It's a decent little game to pass the time, considering the price. While I wouldn't exactly call it an outstanding game by any stretch of the imagination, I would firmly place it in the category of: 'If you have 10 bucks to spare, some time to kill, and like strategy games with a sprinkling of story and RPG thrown in, why not?'.
It comes with a quick little tutorial to help you get started, which is nice. However I would still strongly recommend either reading or glancing through the simple manual as well, because there may be things that are of interest to you that you'd want to do and have no real idea about otherwise. Such as starting your own faction. That however is something that will take several hours and much dedication.
There are 4 factions that you can join and level up with, however if you don't join any you can go about doing what you want (minus missions) and still level up as a civilian. If you eventually join your ranking will carry over to your new faction, so at least you don't lose anything.
It's no surprise that virtually everything in the game revolves around money. The only things that don't are your own individual skills depending on which profession you choose - however note that it can take quite a while to level up and get new skills, so for some people the game might get a bit tedious, or even monotonous. You need to 'level up' 3 times before you get new skills - and some pretty big skills are on opposite ends of entire skill trees that require you to have prerequisites. So expect a lot of grinding.
If you're someone who likes games based upon their graphics - my suggestion is to move along. There won't be anything new or fancy here, and if you have a really high resolution you're going to be doing a fair amount of squinting. Otherwise you can make it full screen and squint again as everything gets stretched out. If you see something once in the game, you'll see it a thousand times.
Same for the sounds. The music will tend to cut out at various random intervals, but strangely enough I really only noticed it when it suddenly stopped. Otherwise it was fairly forgettable. Much the same for the sound effects.
There are a few instances of flavor text missing, usually in the 'quotes' area stating that this is an early access version even though it isn't. Also, if you're the one who tends to shudder every time you come across misspelled words or bad grammar in a game, then prepare to shudder a few times. Thankfully most of it is fine, but you'll notice a few spots here and there - and plenty of walls of text. Though considering the resolution I'm not really surprised.
All-in-all it's a fun little game to pass the time, or if you have that space rpg urge. It's 'just one more turn!' addicting for the first hour or two until you get the routine down. You might get to switch it up when you learn a new skill or get a new ship, or get a battle with a random event - but otherwise nothing major happens for the first large chunk of the game.
With enough dedication you can eventually reach the higher ranks and unlock more activities, but you'll have to be able to slog through a fair bit of early grinding, -especially- if you choose the civilian route.
My final score for this is a fairly decent but not great 6.5/10. It will keep you entertained for a while and will be worth it to those who are willing to put the time into it - assuming you can put up with old-fashioned graphics and sounds for quite a few hours.
For the rest of you who can't do that, I'd recommend waiting to see if it goes on sale later. At 10 USD it's still an iffy buy, but if it ever goes to 7 or less, I'd say grab it.
- Paradox Jast