Sea of Stars is a starship roguelike, a sandbox adventure game of interstellar exploration and combat. Travel from star to star, upgrade your ship with new systems and weapons, build up your flotilla with allies and mercenaries, and take on a variety of alien menaces.
User reviews: Mixed (29 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 18, 2014
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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Welcome to the Sea of Stars Early Access! We hope you enjoy poking around in our new game, and look forward to getting feedback on how to develop it further. The current Early Access build allows you to have short free-form adventures in the sandbox-like Infinite Space universe that is randomized each time you play, with a simple scoring system. You can also set up combat scenarios with any of the existing ships and weapons in the Combat Simulator. We are in process of creating more content for the game to provide more variety, and tuning the various user interfaces. Later we will add story elements such as missions, random events and quests that will give more structure to the game. The early access build will be continuously updated as we keep working on the game, and the number of cats acting as stand-ins for final art will be reduced over time. We intend to complete Sea of Stars later this year and set the (US) price of the finished game at $9.99.”
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Recent updates View all (22)

December 1

Sea of Stars Early Access update - 12/1/2014

The main attraction of today's update is that alien combat AI has been overhauled - different races now have different behaviors that suit their personalities, and they are generally smarter. There are also sound updates, bug fixes and new stuff as usual. Here's the change list:

  • Major updates to combat AI - races have individual behaviors, overall smarter
  • Ship explosion sounds now randomly vary
  • Added Anti-Graviton Shunt that protects you from black holes
  • Added Plasma Coil Cloaker which makes your ship invisible
  • Fixed some ships (particularly Tchorak) "burning" too long
  • Fixed black holes in combat simulator background
  • Fixed some cases of UI sounds overlapping

1 comments Read more

November 3

Sea of Stars Early Access update - 11/3/2014

Hello, denizens of the Purple Void! In addition to the usual bug fixes and added content today's update brings more "space stuff" to the star map, making the world more lively and perhaps dangerous. Here's the change list:

  • Added black holes - don't get too close!
  • Added particle effects for neutron stars - now with relativistic jets!
  • Added binary stars
  • Added some new UI sound effects
  • Replaced more placeholder art
  • Fixed race-specific pricing not working right
  • Fixed bauble breaking if you click anywhere on the pop-up
  • Fixed a hang/crash bug on game start

6 comments Read more
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About This Game

Sea of Stars continues the Infinite Space series of games that defined the genre of short-form space roguelikes in Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (2001) and Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space (2005). It compresses a galaxy-spanning starship adventure into the space of a single sitting, but as the game world is randomly generated each time you play, you will keep coming back for more. There is enough variety in items, aliens and special encounters that you will always discover something new - no two sessions play the same.

Sea of Stars begins in the Glory star system, in an area of space known as the Purple Void for its colorful nebular clouds. The long-isolated Terran colony of Hope has discovered the secret of faster-than-light travel, and an age of interstellar adventure has begun. Choose your starship and blast off into the Infinite Space in search of fame and fortune! Travel from star to star, explore planets and discover strange lifeforms and artifacts left behind by ancient empires. Find technology to upgrade your ship and gain allies to grow your flotilla. Encounter bizarre and delightful alien races, trade with them or blow them up - the decision is yours. And sometimes, you will face an existential threat to all life in the sector, and get to save the world.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128MB OpenGL compatible
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 16-bit stereo sound
Helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Early Access Review
Space exploration rogue-lite. With stress on 'lite'. But I wouldn't necessarily hold it against the game, sometimes you need something that is not wishing to murder you viciously in your sleep.

It surprised me first couple of times but then I found it easy to "figure out" and subsequent playthroughs were just permutation of known events while you fullfill your main goal i.e. exploring 100% of the randomly generated galaxy within time limit, trading along the way for better gear and fighting or fleeing to fight another day.

It is early access though so hopefully fully finished product will have more events going on in the universe.

There's one big challenge twist here, however - galaxy map is fully 3D. It is arguably more "realistic" this way but such feature is often sacrificed on the altar of user experience and instead games (even predecessors of this very title) feature 2D star charts. And I see why.

This may make or break the game for you, since exploration is main goal here and navigation is integral part of it, and making it a fully 3D star system makes it harder.

Myself, I embrace and welcome this new navigational perspective with literal extra dimension added. I remember seeing something like that only in Sword of the Stars, as an option, and enjoyed it there, too.

But I can understand how it may be viewed as "fake difficulty" by "screwing with your interface". It is harder to see where you've already visited and to plot your route compared to the usual 2D simplifications.

Perhaps bit different camera work would be more useful like have an option for it to be more "inside" the space so you can look around well from the point of view of your current system?

It's not a huge title and I'd say there are more interesting space games out there but I did have my fun with it and I wonder what the final product will bring.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
I played this game's immediate predecessor, Weird Worlds, extensively, and made the "Odd Adventures" mod that racked up a little notoriety near the end of that game's shelf life with Shrapnel Games. As a result, I'd dare say that I have more experience with the Infinite Space series than anyone who hasn't actually worked on the games or made a large-scale modification of their own (Hi, sgqwonkian!)

I say that to say this: if you liked Weird Worlds, you will probably like "Sea of Stars", but the game's future will depend greatly on how much Digital Eel has put into this game's engine. If the modding options really are "all that and the kitchen sink", SoS should be able to have a good run... if not, it's little more than an incremental upgrade, with a few jarring changes from the comfortable SAIS-derived interface that will disconcert both newbies and veterans.

The most obvious change is that the game is now 3D. Unfortunately SoS seems to get all the worst aspects of this change: the ship models are not especially detailed, arguably being a downgrade from the 2D graphics in Weird Worlds. The combat is a 2.5D compromise, which retains a lot of the simplicity of the original game, but sacrifices perhaps the game's best chance of distinguishing itself from its predecessors. The star map is fully 3D, and this is every bit as disorienting as you would expect. It's pretty, but that's about all I can say for it; as the actual gameplay doesn't seem to differ in any way from what's provided by a 2D starmap, it seems like a change made for the sake of change. Various fans have suggested making the starmap a 2.5D map, with all the systems shown on a flat plane, and I can't say that I disagree with the idea; right now attempting to navigate the purple void is downright painful, compared to the easy play that was present in the previous two games. That said, the planets and stars look spectacular on a full screen, and the ability to freely rotate gives the player a lot of interesting views that they would have missed in the previous games.

The combat system is very similar to the one in WW, and retains many of its flaws, while adding a couple more. I'll start by mentioning the biggest improvement: you can now set exact paths for your ships to follow. Previously, your ship would go in a straight line to the coordinate you directed it at; now you can do something a little more elaborate, without having to keep your mouse over the ship.

As a tradeoff, though, It is now painfully difficult to control fighters in combat; ships don't seem to stay selected the way they used to. You have to drag in the direction you want the ship to go, and when you're in a fighter, that is simply not convenient... they keep slipping out from under the mouse. The way the game is set up discourages giving fighters the precise orders that made them so helpful in previous games in the series.

One interesting change is how the ships are deployed; in the previous game, you would pre-set a "formation" that your ships would appear in at the start of the battle. Now, you can dynamically deploy your ships anywhere on the map at the start of the battle, which gives you a few new tactical options that weren't available before. You also have the option of which ships to put into the fray; if you don't want to risk your weaker vessels in a hard fight, or your fleet on a first contact mission, you don't have to. Retreating is still cheap and easy, but your ships are now delayed for a second or two while they go into light speed, which gives your enemies a little time to hurt you before you run.

All in all, though, the combat is not a big improvement on SAIS or WW. It retains the same problem of being largely pre-determined after the initial ship deployment. I had mentioned in a post on the old WW mod forum that WW (and obviously, any successors) might be better served by having a more arcadey combat engine, and this is still the case. There isn't much in the way of tactics or ship maneuvering; most of fighting is just point your ship and shoot. For something that is such an important part of the game, that's less than desirable. Nowadays FTL is the definitive combat experience in space Rogue-likes, and SoS doesn't match up. The combat mechanics were decent back when SAIS first came out in the early 2000s, and tolerable in Weird Worlds in 2007, but it's looking very dated in 2014.

There are a few enhancements to the general game. Hope's Haven Station now handles transactions in credits, which has potential to make things very interesting for modders if the purchasing is handled as flexibly as it ought to be. The combat simulator now allows you to customize your ships, and includes a "tech level" slider for opposing fleets. This alludes to the possibility of having enemies that become more advanced and invent new ship classes during play, which is obviously exciting for modders. You can buy new ships from Haven Station with your earnings, which makes losing ships less painful and allows you to get better use of your profits from exploration.

There are also a few curious omissions in the current game. Firstly, there doesn't seem to be any option for customizing your mission's length. Secondly, the flavor text that existed at the beginning and ending of WW is entirely missing. You no longer return to Hope in glory to retire as the Fleet's new admiral, or get shaken down by thugs and left to rot as a funny-spore farmer; instead, you just get a short blurb that notes you retired/died in combat/got eaten by a space whale/whatever, and your score. I suppose dedicated players will write their own narratives, but at a first glance this definitely seems to take away from the immersion in the game. Finally, the combat simulator lacks the friend/foe options that existed in previous versions of the game, which makes it a little harder for someone who wants to create a multi-side grand battle. SoS is still in development, though, so perhaps these problems will be resolved in later versions of the game.

The bottom line... do I recommend this? Like I said before, a lot of what SoS does is based on the previous games in the series. If this was 2007, I could say that it was the best thing still going, but with new competition like FTL, other new Rogue-likes, and a growing interest in procedural generation, I'm not sure that SoS (or WW, for that matter) is really at the head of the class in any particular area.

That said, though, SoS has the potential to be everything that WW was, and then some. Considering that WW retailed for something like $15-20, and this game's price seems to be capped at $10, that's something that you need to think about. The Infinite Space games have always been at their best when modded, so if the interface's rough edges are smoothed out, and the developers' promises of extensive modification options (presumably greater than WW's) hold true, SoS should turn out to be well worth the expenditure. I'm giving it a qualified recommendation. Here's hoping that Digital Eel can close the deal and make SoS into an unqualified success.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
Early Access Review
I haven't had this much fun since the original Strange Adventures in Infinite Space.

I disagree with reviews saying this 3rd sequel is a step back. It's the most accesible and enjoyable one so far. It's fun to play even though still unfinished at the time of writing. Many developers screw up the switch from 2D to 3D, but Digital Eel did a good job.

Game is funtacular. Short but it was meant to be short and sweet. Try it.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Early Access Review
I really like the second game in this series a lot, so I would love to be able to recommend this Early Access follow up unreservedly, and if it gets to that point then I will do so. As it stands, I think there are a lot of problems - if you're happy with that (which you might be, if considering an Early Access game) then that's okay, but as of the moment, this feels a lot like the previous game but with less going on and several irritations layered on top.

Foremost of these is the 3D layout of the map. In theory this should give a better feeling of exploring space, but in practice I find it makes it difficult to tell where I've been and where I'm yet to visit. Where in the second game I could easily plan a route around the system that makes sense, here it's difficult to figure out which order to visit places, and not in a way that's fun.

I hope there are plans to address this in future updates, but I think it'll have to change quite significantly to fix this issue.

If that's fixed then I would be able to reccommend this, but only really as a re-skinning of the second game, because so far there doesn't seem to be a whole host of things that are new. Again, hopefully this might be addressed but as it stands there is simply no good reason to play this over the previous game, aside from curiosity.

I wish the team the best of luck with the project and if it arrives at a state where I can recommend it, I'll be sure to update accordingly!
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Early Access Review
This is a really fun game, although don't expect much depth right now. It's great for a 30 minute break, although since the game is procedurally generated, you could end up either dying on the first battle, or finishing the "story" cruising the sector with a six ship fleet, killing everything in your way. Anyway, I think it's fun, and at least it's fully playable at this stage in production - unlike many early access games. Can't wait to see where it goes.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Early Access Review
I think, as fun as Weird Worlds is, this game is better tbh, if you can look past the new 3D look of this game, as most have stated the move too 3D was not nessessarily a good thing, but the more you play the game, you realize, it is not that difficult navigating the new 3D map and unlike the other 2 games in this series, I found combat in this game too be refreshingly more user friendly, sure there are some tough fights, but get a big enough crew and you should not have a problem. Great game imo, highly recommend even if it is in early access, which I normally don't go for, but this game I took the plunge and don't regret it one bit.
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42 of 46 people (91%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
Early Access Review
This is my updated review with some additional comments on game mechanics:

Some remarks about the current state of affairs (August 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 simplified but you are not purchasing this game because you expect it to be a Microsoft Flight simulator, right?;
V) In comparison to many “early access” games this one is already a finished product, stable and playable).


Bottom line: Buy, install, enjoy.
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14 of 25 people (56%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
Early Access Review
As of June 19th the game has yet to finish, however right now Sea of Stars is currently a huge downgrade from Weird Worlds. I have hope that it might grow with content but my gripes with the game are with it's core design. The real question is whether the infinite space series really needed to jump to 3D.

The map still feels awkward.
The difficulty is still not really balanced.
The game is missing the series' signature charm.
The 3D battles are boring. Little to no strategy required.
2-3 hours of game-play until I got bored.

As a fan of the series, I'm disappointed. I'm also disappointed that the fact that there were art assets missing when I bought this. It's not quirky. It's missing content.

Flatten the map on a 2D plain, Expand with more ships and aliens at least until it is on par with the last game. Also continue adding more story and event content. Then I'll be overjoyed with this game.

So I don't recommend this game. Until it's done.
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16 of 29 people (55%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
Early Access Review
At this point in time it's a large step down from Weird Worlds; the new smaller combat zone just doesn't work and the galaxy map is needlessly hard to navigate. The problems aren't deal breaking, because the game may get more content in the future that weighs up the cons, but at the moment I can't recommend that game.
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11 of 20 people (55%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
Early Access Review
A review isn't ethically possible until the game is finished, but I will say that I'm liking the game so far. It's very similar to Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, but with a few new features. Feel free to check out my gameplay video(s) while you wait for the official review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlaOPoCrq7A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhCbcdfjfX4
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3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
Early Access Review
A great concept. Looks promising. I am really enjoying the exploring part but the combat is not so great. The game is a little short (It's still in alpha/beta/whatever though). I can't wait to see the whole finished game. I just hope they make it a lot longer. A LOT. And yes, the enviroment is great. It feels exciting to actually explore the different parts of the universe.
Recommended.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Early Access Review
I've played this for about 20 minutes so far, but it's obvious that this is a continuation of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, and for the sake of this review, I shall refer to it by RtIS. Keeping in mind that this is an Early Access title, the game obviously has some rough areas. From what I've seen, the game has about, if not more items than RtIS, and it's still in the early phase. That's including new items by the way.

As for new features:

  • The map is no longer 2D, but 3D. Many people say that's pointless and annoying, but I disagree. While it could use some work, as I found it a bit sensitive, I found this way more immersive and fun to use, though a 'pan map' feature would be nice.
  • To go along and expand the 3D point, the star/system are laid out in a 3D fashion, and it looks nice, and gives alternate paths to various places as an option.
  • Along with new items, items now show actual visual stats, like a weapon will have '2 of 5 bars' worth of damage. This is definitely an improvement in my eyes, as before we'd only have a text description of the item in most cases, and had to go off what we thought sounded better, with the exception of Drives, which told you how fast it went with a number.
  • There are different ways of 'paying' for things now. There's the 'money' method, which you first enounter if the system you start out in. Every item has a buy and sell price, which I refer to as Dollars($). Next up is the 'Credit' method from RtIS, which remains the same. And finally(I think), the ever popular Klackar Traders, where you just exchange one item for another regardless of worth. I don't know if there are more methods, but those are the ones I've encountered so far.
  • There are now more ships, with a total of 5 to choose from, all having different base stats and different amount of equipment slots. Initially, you have a choice of 3 ships, as you start the game with around $1800 and only 3 ships are in that range. What the game does is that you immediately go into the game, rather than choosing a ship and being put in the game. Before you can do anything, you need to buy a ship, obviously. You can always come back later and buy a new ship, though I'm not sure if you can trade-in your current one, though I assume you can.
  • Combat has been changed a bit. It's still the top down view, though you can rotate and tilt it too, but instead of just clicking where you want them to waddle over too, you drag/draw a path for them to follow and they'll follow it.

And the Cons:
  • Sound is a bit uneven, where some sounds will be louder/quieter or sometimes distorted a bit, though the latter is rare.
  • The camera rotate control is a bit too sensitive in my opinion. A slider to adjust it would be nice.
  • Due to the color of nebulae, stars, and the lines between planets, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the depth of the various systems. I think this is the main problem people have with the 3D view. Changing the color scheme, particularly the color of the lines leading from your current system to the closest ones would help this problem. Adding a map pan feature, and a 'center on ship' feature would help too, in my opinion.
  • The animations and sometimes framerate can get a bit choppy, which this games specs should not be having.
  • The difficulty/length/size options from the RtIS are not yet present at the moment. Though, like I said, this is still an Early Access game.

I'm a bit tired at the moment, but that's all I can remember right now. This is basically RtIS plus some new features and improvements, and it will only get better from here. I'll addon and/or change this review as time goes on, since up until I got Infinite Space III I had played RtIS a few times a day, and now I'm playing Infinite Space III.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Early Access Review
This game is awesome. As a fun of their previous works Strange Adventures and Wierd Worlds, I love how this game is progressing.

The premise of this type of game is a quick fun game that you can play in a half-hour. The replayability of this genre is great, and it also helps you kick back, take a risk, and forget that there is no save button.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Early Access Review
Just gave Infinite Space III a shot last night and wound up playing several hours. Even in its early release status, the game is fun, and the variations thrown by the RNG keep even the (somewhat small) range of encounters varied. I have enjoyed the heck out of it so far, and absolutely cannot wait to see what the devs do next.
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6 of 14 people (43%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
Early Access Review
It really doesn't work yet - hopefully in 6 months or so and some more work - buy if you want to support....but do so with caution, when, IF, this will be a really playable game is open to debate.

HOWEVER do go grab weird worlds, that's great!
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
Early Access Review
kinda early access good
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Early Access Review
First try: lost from not knowing i only had so many days to survive in each playthrough.

Second try: Died from having a weapon that has stupidly low reload speed when i was attack some aliens.

Third try: died from a super nova when i flew to a planet right after i traded a laser gun for a spider-bat

Do i suggest the game? YES!
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Early Access Review
Simple game, but engaging and keeps you playing. Even when the game kills you withing 10 minutes.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Early Access Review
Not bad for an early release.. looking forward to the full game
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Early Access Review
Excellent addition to an amazing franchise. If you liked wierd worlds you will like this I promise!
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