Genre: space flight simulator, space simulation, exploration, mining and trading
Release Date: 2015
Developer / Publisher: Double Damage Games
Six days ago, your aunt Juno left you a cryptic message and the access codes to her derelict spaceship… For those who like rugged space exploration, every once in a while, there comes a game that puts you into the seat of a spaceship captain. Travel from planets to planets, jump from stars to stars, mine asteroids for precious resources, collect bounties, prey on unsuspecting traders or defend the innocent. Who will you be? A pirate scumbag, a low key merchant or just somebody who minds his own business?
Playability: Trying to make some cash while staying alive
Strangely enough, the Rebel Galaxy is a 2D universe (your ship moves left, right and forward), with everything else dancing around. This creates the illusion of 3D space but does take some getting used to. The mechanics of the game are simple enough: buy low (or steal from others) and sell high to make a profit, earn bounties from hunting fugitives, generally blow up things as requested by different parties to earn measly rewards. Weapons and defence interactions are far from clear and it will take copious trials and errors to outfit your ship with a balance combination of shield busters and beams.
Annoyance: 2D repeat
Rebel Galaxy is an extremely grindy and repetitive game. It is by no means a difficult game to complete but it just requires time and patience. You start your saga with little better than a garbage scow equipped with low grade water pistols. To start rebelling, and being truly noticeable on the grand galactic scale, you’ll need to acquire bigger weapons (bigger ships help, but small ships with big weapons can be lethal). Mark 5 and 6 ship components cost in the hundreds of millions of credits. Unfortunately, completing side missions, mining asteroids or trading commodities, will yield a few thousand credits at a time, at the most a few tens or hundreds of thousands…
Beauty: Space telescope with your own soundtrack
The steel guitar and cowboy crooning that come with Rebel Galaxy’s soundtrack are good enough for a few skirmishes but can hardly compete with your personal media library. Fancy a bit of baroque chamber music between gate jumps or light-hearted pop songs as you blow up star destroyers? Why not? Any MP3 file on your hard drive can be played at the opportune moment (while in station, idling about, ogling at shooting stars or fleeing dreadnoughts). Rebel Galaxy’s beautiful space expanses, colours and original spaceships are perfect accompaniments for your custom made musical reverie.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Constricted rebellion 6/10
Rebel Galaxy is great as a music player for your favourite songs, but it falls short of being rebellious and free roaming. The 2D solar systems feel somewhat awkwardly implemented even if the galaxy is dotted by beautifully rendered planets, stars, junk fields, gaseous nebulae and tumbling asteroids. While Rebel Galaxy is gorgeous sounding and looking, the unbalanced galactic economy is a headache for both macro and micro forecasters, and the prohibitive cost of higher tier equipment and ships soon makes surviving a household chore. Rebel Galaxy makes a valiant attempt at space freelancing, but its warp engines are not quite there yet.