Game developers Stirling Games, made up of a small team of volunteers bring us their latest title, Derelict Void. A space colony strategy title that will push you to your limits. Derelict Void is an exclusive Steam title and released today! (18th March 2021).
Derelict Void – Keep Your Eyes On The Supplies
Since the 90’s we have seen many great strategy titles, the first I played was Populous. However, it was titles like Age Of Empires and KKND Krossfire that really triggered my love for strategy games. Having seen the Kickstarter for Derelict Void a while back I was excited to see Stirling Games was bringing to the table.
Upon loading Derelict Void you are greeted with what I can only describe as a menu that looks like it was developed in the late 90s. This by no means is a bad thing, it was a nice reminiscence before jumping into the game. The title screen did feel a little clunky when clicking about. However, you are only there to start the game up so this isn’t an issue.
The aim of the game is to get by day by day ensuring you have enough resources to run your ship, whilst scavenging to upgrade your ship and also grow your colony. Sounds easy right? What could possibly grow wrong? Well, the answer is just about everything and if you aren’t careful can soon land you in trouble. On loading into a game, you are greeted with the opportunity to run through a tutorial. I can guarantee that if you skip this, you would be lucky to reach day 2 as the game is not entirely self-explanatory. So first things first, learn how to play the game.
Within Derelict Void, your main currency is time. Each of your valuable resources has an hourly/day value, and each of the missions has an hourly timeframe to complete. Whilst ensuring you have enough oxygen, food, and water you are required to choose the right missions that will keep providing you with a return on these whilst also scavenging for new vessels. New vessels assist in expanding your space empire, each one either providing you with new technology to housing space and even crew members. New technology within the vessels allows you to become more self-sufficient whilst new crew members assist in getting tasks completed quicker. However, as you grow your colony it will use up more resources. This means that early in the game you have to balance this extremely well.
On each mission, you are advised in advance of what you could receive in return. I say could, as there is an extra element of choice, ensuring you make the right choice is critical. For example, you are on a mission to research what is at an unknown distress source. When you get there, you might find locked doors. You have the choice to hack or knock, this could end up with your crew been injured or the discovery of a new resource. If you are unlucky enough for your crew to be injured this puts them out of action and could have an impact on research and ultimately bring demise upon your people.
One minute you are way ahead with enough resources for days, one minute later and you could be on your last legs searching for a resource that is in the red. An extremely challenging yet fun game.
Graphics & Audio
As Derelict Void is nowhere near demanding on system resources it runs fairly smoothly. There were no graphical issues that would put me off playing. However every now and again I would see slight flickers. With only Discord running alongside, this points the issue to the game itself. Having said that, it didn’t happen all that often and when it did, it did not affect the gameplay. Other than that, for a small indie title, it played really well and the assets within the game looked great.
Within Derelict Void there isn’t much to talk about in the way of sound. The most notable element of this within the game is the backing track which is extremely well fit. The track is a melodic and futuristic sci-fi number which at times can become quite eerie. What this does do at times is build intensity within the game as you are running low on resources. As not only will you have visual screen flashing but the music feels like it heightens as you panic to find resources for survival.
Derelict Void is what I would class as your traditional strategy game. With every time you play, you have different options that will determine how you play and the outcome. For example, on your first travel in one game, you might be lucky to be and given a chance to retrieve food, water, or oxygen. However, you could also be quite unlucky and be provided with missions that could end up being quite messy and put your space colony on the brink of death.
With that been said, this provides you with refreshed game paths every time you play. Meaning you can play Derelict Void never gets boring. Each time you play you are provided with a different challenge. This ensures you make the right decisions for the session you are on. There is no cookie-cutter decision-making either, you have to put effort into the game and really think about your next move.
Due to the longevity of Derelict Void, I can see myself returning to it a couple of times a week for a casual game. I am not going to lie, on my first couple of runs I was quick to judge Derelict Void. I strongly suggest you really get to grips with the mechanics of the game. As it soon turns into an extremely fun challenging title. So if you were to ask “did it leave me wanting more?”, at first I can definitely say no. However a few games in, and I was slowly becoming addicted. Therefore, I award Derelict Void a Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.