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Have You Played... ΔV: Rings of Saturn?

Astrogeo drift

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We often get excited about a game doing more things. Who amongst us has not enthused about a game on the basis that “and you can x and you can y, wouldn’t it be cool if you could z as well”?

ΔV: Rings of Saturn has some more growing to do, principally in its promised story. But it’s already got this calming, almost hypnotic core of carefully, skilfully flying through hazardous space, and eating rocks.

I often assume that a game about flying around in space will have combat and trading and all that. But that’s not necessary when it it feels this nice to float about, occasionally altering your course, or thrusting and rotating back and forth in just the right increments to peacefully accelerate after an errant chunk of ore. In another game I’d use an afterburner to snatch it up. But Triangle V Colon Rings has a realistic physics model, and there’s no rush. Once I get my trajectory right, I can calmly wait while my ship, moving slightly faster than the ore, gently drifts up to it, opens its maw, and closes it again a few moments later.

That’s mostly what it’s about. You go to asteroid fields, you shoot open some rocks, and you swallow the hopefully more valuable ones. Occasionally you’ll find something else to sell back at the station. You can be targeted by troublemakers. There are upgrades and people to hire and business decisions to make. But mostly it’s the most boring, passive part of every other space game transformed into a satisfying physics game.

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Sin Vega

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Nocturnal remembrer of ancient oddities and curator of unlikely treasures. When not destroying roguelikes with her laser eyes Sin can be found muttering to basils and probably moving house again.

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