Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Smugglers 5 Review

Last week, the fifth installment of the Smugglers series came out.  What is Smugglers you ask?  It's a turn based game in the same vein as Elite and the X series.  You take control of a ship and can trade, fight and scheme your way to galactic prominence.  I've never actually played much of the previous four editions, but I am in a smuggling kind of mood today.  This was written using the Demo version of Smugglers 5.

There are four starting factions to choose from.  Each is suited to certain careers and has an innate challenge level.  For my game, I am going the easy route with the Federation.

There are six different professions to choose from.  Each has their own starting skills and equipment.  I am going with the Free Trader.  It should provide a good amount of freedom for me to make my fortune.

There is a war going on it seems.  As a simple trader, I am not too interested in getting involved, at least not yet.  

I found an alien artifact floating around in the middle of nowhere.  You get two choices: sell it or hand it over to a government.  I think we all know what the best choice is.  Sell it!  I've got my eyes on a ship upgrade.

In Smugglers 5, small ships cannot travel to other star systems.  You will need at least a corvette to do that.  Until I raise more funds, I'll be stuck flying around the Sol system.  I'm almost a third of the way there at the moment.

It looks like a little bit on MMO snuck its way into Smugglers 5.  There are talent trees!  Most of them appear to be combat related, but there is a nice path for traders.  You unlock points to spend by ganing experience ( combat, trading etc).

Sadly, the demo is limited to 300 turns.  When traveling around, it take multiple days (turns) to reach your destination.  So the turns go by pretty quickly.  I managed to rack up $80,000 before my time ran out.  Now comes the real question... is this a game I would buy?

I wasn't sure what the price was, I was guessing  $10 or $15.  Sadly I was mistaken, it is $29.95.  Now, I love to support Indie devs, but I'm not sure there is enough here for me to make it worth my while.  I didn't show it here, but the combat is not very exciting either.  Think of it like a old Final Fantasy screen with your ship on one side and the enemy on the other.

At the time of this writing, you can get $5 off by using the discount code: SMUGGLERS

I also saw spelling mistakes, and Smuggler 4 strings.  One thing I like, and don't like about the game is that it was not made using DirectX or any other 3d library.  Instead, I think it is Windows Forms game.  Not that it's a bad thing, means I could play it over Remote Desktop or on weak machines.  However, the presentation is not the greatest I've seen.

Here is what the full $30 will get you.

There are certainly some tempting features on that list.  However, I'm just not sold at that price point.  I have other games, like X, that I already own and provide a lot of the same.  On the flip side, Smugglers 5 is easier to hop into and play if you are short on time.  If it ever goes on sale, I might be tempted to pick it up.