station and asteroid in the game can be individually damaged and destroyed. This doesn’t exactly open up selective, tactical targeting of ship’s modules – everything is much too frantic for that – but it does mean that sometimes a ship will end up cracked in two, and you watch with dawning horror as all of your weapons pirouette off into the inky darkness of the void.

Reassembly is available on Steam for £10.99/$14.99/14.99€ or DRM-free through a Humble widget on its site.

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15 Comments

  1. Tacroy says:

    It’s a great game, but after I unlocked the faction with the small, cheap shields and modular guns I have a hard time playing any other faction; the rest of them feel too fragile and their weapons aren’t as strong.

    • DanielBrauer says:

      I had the same experience, but I highly recommend trying the race that starts with a scattergun. They have an enormous variety of pieces and strategies available, including plant farming.

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        Wisq says:

        I tried playing the red and yellow geometric faction second, and either their ships are made of tissue paper or I’m just not used to playing as low-level ships any more. I’m pretty sure it’s the former, because sometimes even just crashing into an asteroid kills me outright, and that never happened as the first faction.

  2. quietone says:

    Whoa! Bunch of zombie users! “Clickssssss! We want your clickssss!”

  3. laser-gods says:

    Wow, space games really seem like “the thing” in gaming right now. And I don’t mean just space sims necessarily, but space as a setting in general.

  4. Crainey says:

    Had a notion and bought this game on Saturday, ended up playing it all day, nearly missed my WoW raid too. It’s madly addicting. Very simple on the surface level, but the mass/thrust system, explosions and diverse factions and their strategies make it a fairly deep game. A few steam reviewers complained it didn’t explain what to do, but personally I had no problem and kinda enjoyed the freedom. At the start it gives you objectives, more like hints, at where to begin. Did I mention it has nice electro-space music?

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    Wisq says:

    Gosh, that does look pretty.

  6. dontnormally says:

    How could you write this article without mentioning Captain Forever / Farbs?

    • Grimwood says:

      Yes yes yes YES what Dontnornmally says!

      I’m trying to figure out whether this is Captain Forever, by the same developers, just renamed for whatever reason of their choosing.

      Give them their nod, sir!

      • Shaun Green says:

        Alas, I hadn’t heard of Captain Forever! The advantage to that situation is that I can now thank the two of you for introducing me to it. :)

      • Behrditz says:

        Except this game isnt really like captain forever. The main draw of captain forever is that you are pulling pieces off of the other ships and using those to build your ships. Thats not how this game works at all.

    • Dr_Barnowl says:

      It reminded me of Warning Forever in terms of it’s general graphical style.

      I’m thinking Captain Forever might be a riff on THAT though.

  7. Grimwood says:

    Sorry, lost control of my italics there

    Now I’ve figured it out. But not how to edit my earlier comment.

  8. Behrditz says:

    This game is fun, although one of the problems with it i find is that the computer is too good at flying ships. It uses everything to the bleeding edge of its ability. Like it maneuvers at speeds too high for both human reaction, and the camera system. Also, being a computer, it handles thrusters placed in poor positions a little too well. I guess thats fine if you decide to just build a giant carrier and rely on your fleet, but at the same time its very annoying when you keep getting destroyed because the AI keeps perfectly kiting you and always keeps you in sight because it knows that its ship design actually requires you to spin the mouse left while fluttering between a specific sequence of thrusters in order to fly forward and to the right.

    Even with all that stuff though, it is very fun to slap a bunch of blocks together and find out it actually works for you and then proceed to go on a kill spree.

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      Wisq says:

      I’d say the AI is good at certain things. Manoeuvring is one of them, yes. But a lot of other strategies completely elude it.

      For example, beams — there are a ton of situations where the AI should just keep the beams focused on a target, and yet it insists on just doing glancing blows as it dodges around. I’ve got a cube ship that can take down anything — I ram into the enemy and fire all 30+ lasers at 2000 dps each while my shields and heavy armour absorb the counter-fire — but the AI has no clue how to use it, because it dodges too much to ever get close enough.

      I had similar troubles with the antimatter cannon, where they dodge around too much to use it effectively. I’ve got enough ships in my fleet that they could all just line up on the target and fire at once and it would be obliterated, yet they insist on dodging fire that they shouldn’t ever have to face if they were doing their jobs right.

      Similarly, if you use a ship at stand-off range, they have severe difficulty figuring out that they need to close the range to nullify your advantage.

      So I wouldn’t say that the AI is “too good” overall, just that it has certain strengths and certain blind spots, and it can be frustratingly arbitrary as to which is which.