From the very beginning of the tutorial mission, I was struck by the sheer amount of ways to play this game.
Unending Galaxy is an outer space, empire building sim brought to us by indie developer Anarkis Gaming. It is a 2D, top down exploration, building, space combat, and economic managing empire sim, to be exact.
From the very beginning of the tutorial mission, I was struck by the sheer amount of ways to play this game. You can start with a single ship or a huge military fleet. You can be a lone-wolf bounty hunter, a trader mogul, a militaristic empire, or a colony-and-economy building force. The only caveat to this is that you feel like you have no idea of how to really do any of those things.
The tutorial mission shows you the basics of the game, in the same way that someone would explain chess by saying “capture the other pieces”. You learn how to shoot, access space stations (traders, shipyards, etc.), and how to acquire ships to build stations of your own. What you don't learn is how to effectively trade, which resources go with which commodity, how to acquire ship parts to build your own ships (which took me 2 hours to stumble upon), which stations are dependent on others for resources, how to manage your military fleet, how diplomacy works, how colonies on each planet you can colonize work… I could go on. The game is extremely deep and fleshed out- but it is up to the player to discover exactly what that means. With very little help, notes, or tips past the basic tutorial session, you are left scrambling to figure out how to acquire resources, and in what order, to expand your empire.
That being said, lack of information shouldn't determine whether or not you pick up a game with the whole internet being readily accessible for information and tips nowadays. The game itself is incredibly large and interactive to be so simply designed. There are a number of resources to mine, manufacture, and trade- and more than one way to do each. Planets can be colonized, war can be declared, and pirates can raid at any time. You can build your own ships, trade your resources for credits (in-game currency), and create an intergalactic empire- complete with your very own warp gates to zip across the potentially gigantic game map. Civilians in your empire might even mine and bounty hunt without you asking them to do so- generating desirable tax income along the way.
This is a glimpse as to how deep the game actually is.
There are no resources to manage, per say- you don't need a certain amount of food to keep your planets alive, and you don't need to acquire oxygen or anything like that. However, if you want to build new ships, you need ship parts. Ship parts need steel, and in order to create steel, your steel factory needs ore. Also, your factories can't run without power, so you will need solar power plants as well. So while you don't need certain resources to survive, you do need them to create other things in order to expand your empire. This is a glimpse as to how deep the game actually is, and how much you have to build and manage in order to keep just your shipyards afloat- not to mention your food factories, or computer chip manufacturers, or one of the dozens of other production space stations.
One of the best features of the game is that you don't have to be completely hands on with everything you build, as much of it can be automated. Your military will automatically patrol and protect your empire. You can create trade groups with cargo ships and military escorts to freely trade across the galaxy, building your funds rather quickly. You can direct ships to police your planets, protect specific stations, or target pirates on their own. You can set bounties on ships for civilian- or military- bounty hunters to hunt down and destroy. You can even set up mining operations that automatically mine, collect, and trade resources for your benefit. Being able to automate so much really takes the burden off of you to direct potentially hundreds of ships rather easily.
Unending Galaxy provides an opportunity to do really whatever you want on an intergalactic level, with tons of planets, asteroid fields, and segments of open space to explore. Be what you want to be- rather that is a warlord or rich trader or colonizing empire. Just be sure to have your smart phone ready to Google how exactly to do what you’re trying to do, because the game offers very little in the way of help or instructions past the 15 minute tutorial mission.
All in all, Unending Galaxy provides tons of replay value and roleplaying in as small or large of a galaxy as you like for the relatively inexpensive price of $11.99.