Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game – Early Impressions

Colony Ship is a tactical sci-fi RPG from the makers of Age of Decadence, set aboard the eponymous ship on its multi-generational mission to reach a new colony world.

Colony Ship

Background

You play a colonist aboard the ship Starfarer on its hundreds of year long journey to Proxima Centauri.  As laid out by the game’s backstory, there was a semi-successful mutiny against the commanders of the ship, leading to a break down in civil order and multiple factions emerging, ranging from religious fanatics, reformers and violent raiders.

Gameplay

Despite the sci-fi setting, the game has a distinctly low-fi feel with your player character a resident in a makeshift city made up of cargo-containers and using primitive, scrounged weapons.  Whilst there are plenty of high-tech items, they are rare and expensive.

Colony Ship plays out from an isometric viewpoint that is somewhat akin to the old Fallout games.  Your party moves around the map in real-time, by clicking on locations you want to visit, with separate screens for conversations with the myriad NPCs. The action slows to turn-based when you enter into combat, with the usual fare of action points, stances, and cover applying.  Combat is swift and brutal and until you’ve got better characters, weapons, or both, its best avoided if you can!

You get to fully design your new character, from their name and appearance down to fine-tuning their stats and skills.  There’s definitely room to min/max to your hearts content!

Character screen

Early Impressions

Colony Ship offers quite a challenge and even in its early access form, it’s got a lot of intruige to it.  The unique setting, the gritty low tech sci-fi that’s somewhat like Wasteland or Fallout and the crunchy rules sets that allow multiple builds and play through styles.

Even just experimenting with the early levels, I was able to be a quick talking charmer and talk my way out of trouble and, in one case, talk enemies into attacking each other.  On the other hand, being a bruiser meant that I could stand up and survive the fight I did get into.

Combat is very dangerous mind you, with decent weapons hard to get hold of and being key difference makers and healing isn’t cheap either so this isn’t a game where you’ll kill just for the XP and the loot!

The graphic style is retro but presentable, even in its early access and there is a lot more work to come on the game before it finishes its run in early access.

Key Features

  • Skill based character system with feats and implants
  • Tactical turn-based combat, featuring standard, aimed and weapon-specific attacks
  • Multiple quest solutions, mutually exclusive questlines and a branching main story line
  • 10 recruitable party members with different personalities, agendas and beliefs (only 3 available in the first chapter)
  • 3 main factions and a score of lesser factions and groups
  • A large arsenal including melee weapons, firearms, energy pistols, grenades and futuristic gadgets like the Energy Shield, Reality Distortion Generator and cloaking field
  • Different environments to explore, from the Engine room and Hydroponics to the dystopian cities of the Habitat and Mission Control ruined decks
RPG

The Developers

Iron Tower games, the makers of Age of Decadence, favour an old school RPG design with tough, uncompromising rules, proud to so far be somewhat of a niche producer.  Colony Ship is available in early access now!

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