Back in the 1990s I started my own gaming site — a web site dedicated specifically to Mac games. For the most part, I’d play games, post reviews, and move on to the next one. But a few of them were really addictive. Ones that I’d come back to again, and again, and again. Games that never seemed to get deleted off my hard drive.
At the top of my personal addiction heap was a series of games from Ambrosia Software called Escape Velocity. The game series launched 20 years ago this year.
Escape Velocity is a role-playing game that puts you in the pilot’s seat of a starbound vessel. You travel to different star systems, buying and selling cargo, ferrying passengers and special cargo. You could become a pirate, plundering other vessels for their cargo and goods, which you could then sell the next time you docked at a trading post.
The game combined a detailed story line with a huge world map to explore, the ability to upgrade your ship with new capabilities and a lot more besides, which made it terrific fun to play and replay over and over again.
Now Escape Velocity as back. This time it’s an open source project you can download straightaway from Github (or Steam, if you prefer, where it’s still free).
Endless Sky isn’t an exact copy of Escape Velocity, but uses the same gameplay mechanics and design, right down to the 2D sprite engine for the game’s core graphics.
As an open source project there’s still a lot of work to do on it, including refinements to game scripts and more. But it’s fantastic fun. I’ve already spent more than a dozen hours playing it and am having a hoot.
So if you miss Escape Velocity or if anything I’ve said sounds interesting, check it out.