BAFTA award winning fleet-based RTS meets rogue-lite. In Distant Star: Revenant Fleet, build your fleet of up to 5 ships from a choice of 8 classes and traverse a randomly generated galaxy to defeat the Erebus Platform.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (197 reviews) - 61% of the 197 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 7, 2015

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Recent updates View all (45)

March 9

Version 1.0.8.7 Released

A few updates based on player feedback:

  • Each ship will no longer gain a phase warp critical for using escape.
  • Escaping now costs 3 supply up from 1.
  • Repairs are more likely to appear in non-repair specific shops.
  • Reduced the price of Critical Repairs from 4800 credits to 3000 credits.
  • Supply is more likely to appear in non-supply-specific shops.
  • Increased the price of supply from 1000 to 1500.
  • Removed the discounted stack of 10 supply from shops.
  • Increased the discount on the 5 stack of supply from 5% to 20% – now only available in supply shops.
  • Attachments and ships are no longer selected as a shop’s stock based on their price (will now see a larger variety of items, earlier).
  • Toned down the event that would cause High Command to remove all of a player’s supply and credits, as a punishment for destroying their cargo ships:
  • Reduced the cost of bribing the enemy from 30% of your credits to 10%.
  • Reduced the chances of your crew causing heavy damage to the cargo ship from 40% to 25%.
  • The event will now remove no supply instead of all of your supply if the cargo ship is hit.
  • The event will now remove 20% of your credits instead of all of them if the cargo ship is hit.

6 comments Read more

February 5

Version 1.0.8.6 Released

Erebus just got easier!

Reduced the defences of Erebus:

Erebus carrier pods have been reduced from 16 to 12.
Erebus plates have had their 25% damage resistance removed, reducing the damage they can take from 15000 to 10000.
Erebus core has had its damage resistance reduced from 75% to 50%, reducing the damage it can take from 30000 to 20000.

Reduced the damage output of Erebus:

Erebus beams now fire slower and for longer, making them less accurate when player is dodging.
Erebus Torpedo has had a damage reduction from 4320 to 3600.
Erebus now has 12 carrier pods down from 16, reducing the maximum drones in the mission from 48 to 36.

Photon Blast damage increases:

Photon Blast (basic) has had a damage increase from 792 to 900.
Photon Blast I has had a damage increase from 880 to 1000.
Photon Blast II has had a damage increase from 968 to 1100.
Photon Blast III has had a damage increase from 1056 to 1200.
Slight price increase on all Photon Blast attachments to reflect damage increase.

0 comments Read more

Reviews

“I covered this game recently, and it had exceptional real-time strategy style combat, which made it a lot of fun. The building aspect usually found in RTS games happens in-between missions, wherein you use your found salvage to purchase new ships.”
SpaceGameJunkie

“It’s pretty and affectingly moody, and in its movement-heavy, explosion-littered fights involving sometimes dozens of ships it’s probably leaning more towards Gratuitous Space Battles than FTL’s static hull bombardment.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“if you are the sort that likes to get involved with a game's development through the program, roguelikes are a great genre to play around with in Early Access as spoiling the game for yourself is much less of an issue.”
Destructoid

About This Game

In Distant Star: Revenant Fleet, you take control of the last remaining ships of a near-destroyed A’kari fleet, and must rebuild your forces as you battle through ancient, galactic battlefields towards a final showdown with the Orthani.

Build your fleet of up to 5 ships (from a choice of any combination of 8 classes) and upgrade their weapons and attachments which give you new and improved skills to use in combat. With hundreds of attachments to choose from, each class has many different possible loadouts.

Traverse the galaxy one system at a time - each step of the way you will face unique story events, each of which has multiple outcomes that can change with each playthrough. Choose whether or not you enter combat, flee or try to talk your way out of difficult situations - but don't think the same choice next time round will have the same outcome!

Combat takes place in small tactical RTS missions that last between 5 and 30 minutes. Enemy fleets scale to always provide a challenge for your fleet and as you progress through the game, things will get tougher still! But don't worry, you can use Tactical Pause to issue orders to your fleet and ensure you have the upper hand in battle.

All set within a beautifully designed universe with an eerily atmospheric soundtrack - Distant Star: Revenant Fleet is a game you'll be playing again and again...

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7/8
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900, 512mb graphics memory required, Minimum Resolution: 1024x768
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (197 reviews)
Recently Posted
almighty23
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Everything kinda stiff and ugly, really uninspired, almost threw me off on the first sight but then I went through ship designs, weapon designs and those are kinda great. Okey, Im getting into it! Some big, unreadable (bad contrast n ♥♥♥♥) popup kicks in, FTL style. Okey, read through, choosing option 1... 1... 1... 1?! Okey, gotta get to menu check these keybiands, ESC... ESC?!
Oh, apparently when youre in a sector you use different set of keybinds - theres lack of any kind of intuitive controls. I am kind of gfx / ui freak, you got me there but if core game mechanics are good I can get through all the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ stuff. Software Inc.? Cool game. Ugly, unintuitive, still cool. But here you have small-fleet-management game. With ugly background, medicore at best ships which move without any kind of fluidity - and that was the biggest throw off that made this game unplayable for me. Honestly I could've written something like that, Ive written a few games in my life and the most apparent flaw was that stiffness (properly done acceleration/decceleration phases) - it's a core aspect of this game and feels quite like a highschool IT project.
All above doesn't change the fact that this GAME CONCEPT DESIGN IS GREAT. If these guys had better gfx artist and animator they'd hit it big. If they made it 15 years ago they'd hit it big as well. I don't regret buying this game, it was worth it if only to support such developers, promote such ideas. Maybe theyll be able to execute them better next time.
Seriously, if it's on discount buy it simply to support them - if they keep doing what they're doing sooner or later its gonna pay off.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DocPhineas
( 6.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
This is a very, very tentative thumbs up for Distant Star: Revenant Fleet. A 6 or 6.5 out of 10, interesting and enjoyable with serious flaws, worth checking out but not necessarily a genre classic. It's better than FTL, although I have wrapped around to hating FTL so this may be damning DS:RF with faint praise.

I don't particularly like roguelikes but heard about DS:RF through the fine people at Extra Credits and was intrigued. Eventually getting an entire fleet and being able to kit out ships for specific roles, like the tank-y Dreadnought and Pulsar for healing is a nice step up from other roguelikes. The graphics are crisp and really work for the setting, although I got a lot of lag in the last few missions. There's much more of a game to DS:RF than FTL, and racing to capture an orbital factory or destroy a convey before reinforcements showed up was as tense at the end of the game as it was at the start.

On the other hand, I've only beaten the game once and I don't feel like trying again. One of the biggest problems with DS:RF is that there just isn't much variety, and by the end of my winning run I felt like I'd seen everything the game had to offer. All of the missions are either capture a point or destroy a fleet and the combat system isn't quite deep enough to sustain that. Maneuvering the fleet just comes down to shifting whatever ship still has shields to the front, and occasionally dodging an AOE attack. Manually triggered skills are mostly a chore to use. The small ships don't have enough health or shields to make them worthwhile, and the big ships are so expensive I don't see how you could get a full fleet of them by the end.

The economy overall is pretty screwed up. Everything, from ships to gear to fuel, is ludicrously expensive, while mission rewards are laughably small. One unit of fuel costs 1500 credits, while most in game missions offer 2000 or 2500 credits as reward, while the smallest ship costs 10K. This is not even counting better gear for the ships. I would have lost my winning game if I wasn't playing on easy mode, because I ran out of fuel 90% of the way in and of the 4 shops I found in the last level, none of them sold fuel.

I would have given this a thumbs down if I had paid $10 for it. At 50% off, $5 for an ambitious but deeply flawed experience was worth it.
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e_timotei
( 20.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
This is a wonderfull and engaging game. Not really related to FTL.
But I love the fact that you can, as in FTL, stop the time so you can take good decisions.

A very nice mixture of RTS and fleet building.

For those, like me, that are on linux you can play it with wine (I am using ubuntu-15.10, wine-1.9.12), you have to install steam with wine also.

It takes 1-2 minutes to start.

Also it might be a good idea for the developers to release it on linux (just let it run on wine). It is a shame to not give us the chance to give you money. ;)
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Random
( 9.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
It's a clear FTL / Strange Adventures in Infinite Space kind of game. But it adds a fun angle with the real-time space battles and a pretty nice variety of ships. What's not to like? Oh yeah, the final boss battle is pretty hard but turn it down to rookie and you'll be fine. Only complaints are you can't re-order or re-hotkey ships and sometimes they steer directly into a minefield like they're drunk. But that's a minor part of the whole package.
Great art and the soundtrack is nice dark atmospheric space ambient.
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Alitari
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
This game plays like a RTS version of FTL with Homeworld themes, music, design, etc. Unforuntately it doesn't have the depth or variety that FTL has, and in the doling out of resources, falls too hevily on the 'too little' end of the scale; not enough to be able to make interesting choices (as opposed to the far end of the scale where you have more than you know what to do with). Replayability is minimal, but it is an interesting idea, I just wish it had more.
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Wungle
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
Like FLT but with ships. Clunky controls and might be hard to understand at the beginning because very little tutorial help.

Only played and hour, so might refund it even though cost $3. Borderline. Up vote only out of consideration for developers.
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이브
( 26.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
This game is awesome, it was really hard before the devs updated and tweaked stuff. It's still hard to finish but it's way better now. People should really retake a look at it.
9/10
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claiminglight
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
I took a chance on this game-- a "mixed" review average is often a very good indicator that a game isn't worth seeing. But there was something about presentation that appealed to me. I began to suspect that the reviews may have been kneejerk reactions that spawned a hate-mob or were balancing complaints that weren't ammended as the developer began to make changes.

I haven't played very long yet-- but I'm really enjoying it! If indeed the game had some issues before I arrived on the scene, they don't seem to be present now.

Don't get me wrong- there's still a pressing difficulty, even on the normal setting. But it hasn't felt insurmountable. Thus far, the only really dangerous situaton I ran into resulted from a silly mistake I made. And even then, I was able to use the Escape option to cut my losses.

Check the game out. It gets started quickly and doesn't put you through silly tutorials. You'll certainly be able to figure out if it's worth it in less than 2 hours.
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Droit
( 11.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
I absolutely do not recommend purchasing this game with the intent to play it.

"Well then why give it a thumbs up?"

Two reasons.
1. The devs are listening to players. This is so amazingly rare nowadays and they deserve support just for that reason.
2. I want to see more games that are similar to this. This was an attempt at a unique game that unfortunately failed, but I respect their attempt, and Iwant to see these devs and other devs continue to be supported and keep trying. They may get it right next time.

-Also, writing was pretty good. It wasn't Sunless Sea level, but it was about on par with FTL.

So honestly, my recommendation is to buy the game, but not play it.

The last thing that I ask you to read is the following:

TEDIUM IS NOT DIFFICULTY.
REPETITION IS NOT CHALLENGE.

Please remember that for your next game if you read this Devs. I believe you have a lot of potential.


Feel free to ignore the more detailed review below. It's a lot of venting anyway.

More detailed review:

I tried so, so hard to to like this game. It looks like a cross between Homeworld and FTL on the surface, and I kept thinking "Maybe I'll start to understand more about the game, and it'll become fun!"

No. No it doesn't. There are very, VERY rare occasions where you actually get into the combat. It may have happened like 5 times in 10 hours of gameplay. And it lasted like 30 seconds. So I enjoyed approximately 2.5 minutes of the 10 hours of gameplay I have. (only a mild exaggeration, honestly).

The combat is some of the most boring, repetitive combat I've ever experienced, and it takes AGES to complete battles even when the outcome is very clear.

I played the game on Veteran because I enjoy a challenge. This game is not capable of being challenging, however.

A challenge isn't "Here, throw 5 more ships at them, and give them all 50% more health." That isn't challenging, because the only thing I have to do is fly in circles THAT MUCH LONGER until I finally wear them down, or I randomly get a ship disabled because the AI is terrible.

Next complaint: AI IS TERRIBLE. Enemy AI: TERRIBLE. Your Fleet AI: HORRIBLE. Mines: WHY? Literally just capitalizing on the poor AI that you put into the game just to cause damage and frustration. That is not challenging. Micro-managing ships around mines is not fun, it is BORING and TEDIOUS.

Next complaint: SAME MISSIONS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Capture A B C. Defend A. Destroy B. Woooooooowww. SUCH BORING. WHAT TEDIUM.

I honestly am so frustrated with this game at this point. I tried for 10+ hours to like this game. I tried so EFFFING hard, because I LOVE FTL (check my hours if you don't believe me), and Homeworld was a masterpiece. However, instead of FTL and Homeworld having a lovely baby, they ended up with a mentally damaged child that while somehow well-spoken and mildly handsome, has to be tied up to a post so they can run around in circles to avoid them falling over and smacking their head on the nearest piece of furniture.

I won't even go on about the end fight. Hint: IT'S AWFUL. DON'T EVEN BOTHER.

TEDIUM IS NOT DIFFICULTY.
REPETITION IS NOT CHALLENGE.


Please, remember that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PapaKarlo
( 9.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 22
Warning: This game has no meta-progression in any way. There is not a lot of ships or weapons and random events are pretty binary, so replayability may be very restricted for some players.

Otherwise the game is pretty decent. Nice 2d graphics, good audio and nice gameplay, even if a little hectic. Mechanics force you to use tactical pause a lot, maneuver each ship manually to dodge fire (there is no order queuing) and do a ♥♥♥♥-poor job explaining it to you, so do yourself a favor and skim through some basic guide before your first playthrough (or in a middle of it).

Complains about difficulty are outdated: I've beaten the game in my first try on "regular". First hour was a little too easy but after it, game picked up a pace. I'm obviously played on wrong difficulty for me, but nonetheless it proves, that you can pick a difficulty suited for you.

Random events seemed to me a little dull. Almost every time you got three options: 1. fight, 2. don't fight, 3. read some story to see if you will fight or just get the resources. It shows that the game is mostly combat-orientated. If your fleet is built nicely you won't need to run away from enemies, and if it doesn't - well, you'll need to win some fights to get resources for upgrade.

Overall I've enjoyed my ~4 hours in first playthrough and I'll try it on next difficulty, but I doubt that I will play it a lot. If you will be satisfied with 3-5 hrs experience - this game is good. It may give your more, but don't count on it too heavily.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
This is a wonderfull and engaging game. Not really related to FTL.
But I love the fact that you can, as in FTL, stop the time so you can take good decisions.

A very nice mixture of RTS and fleet building.

For those, like me, that are on linux you can play it with wine (I am using ubuntu-15.10, wine-1.9.12), you have to install steam with wine also.

It takes 1-2 minutes to start.

Also it might be a good idea for the developers to release it on linux (just let it run on wine). It is a shame to not give us the chance to give you money. ;)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
144 of 153 people (94%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 28, 2015
This is the first review I have ever posted for a game on steam. That being said I felt moved to do so because I think I have input that may prove helpful to the players and developers alike. I spent a great deal of time watching videos and reading reviews before I made my purchase discision and I must say that in the very short time that I have played and with the promising involvement of the develpers I am confident I won't be dissapointed with spending my money on this game.

Within the first few moments of battle I started to scratch and itch that I've had for a very long time. I have been craving a fast-paced space rts of a certain type for a long time. Distant Star: Revenant Fleet has a great feel and an excellent balance of fleet combat control and ship modability plus its a roguelike to boot. I would recommend anyone who enjoys the space genre as well as the roguelike genre to consider getting this game.

As for helpful information, I want to say that after watching several videos and reading many comments I feel that perhaps many players do not have a very solid grasp on the most effective way to play. I don't mean for that to sound arrogant. What I do mean is that the developers have made it difficult for new players to jump straight in. I haven't done the research to see if the features I'm about to suggest are in development but I do feel that if they were they would have been implemented with the transition from alpha to beta. The game offers a excellently executed tactical drop in and out of combat pause system. Understanding how to use this effectively is in my opinion the key to playing the game successfully. On some of the videos I watched the commentators talked about having to constanly be on the move and not being able to activate ship abilities or a sense of not having enough control over what is actually taking place in the battle in relation to the players ships. The reality is that all the control you need is right at your fingertips. The problem is that is never told or shown to you. If a player doesn't intuitively recognise that a certain level of control is necessary and doesn't search for the controls in the menu then their first couple of experiences in battle can sour their opinion of the game. What I'm suggesting is that the developers incorporate a tutorial like experience in the first mission. Instead of dropping you into a battle and just saying survive please add tips that say press spacebar for tactical mode. Then once the player does so add some more tips explaining the benifit of tactical mode and just what the player can do. Features like hotkeys for your ships and their abilites and basic commands like defend this target are an absolute must in this genre and the game has them. It just doesnt tell the player. Because of this I feel like the game is not as unbalanced per say as players believe. I was able to take the starting ship and just a lancer with no additional upgrades to the end of the first sector and through several combat nodes with relative ease simply by utilizing the tools that are there.

--Feature Suggestions--
1. Tutorials
2. I would love to be able to que multiple movements for my ships. In other words Holding shift and creating waypoints for my ships to travel along.
3. I'm not sure if this isn't already implemented in some fashion and I just haven't discovered it yet but I would like to see information about enemy ships. Nothing game breaking of course but just simple stuff for the sake of immersion.
4. I would like to be able to zoom out just a little bit further. you can't see the max range of the lancer's laser without panning your screen. This left me unaware that it could target a location instead of a specific ship which is tactically useful information.

Sorry for the excessively long post and thank you to anyone who took the time to read it.
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204 of 246 people (83%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 10, 2015
Just played this game and feel a need to post a review, partially to reflect my thoughts to other players and partially to tell the devs.

Yes, this is a pretty cool game. Yes, I liked it, and it scratches a very particular itch that I haven't really found anything else for (small-fleet-command strategy game). But I don't feel like it was quite what I'd thought it would be when I purchased it, and, while I'm recommending it, it's with some pretty major qualifications.

tl;dr, it's a good light-strategy game, but I wouldn't call it a roguelike. This review is going to sound predominantly negative, but I did enjoy the game and do think it could be well worth picking up on sale. Not sure if I'd recommend it at full price.

STRATEGIC GAMEPLAY
First, Ithe battles didn't involve the level of strategy I was expecting. The best fights were ones where I had to watch the enemy chasing my tail, and my tactics involved kiting enemies around to recharge shields and lances, then turning and blasting one of two of them to pieces with my twin Lancers before turning and burning again. But I honestly didn't feel like many of the missions involved that much tactical thinking. Maybe I'm just too used to Dragon Age and similar games, or maybe I built the wrong fleet, but I didn't feel like I could do that much with any given ship other than move it around and shoot--which it could do perfectly fine on its own. My flagship had a damage boost, but with no cost I just popped it every time it came off cooldown; something similar was true for the Dreadnought I picked up later in the game and put a damage-boosting ability on. My gunship just flew around shooting things, while my Lancers sat in the back and melted priority targets every 10-15 seconds. I filled up almost all of my hardpoints with passives because they seemed so attractive.

And it worked! I beat the game on my first run. I'm not quite sure where the difficulty lies; with (a lot of) judicious pausing, I always had my CQC ships circling the enemy to dodge point-targeted weapons and had my Lancers drop their deathrays on cooldown. Protip for anyone who picks this up: Keep moving and keep pausing. Since it seems a lot of other people are finding the game difficult, I find myself wondering if either A) pause is OP or B) Lancers are OP, because I used both of those to great effect. Only one of my ships was ever disabled, and that only happened once.

I wondered if I was playing the wrong type of fleet for what I was looking for, but...it worked damn well, and I'm not going to handicap myself with expensive, tricky ships when I can just snag a couple Lancers and blast a smoking trail across the galaxy.

The missions I did find actually difficult were the protection missions where a large number of enemy ships suddenly spawned on top of the VIP ship--either in an escort mission where the transports appear halfway across the map from my fleet in the middle of an enemy cluster or in a station defense mission where the entire enemy fleet swoops in from all directions to vaporize their target. But that's not a fun kind of difficulty, since it's not one that good planning or good tactics can get you out of. It's just annoying.

MISSIONS
Every mission I played was either search-and-destroy or protect. The ones where I started in the middle of several enemy groups were the most fun, since I had to extricate myself and then figure out how to handle the flotilla trying to jam rockets up my exhaust ports. The enemies didn't feel distinct from each other: once you've seen one Tech that shoots ion clouds, you've seen every Tech in the game.

The final battle didn't feel that much better, either--it was a defense mission, then a search-and-destroy mission, then a timed DPS race. I didn't feel that any of the missions actually tested my resourcefulness, cunning, or ability to learn anything beyond "kill Lancers on sight and don't get in the way of those blue things Rogues shoot."

ATMOSPHERE AND PROGRESSION
The story's serviceable, and the world is presented with a workable amount of depth--I'm not expecting grand world-building here, and I didn't get it, but I did get a pleasant amount of insight into the universe. Props to the dev team for that!

I'm kind of curious as to why the Akari are so dead-set on my fleet in particular appearing at Aos, because they seemed to have a pretty significant presence of their own there. I didn't really feel like I was commanding a fleet--a battlegroup, sure, but not a fleet per se. This was partially due to the difficulty I had parsing the size of the ships--as far as I can tell, a Dreadnought would have about a 10-man crew at most, which feels off, but the immensity of the space wreckage left me unable to come to any other conclusion. Where the heck did those things come from, anyway?

Finding the exact same mission in two consecutive systems, and then again in the next sector, also ruined the atmosphere for me (it was an escort mission, for the curious).

I didn't have any real feeling of progress throughout the game, which I can forgive on the narrative side due to the random nature of events. But my ships really didn't seem to get better, either--I filled up all the hardpoints on my starting ships by the end of the second sector, found another Lancer (filled hardpoint, upgraded weapon) and bought a Dreadnought later on, which immediately filled up its own hardpoints. After that...there's the veterancy bonuses, which are useful, but honestly pretty dull. As far as I can tell, they're randomly seeded, meaning I ended up with a Lancer with two more-or-less useless shield upgrades while my other one had three Damage+ upgrades.

CONCLUSION
If you want a roguelike in space, you're better off picking up FTL. If you want a tactical real-time-with-pause game, you're probably better-off with Dragon Age or another RPG. There's just not enough of either of those here to satisfy you if you're looking for that sort of gameplay. But if you want to kill some time and some spaceships while flying around the galaxy, then pick it up if/when it's on sale. Distant Star isn't a bad game, and it's worth a look, but--in its present form--it's not that great either.

WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE
For what it's worth, here are my thoughts on things that would improve this game--some concrete, some more abstract.
-More options for progression. For example, could we have veterancy upgrades unique to each class? What about different types of hardpoints for active vs. passive abilities, or gear in shops later in the game actually being better than the stuff in the first sector? I filled up everything really early, mostly with passives, and nothing ever came up in the shops that looked appealing enough to try.
-More mission variety.
-More things to actually test ingenuity and decision points in fleet-building. The best part of FTL, Nethack (as much as anything is the best part of Nethack), or the like is trying to figure out how to work miracles with scarce resources. I never felt resources were particularly scarce--the income over the game felt about right, and was hardly generous, but I never felt I actually had to make hard decisions about what to do with my cash. Heck, I'd even be fine with scaling the initial allowance back a bit and giving some more opportunities to actually build up.
-As a minor point: having enemy ships that are visible to allies revealed on the minimap. They don't show up on the minimap until they get in my ships' sensor range even though I can see them right there.
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74 of 85 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
I've decided to amend my review given the dev team's receptiveness to feedback. While I still can't recommend the game because of the scaling difficulty I do have to give props to the devs for listening to people and making changes to the end boss so it's doable without having the perfect storm of good luck with upgrades, making options other than "attack them" worth choosing in random encounters, and making top end equipment and upgrades easier to find in shops. My original review is below, slightly edited.

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I liked the game at first and I wish I still liked it because it's a great concept and the design is nice, but after finding out something was true that I had wondered about I find I no longer do. I really wish I could just ignore this issue and enjoy the game for what it is but this sort of thing has always been a personal sore spot for me in games.

Difficulty is artificially inflated as you get more ships in your fleet. If you're having trouble and buy another ship thinking it'll make things a bit easier you're in for a bad surprise because it has the opposite effect. Every enemy fleet you face after that will not only have more and stronger ships, but if you buy a Carrier or Dreadnought you'll face a lot of bigger ships as well. You'll go from fighting a couple waves of Gunships, Drones, Fighters, and the occasional Lancer to fighting fleets of Assaults, Lancers, Dreadnoughts, and swarms of Drones.

It also effectively makes some missions almost impossible to win at, anything that involves defending a station or ship against Pirates you might as well just give up right away because they are almost guaranteed to kill it because Pirate fleets are composed almost entirely of assaults that will melt anything without a shield in seconds, and every ship or station you're supposed to defend in those missions has no shield for some reason even if it's not disabled.

Topping it all off is a final area that I'm sure was supposed to be epic, but is a major pain instead. Let's take a look at the final area.

Needlessly long map with multiple ambushes and minefields? Check.
Boss with multiple forms? Check.
Boss that summons multiple minions at each form? Check.
Boss with lots of overpowered weapons? Check.
Boss with huge amounts of HP for each part at each form? Check.

Essentially the boss renders several types of ships you can use a liability because they die very quickly, and one of them utterly worthless because it has very low HP and to fire it has to sit still which means it gets instagibbed. If you thought FTL's final battle was out of proportion to the rest of the game, you haven't seen anything yet.

The final boss is the only part of the game that does NOT scale to your fleet size and composition so if you want to have even a chance at killing the final boss you are practically required to have a full fleet. Unfortunately this makes every stage prior to the final stage and even the ambush fleets in the final stage itself needlessly difficult unless you know exactly what you're doing, if you only have a couple ships you'll mostly breeze through the game up until the boss then get hopelessly slaughtered. But even if you do have the right ships with the right equipment you're still likely to fail against the final boss because it requires a massive amount of micromanagement even using ships loaded entirely with passives or "fire and forget" skills that don't require you to manually aim or stop moving to use. There is also a time limit as well, ensuring that you can't take it slow and careful. *Boss difficulty has been tweaked since my original review.

Adding to all that you have to buy ships, equipment, and skills from random merchants along the way, and since their inventories are randomized there's no guarantee you'll even see equipment and skills that are useable by the ships you have, and even if you do there's no guarantee it won't just be the same weak stuff that you start with. The randomness wouldn't be so bad on it's own but unless you're fielding a fleet of fully kitted out ships by the time you get to the end you have virtually no chance of winning, and that's hard to do even when things go your way for most of the game. *Availability of better shop inventory has been tweaked since my original review.
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A developer has responded on Feb 4 @ 9:19am
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82 of 100 people (82%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 19, 2015
The A'kari of Aos, shattered and few, on a desperate mission to stop the final Orthani victory...

Distant Star : Revenant Fleet (from here on out I'll call it DSRF, because I like my fingers and typing that over and over will murder my keyboard) is one of the "Second Generation" of Early Access games, having now seen and made it through the initial wave of Early Access highs and lows, we're now seeing a more matured approach to the Early Access platform, with more specialised projects and more consistent and constrained planning resulting in products that actually deliver on their promises. DSRF was sold as a Rogue "lite" in space, where you'd assemble a small fleet of ships, guide them across the solar system, and then engage in a showdown in a final battle much like the genre definer FTL.

The Distant Stars, and the not so Distant Stars...

Much like FTL, you work your way across multiple sectors, each sector contains multiple jumps, however, unlike FTL, there's only four sectors that you'll be working your way across as you head towards the final battle, meaning your average playthrough is much closer to two to four hours, as opposed to the four to eight in FTL. However, unlike FTL, instead of managing -one- ship with a few upgrades, here you'll be managing a full fleet, each with their own weapon systems (in some cases, multiple weapons systems), sub systems, and passive systems.

The blend of upgrades means that fleets can in theory be quite unique (in practice, there's usually one generally optimal approach for fixing the deficiencies for each ship, straying too far is a bad idea). The ships too will upgrade with experience, granting bonuses in various ways, again, helping you compensate for their weaknesses or exaggerating their strengths. These upgrades are not exactly anything amazingly unique, but there's a good enough variety per ship to keep things interesting.

Of special mention are the weapon systems, of which there is a serious number, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, allowing for a significant degree of tactical flexibility and nuance within your fleet, this is extremely useful, and can allow for a player to adapt on the fly, particularly if things go sideways and they lose a valuable ship during the course of the voyage.

Of tactics, tactical pause, orders, and mo(ba)ment to moment combat...

Once you jump into a sector, the game moves to a top down view of your ships, moving around a two dimensional "pane" of space, with the sun behind it, filtering light through to give a sort of 3D effect. It's rather effective, and pretty. Combat therefore works by ordering your fleet (up to five units) around the 2D map and having them reposition, attack, use specials, cover each other, heal each other, etc. Line of Sight can be used and abused to cover each other (units are solid objects, so weapons will hit the first thing they make contact with), and specials are often "skillshots", which means that moving can disrupt or even cause them to miss.

This should sound very much like a singleplayer version of most MOBA type games, and that's because in a sense, it is. It carries a lot of the fundamentals of that type of game in the genesis when you're playing the tactical map mode, but you have the benefit of a pause mode that allows you to issue orders and activate specials whilst the pause is set, then allow time to proceed on its' merry way once more, pausing when you need to issue fresh orders. Disabled units will suffer critical damage at first, represented by debuffs that carry over from sector to sector, however, with each critical suffered, the chance for them to be entirely destroyed begins to tick up, if they take too many criticals, well, you may lose a ship altogether, and in this game, that can be a punishing blow, especially late game. Units in this game are extremely valuable, and losing one can be crippling, enough to trash a game and force a restart.

Ruthless voyagers in skies deep blue...

The A'kari are not a pleasant or amiable lot. Their culture is very warrior caste, and it's very clear as you travel through space that you are just "a side" in the war, if anything it's quite possible that you're the bad guys. This moral ambiguity is both interesting and potentially a downside, the problem with such a situation is that for some players, it's important to have the belief that they're on the "good" side when playing these kinds of games. The A'kari often resort to less than wholesome tactics to make their way through the game (as the necessity of their mission requires), but that will come with a moral weight to it, and if you become invested or put some time into thinking about the lore or backstory of the game, well, it may leave you wondering if you're actually playing for the right side.

Reflections in glowing suns and off glinting guns...

The graphics aren't -quite- Homeworld Remastered, but nonetheless, they're definitely good enough to pass muster, presenting clearly defined racial ships for both the A'kari and the Orthani, along with a third set of ships for the neutral Pirates. The backdrop itself is colourful and clear, with a good set of nebulae and lighting presentation being well handled and running smoothly throughout. This is a well designed and imagined game. Of specific mention is the soundtrack, which is really, really good. We're talking standout quality, easily worthy of being a standalone OST if ever they decide to release it as such.

... and the fire and fury of the missiles...

When combat takes place, the playfield is colourful and bright, the music sweeps up to an orchestral swell, the explosions are many, debris litters the place as ships disintegrate in style. This game makes space combat look -good-, and does a good job of hiding the MOBA style combat under it's interface and behind the active-pause button, but with the limited number of sectors, and the fact that the game doesn't support the same level of replayability as FTL, this is a game to play in shorter bursts, as a side dish to things like FTL.

Closing thoughts...

DSRF does a lot right, and in some areas it does break some interesting new ground, however, it doesn't -quite- do enough to break free of FTL's shadow, and it doesn't quite do enough to stand far enough away to net it my unguarded praise. Which is a shame, because there's a lot to like about this game, for people who are big on Sci-Fi and Roguelites, this may prove to be too tempting to miss, for people who are looking to get "into" such games, FTL is still the daddy.

Verdict : Wishlist it, if you're a fan of Sci-Fi, and particularly FTL, give this one some serious consideration.
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48 of 50 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
hm, most of those negative reviews seem to be outdated because the game really feels different to what they claim.

Overall the game is very similar to FTL, you pass through several sectors to reach the final boss fight, every sector has multiple systems, where you can fight, repair, do quests, buy stuff,.... and each jump consumes fuel.
Instead of managing your crew during a fight you control your fleet (up to 5 ships) from a top down perspective. -Squad-based RTS style.
But be warned, the game is a lot slower paced, which makes it more of a RTS game with some light rogue-like elements rather than a rogue-like with RTS elements (if that makes any sense).

Other reviews claimed that the battles are needlessly dragged out but I can't confirm that, they take a few minutes at best and depending on your fleet composition offer a reasonable amount of tactical depth.
I've also read a lot of complaints about the harsh difficulty. I played on normal and didn't die until I reached the final boss level. (a bit too easy) It felt pretty consistent through each sector until the very last room, where it really spiked and I was killed before I could even reach the boss (a bit too difficult) but the devs seem to be very active so I hope they will have a second look at this.

But all in all, I really enjoyed it.
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A developer has responded on Jul 28, 2015 @ 3:17am
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46 of 54 people (85%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 23, 2015
First Impressions:

Distant Star: Revenant Fleet reminds me of FTL but with RTS elements. To sum this up, you'll jump from point to point and encounter various events (pirates, enemy fleets, dialogue choices, etc.). When docked at a friendly station, you can purchase new ships and/or upgrades for your existing ones. Unlike FTL, the action sequences are less crew specific and more about controlling 1-5 ships inside an arena-esque map and activating their individual abilities timely. Some things do rub me the wrong way: no difficulty setting, encounters/enemy waves tend to be too long, and the battles tend to be stacked against you to the point where you're dancing and running constantly. I never felt like I was powerful enough to stand toe to toe with enemies in these events. The right click sound (when moving) is incredibly annoying as well. Still, $7 is a pretty good value for what the game has to offer thus far...though I'd personally play this more if the game had an easier difficulty setting or at least scaled in difficulty appropriately. I suppose we'll see if this gets addressed throughout the course of development.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CqwrMH54p0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y5Ak_9fT-4
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A developer has responded on Jan 23, 2015 @ 11:40pm
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36 of 39 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 30, 2015
I wasn't sure what to expect, but this game is great!

Pros:
+Interesting stories, with choices that grant different bonuses.
+Ships that level up and gain perks.
+Plenty of ship classes, each with their own abilities, new weapons and equipment to buy.
+No crashes or bugs so far.
+Really nice graphics. Backgrounds are very artistic and i love how energy shields look.
+Pretty easy to learn, but hard to master. I had to start a new game after a few levels.

Cons:
-Shops are randomly generated, and cannot be returned to. This can make it hard to get the ships that you want.
-Although it is RTS, later in game you really have to keep pausing the game to order ships around if you want to survive.
-The same choices always seem to have the same out-comes.

Now, personally I like a challenge, so the death and supply systems make the game better for me. However they will annoy some people:
-When a ship dies it gets a negative buff through levels. The more negative buffs it gets, the more likely it is to be permanently destroyed. (negative buffs include slow hull drains, reduced damage etc).
-To move to another level costs supplies. Traveling without them causes your ships top gain negative buffs (as stated above).
Overall, i can see myself playing this a lot. 8/10
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35 of 46 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 10, 2014
I like the game. But you need to realize that it is pre-alpha, at only version 0.0.0.3. It's very short at the moment, very short. And at least in my case some features appeared not to function as they should. But I'm sure future versions will address these issues as well as flesh out the gameplay.

http://youtu.be/9gdTMJ8F4NY
The graphic are simple, I like these kind of 2 dimensional top down space games and I like the style.
-----The music is spacey and pleasant. It reminded of magic carpet of all games with it's (middle eastern?) string instrument sound.
-----There is some dialogue at each encounter, against the back drop that you are from a dominant space faring faction which is served by other factions and at war with another major faction the Orthani. I liked it.
-----It would be nice if units didn't talk every single time you give them a command, that is not every split second lol

I haven't played FTL, but I've watched people play it. It basically seems to work on a similar concept. That is between encounters you select your next Star System destination within a randomly generated network of Star Systems. Encounters can be hostile or neutral. You can choose to attack, intimidate or avoid conflict at most encounters.
-----You also come across shops where can attain additional ships and equipment to fit to them including weapons and active abilities.
-----There is no fleet control tutorial yet. In combat, ships in your fleet by default fire upon the closest hostile vessel. You seem to be able to prioritize specific targets if you wish. You also tell ships where to move during an encounter. Basically it plays exactly like at RTS.
-----Most ships other than the Assault class type are very fragile. Usually these weaker ships in my fleet tended to be destroyed almost immediately because I couldn't move them out of harms way quickly enough. Any of your ships that aren't moving or are doing so in a straight line are basically sitting ducks and will destroyed very quickly.
-----So ultimately my strategy ended up boiling down to flying only assault class ships and kiting the enemies I encountered. This was a very effective strategy. But it wasn't a satisfying experience. Your ships will not move by themselves, without your intervention they will just sit there. You have to constantly micromanage their movements, which potentially is demanding with a progressively larger fleet at your control. Encounters typically consisted of flying circles around a wave of enemy ships until they were destroyed and repeat several times until the encounter is over, there wasn't really any challenge. I wasn't really fond of constantly directing ships, which you must do because of the games pace.
-----You can basically finish the game in just a few minutes. You can just travel directly to the 'exit' system while avoiding every hostile encounter along the way. And Bob's your auntie, you win!
-----In the games current state, if want an extended space adventure you need to avoid traveling directly to your final destination. That is visit all the star systems which aren't on the way there.
-----I had a few technical problems with the game. I couldn't scroll the view to the right with the mouse cursor because the cursor would travel outside of the game on my first screen and into my second screen, I had to awkwardly reach around my microphone with my left hand to scroll with the arrow keys. Shops didn't appear to function properly and I had to fiddle around a lot with the menu to purchase items successfully. You are supposed to be able to pause the action by pressing space however this was completely non-functional for me. Lastly
-----So I think the game-play needs to be fleshed out to make it more satisfying interesting and challenging, I think most people might agree with that. But personally I would prefer if units autonomy wasn't restricted to firing at the closest hostile ship. Or alternatively if more advanced commands were implemented to reduce the need for micromanagement being so constant. Lastly with pretty much any single-player game I would like there to be some way of enjoying the game online with friend or other people aka multi-player.

I think this a good foundation for a great game. Hopefully the developers will keep working hard to produce a complete and polished title.

Click here for my YouTube gaming channel
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42 of 59 people (71%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 13, 2015
Very much FTL meets a 2D version of homeworld.
Nice premise and has a lot of potential I think.
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