I bought this back when it first came out because I thought the premise was intriguing. I've always been a fan of Star Trek, and I thought a game about how those poor, unfortunate redshirts and other nameless, unimportant crew members survived the insane situations that inevitably befell the crew would be neat. I thought a game about being an underapprciated but vital part of a team would be fun.
This game is not that game.
Let's go through each of the claims this game makes any why I think most, if not all of them, are bogus.
1: "Satirical, tongue-in-cheek social simulation, filled with humour and political intrigue." If by "political intrigue" you mean "boring, petty interpersonal drama that I get enough of in my daily life," then yes. This game has political intrigue coming out of its nostrils. I will say that it is at least mildly satirical, as the implication that social media is a poor substitute for actual interaction is a perfectly valid one. I will admit, though, that I didn't find too much about this game to be funny.
2: "Detailed character creation: choose from 5 different species, from human to tentacled squid creature!" It isn't that details, I'm afraid. Additionally, it actually makes very little difference what species or even sexual orientation that you choose, except in very rare circumstances (such as being depressed because you don't have a significant other and everyone you can date is not interested in people of your gender, and the one person who is hates your guts; I don't need a repeat of my everyday life, thank you).
3: "Each game is unique: Megalodon-9 is full of procedurally generated AI-driven characters, each with their own random personalities and profile pictures." Each game is unique, but the NPCs aren't sure the names and species and personalities might change, but they're all the same, vapid, uninteresting characters.
4: "Customise station settings: define the kinds of personalities you'll encounter, from friendly chatterboxes to self-obsessed bigots." This bit is accurate, at least.
5: "Update your Spacebook, strategically 'like' statuses, and send private messages to your fellow station citizens." This is also an accurate feature.
6: "Arrange Spacebook 'events' with your friends, frenemies, and even higher-ranking officers, to influence your relationships and skills." Despite being accurate, I'm not sure how this and the prior item are even features.
7: "Multiple routes to success through turn-based gameplay, from skills-based diligence, to romance, to charismatic schmoozing." This is accurate, to a degree. You cannot rely on just one to succeed, however; the best route always involves using everything at your disposal. And you'll need to: without romance, for example, your morale may drop .And if you're in a bad mood, your work will suffer. If your work suffers, say good-bye to that promotion. And before you know it, you're another soulless drone lamenting your lack of a love-life and your boring, dead-end job, anxiously awaiting the weekend so you can go to wine-tastings to get your mood back up for the coming week, only to repeat the cycle ad infinitum.
8: "Navigate an extensive, non-linear career tree, by gaining the right skills... or just by making the right friends.
Make friends and manage romantic relationships -- if you can handle the drama!" On a personal note, this is something I dislike about this game, especially when paired with the above item. Don't get me wrong, I love playing games where I get to be a manipulative schemer. But when the best run I ever had involved buddying up to my supervisors and discarding them when I'd gotten a promotion, that may say something about how viable a skill-based playthrough is.
9: "Strategically manage your interests and skills." See the aforementioned bit about wine-tastings.
10: "Buy items in the Self-Help Object Purveyor (S.H.O.P.) to increase your stats and skills, from RoboCats to illegal hoverbikes!" True, and also a requirement.
11: "Away missions!" Also known as "which one of my friends is going to die miserably and send me into a self-destructive spiral?"
12: "Humorous parody of social networking culture." A parody, perhaps. But I wouldn't say it's a particularly humorous one. I found most of the jokes to fall flat.
13: "Puns! So many puns." Yes, but they're not particularly funny puns.
Now that that's done with, here's my final conclusion. Redshirt was fun, for about 10 minutes. Then it became very, very tedious and very, very boring. And while that's fine to a degree, especially if your game is parodying something as boring as social media, the game itself has to be fun. Quite simply? Redshirt is not fun. I cannot suggest that anyone buy this game for anything more than $3.00.
Seriously, wait for it to go on sale if you have to buy it.