Let’s Talk Gaming: Endless Sky

I’ve always had a fascination with outer space. Star Wars, Star Trek, Robotech, and many other such television shows would hold my attention for hours when I was a little kid because they had this immense sense of wonder and mystery for me. This grandiose sense of scale is something that I’ve always loved about science fiction in all its forms. Naturally I ended up playing a lot of science fiction video games as a kid too. The ones I did end up playing for the Playstation I had as a kid, things like Star Wars and Armored Core, were great, but there was a series of games for the Apple OS 9 operating system that I would return to time and again.

Eat your heart out Vader.

This series was known as Escape Velocity, published by a company known as Ambrosia Software. Ambrosia Software was a software company founded in the 90s that produces utilities and games for mainly Apple’s operating systems. One of their more well known game series was the Escape Velocity series, which was a kind of top down space exploration and trading game.

The idea of the game was that you were a new starship captain looking to make your way in the galaxy in whatever way you could. There were a number of factions you could interact and trade with, planets to explore, and a huge amount of ships and parts you could buy to customize your own personal starship. The combat in the game was fairly straight forward. There were generally a few different types of launcher weapons, like rockets and guided missiles, and there were two flavors of primary gun: turrets, and cannons. Turrets would fire upon a target in a complete 360 degree circle around your ship. Cannons usually only directly in front of you, making them a little more difficult to use, but they were much lighter than their turreted counterparts.

The Escape Velocity series would see three releases from Ambrosia, the original Escape Velocity, the second title Escape Velocity Override, and the third installment Escape Velocity Nova. The original two were released within a fairly close time frame, and had very similar graphics and game design philosophies, with Nova kind of being the odd one out of the three. It changed the graphics dramatically, and the new game engine along with the much larger scope of the game’s storyline made for a much more immense experience compared to the other two.

Which brings me to my actual point with this article. I know this seemed like kind of a tirade that was probably going to end in some glowing review for this old sci-fi game that I played for hours at a time as a kid, and in a way it is. If you can I definitely recommend checking out the Escape Velocity series. But the point of the wall of text above is to set the stage for a new game I’d like you to investigate. This game is known as Endless Sky, and it’s a sort of spiritual successor to Escape Velocity.

Endless Sky is an entirely free to play indie game with clear roots in the Escape Velocity series. It’s available on Steam or through Github, and is being developed by a single person entirely on their own. The game has built in mod support and the developer has created a couple of tools to help players create their own mods with ease. The game itself is currently still being developed, and there’s really only one storyline so far from what I’ve been able to find, though this is only likely to change with time. For what it is, I’d definitely suggest this game if you’re looking for something with sci-fi and space exploration. It won’t disappoint.


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