This is my updated review with some additional comments on game mechanics:
Some remarks about the current state of affairs (April 28, 2014)
1) This game is “work in progress” and some things may still change. So I encourage players to participate in this early access and give comments to developers. Devs are very friendly and listen to the community;
2) Even though it is “work in progress” – one can already enjoy the game, it is in a solid playable state now and very stable;
3) Devs update the game on regularly basis so any possible bugs and game crashes (if any) are handled very fast.
Basic game mechanics explained:
In a very simplified form:
- find yourself in your home system
- buy a ship that meets your strategy from a range of various hulls;
- get some equipment if you can afford it
- find an unexplored star,
- fly there;
- each star has just one planet that allows a player to: discover some equipment (shields, guns, propulsion systems and etc.), find some commodity, encounter an ally, hire a mercenary; trade with aliens; fight with aliens; some other event or a combination of all of these;
- if one has to fight then keep in mind that combat is not complicated and does not take a lot of time;
- upgrade your ship with new equipment if it gives you better stats and/or buy a new ship;
- find a new target to explore;
The Universe for you to explore is randomply generated each time you start a new game (items and encounters are also randomly placed);
The game has a time limit for your exploration (measured in in-game days) that depends on the galaxy size (now there is just one galaxy size) and the speed of your ship or ships in your fleet if you have more than one ship (that in its turn depends on the size of the ship and installed space drive; The better drives you find - the faster you fly, the less time it takes you to get to new stars, the more of the galaxy you can explore); Timelimit does not spoil the game process at all.
Comments about the game:
I) It is fun;
II) It is not complicated;
III) If one has only 15-45 minutes to play, then this game is a must; Yes, you can enjoy the game if you only have 15 minutes available.
IV) Some game mechanics is be a bit unclear or not “perfectly” implemented at the moment but this is being changed;
V) In comparison to many “early access” games this one is already a finished product (if you are not afraid of kittens and dogs... :).... )
Bottom line: Buy, install, enjoy.