tl;dr -> Get Bionic Dues instead. It's 100x better, and cheaper too.
I bought this game when it was discounted heavily at the Humble Bundle Store. It had been very high (top 20ish or so) in my wish list because a adore the rogue-like genre. Although I had been very excited to try it, I was very disappointed with my gameplay experience.
If you like turn-based strategy games, rogue-likes, and the space theme, then you might enjoy this game. Honestly though, you should play Bionic Dues instead, a much more fleshed-out and well-done game. Here is my review
for that game if you wanted some more info about it.
The aesthetics are okay - the amount of detail in the characters and background is decent. The sounds and music are also decent, however, I quickly muted the music in favor of my own.
The controls are easy to learn, however, the hotkeys (vs. clicking on each action) may take a bit if you are not used to using them - they are fairly intuitive (R to reload) though. There is a tutorial when you begin that teaches you everything you need to know. The learning curve is minimal to moderate depending on your experience with turn-based strategy games, and the lack of complex mechanics keeps the difficulty pretty reasonable (contrary to what I would expect from a rogue-like). Playing the different difficulty levels, however, seem to be scaled strangely - if you move from easy to normal you will find a large spike in how challenging the enemies are.
Gameplay consists of you moving 4 squadmembers through a randomly-generated ship floor - your goal is always to find an elevator to the next level. Before you begin, you can select different classes (engineer, sniper/scout, leader, etc) and a single perk (ex: splash damage, extra experience gain per enemy spotted) to better match your playstyle. Your characters can level up and select new skills and abilities, however, the pool is extremely small and lacks variety. I did not like this levelling mechanic because it meant that trying out the other difficulties had less incentive - maybe if there was an increased ability/skill pool or level cap for doing a higher difficulty it would justify playing new game +.
Combat and movement occurs on a grid-based system. Each character has a set number of action points (AP) each turn - you can use items in your inventory to refill some AP. Orientation is also important (and costs AP) - you don't want your character facing away from a door or chokepoint. Line-of-sight plays a big role in this game, meaning that enemies can sneak up on you if you are not covering all areas with your team (an enemy unit can be right behind you and not appear on your screen until you turn around). Shooting your weapon costs both AP and ammo, and reloading will take a large amount of AP - so a good tactic is to always have at least one squadmember able to fire (similar to overwatch mode in games like XCOM). You can have your members "wait," allowing them to fire during the enemy's combat/movement turn. This is crucial because your members are very fragile, and leaving them open to enemy attack can easily result in their quick deaths. The lack of depth makes combat fairly boring, as you will mostly be moving your characters, using items, and attacking - compared to other similar titles (Bionic Dues) that have different types of attacks and usable abilities.
Enemies will execute their turn after you finish yours, spawning and moving throughout the ship. There will usually be slight indications (noise, a small flash/effect) of general areas where you can expect enemies to be. You can spend AP to destroy walls, allowing you to take unorthodox routes and take advantage of line-of-site (you can often safely scout a room by destroying a wall rather than going through the door). If you break open a ship wall to space, you can also push enemies to their death. There is a small variety of enemies, making combat predictable if you play enough and understand each unit's strengths and weaknesses.
As you play, there are a large number of objects you can interact with - doors, crates, switches, etc. Each object may give you a random item, experience, etc. Items are kept in your inventory and shared by all squadmembers - which is good if you want someone to use a "restore x AP to all squadmembers," but only have 1 person with actions left. Once you exit the commander deck area (several levels), you can freely choose different areas of the ship to tackle (ex: armory).
Overall, the game plays decently enough, however, there are better alternatives (again, Bionic Dues) that I sincerely think you are better off trying those instead. The gameplay feels far too one-dimensional for a turn-based rogue-like title. Even after only a couple of playthroughs, you will probably be bored of the repetition (even if you are trying to go to different parts of the ship after the commander deck) - the lack of item/character/enemy variety further impairs replayability. It is probably easier to try Steam Marines before any of the more complex alternatives, however, I would still not recommend this unless you were dying to try it. I try not to mention price if I think it is unnecessary, but I would wait until this game is heavily discounted before picking it up - at a retail price of $16.99 I don't feel it is worth it.
Do not recommend.
DJSF @DJSF's Rogue Reviews