Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space

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Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space review


No aspect is lacking

From Strange to Weird

As an avid fan of Star Control II, I've spent a lot of time looking for a game that would pick up the scepter and continue along the line of the great space adventures. I began to look as if the spacefaring genre had died and that we would never see another good game come along. That is until Weird Worlds was released. Instead of going with the same old tried and true format, the fellows at Digital Eel have decided to take a whole new approach to the subject of the insane space saga. This has resulted in the introduction of something that can only be referred to as a spacefaring solitaire game. It is also known as Strange Adventures in Infinite Space.

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space was a very successful game. It was easy for the developers to shuffle a few things around and thus come up with this sequel. They enhanced many of the features in order to make the sequel even better than its predecessor. It is also a much more addictive game than the little known original.

Take 5 everyone!

The concept behind Infinite Space is to take several decades of space exploration, first encounters with bizarre aliens, throw in some space combat, and cram all this up into about ten minutes of game time. Sounds strange? Yes, but it does work.

A game of Infinite Space starts in the Glory system, your home base. You are given a starship with which you must scour the galaxy for various items and discoveries. Then you must return in no more than ten years with data on an unexplored and very hostile galaxy. From Glory you will plot your course through the star-system by hopping around on faster-than-light space ships. You will try to visit as many worlds as you can while avoiding both an untimely demise and the possibility of being penalized for tardiness. At the end of each game you are given a score based on the total value of your discoveries.

The game's strongest point is the short amount of time it takes to play each scenario. Each adventure will be different from the previous one, due to the random placement of star-systems and the events that occur. To complicate things, the player is allowed to plot their own course between the stars. Add to that a combat system that is easy to use but hard to master and you have the makings for a challenging game experience.

Navigating The Final Frontier is a puzzle

Befitting a short space adventure of this kind, the galaxy presented to you will be different each time you play. Aside from the relocation of planets in a random fashion, there is also the factor of various navigational hazards that must be considered before you make your first move. A ten-year limit with engines that can cross the galaxy in perhaps three will mean that changing course to avoid trouble can seriously hurt your score.

The hazards await the unwary space pilot include a nebula that will block your path and black holes that won't slow you down but will simply crush your ship. Things often aren't as simple as drawing a straight line because some obstacles are hidden until you visit the star system where they are located.

10 years to go!

At the start of each game, the player can select a few options that result in a different playing experience. One of these is the ship selection. The player may choose to pilot a Science Vessel, Pirate Corvette, or a Military Frigate. Each selection provides not only a different ship with different capabilities and starting equipment, but also different goals for the tiny campaign. This means that the player will have to put an emphasis on different things and also has to adapt strategy to match the capabilities of the ship chosen. Each vessel has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Other options include the size of the galaxy, which can be altered to provide a longer or a shorter campaign.


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