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Arcen Return To Space: The Last Federation

Grand strategy in space

Arcen, purveyors of sundry indie oddities, sent a message by pigeon post in the early hours of this morning to inform us of their new game, The Last Federation. It has one of the finest single line pitches I've ever encountered - "The Last Federation is a Grand Strategy + RTS Tactics game" - and in honour of the good news that she delivered, the pigeon has now been promoted to Flight Lieutenant and provided with a suitable cap. TLF places players in the role of a mercenary leader in a procedurally generated galaxy, which contains eight alien races to menace and manipulate. The closest point of comparison may well be Soldak's Drox Operative. Arcen's pigeon also told us that the spiffing AI War is on sale this weekend, with the complete collection (five DLCs) available for $4.25 and the little blighter didn't stop there. More news - and a couple of videos - below.

The importance of 'getting down' on Friday cannot be overstated and what better way to start the party than with twenty minutes of pausable slow-paced combat between lumbering starships?

Or perhaps you'd prefer four and a half minutes of sci-fi lore, which includes the phrases 'bombed into oblivion' and 'defend against further probes'? I've got you covered.

Forget all that for now though because the best way to start the weekend is with a heavy dose of space strategy, in the shape of that preposterously cheap AI War package mentioned earlier. If you haven't played the fiendishly clever game already, allow the adventures of Smith (not I, not Graham, but Quinns), Gillen and Meer to act like a Persuadatron upon your mind-meat.

AI War is still Arcen's biggest earner, having made over $1 million, and all profits from the current sale will be launched directly into The Last Federation.

While Arcen have some misses along with their thudding great hits, they're a consistently interesting company and I've never been bored by one of their games. In recent times, I've been won over by the roguelike mech action of Bionic Dues, developed a quiet obsession with Skyward Collapse and formed a love-confusion relationship with bizarre horror puzzle-sim, Shattered Haven.

An esoteric sea in a world of games that are often indistinguishable from one another, Arcen make life more interesting and it's splendid to hear of another big project from them. Especially when it can be described as follows:

Your goal is to unify the survivors into a solar federation that will bring peace. Doing so requires a lot of fighting, a lot of political deals and backstabbing, and occasionally strapping rockets to a moon.

When I get my hands on it, we can swap that 'occasionally' out for 'repeatedly' or 'mostly'.

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