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Space Games

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Space, the Final Frontier

Ever since man laid his eyes on the cosmos their has been a desire to explore space. Famous spaceships such as the USS Enterprise, Millennium Falcon and the Death-Star have all captured our imagination. Who doesn't want to fly an X-Wing and blow shit up?

Note that a great many of the games on the Shmups page also take place in space.

The List Edit

Picture Title Developer Year Released Description
Aces of the Galaxy Aces of the Galaxy Artech Studios 2008

After Burner Climax IN SPACE! The gameplay is very basic: shoot everything that moves. The game is a bit short, but shit blew up real good, so who cares? Give it a try. Available on Xbox Live Arcade.

Also: catchy menu music.

Ad Astra 2 Ad Astra Steve Chapman

Still not completed. Latest version (1.3c) released in 2010

Ad Astra is an indie space sim developed in Chapman's spare time. The game has many of the staples you would expect from a space sim, such as trading, bounty hunting, mining, and tons of systems to explore. Two of the neat features of Ad Astra are seamless transitions between outer space and planetary space and a fully customizable soundtrack.

Ad Astra's website

Download link

Allegiance Allegiance Microsoft Game Studios 2000

An abandoned multiplayer game by MGS still supported by the community. Its gameplay is basically Tribes in space: 1 player is the RTS commander, his teammates control the ships and do the fighting. This decade-old game looks dated now, but newer textures are available. Protip: Mouse control is toggled by Num0, many newbies don't catch this.


Armadaonline nss01 Armada Online Mark Jordan 2005-present The MMO version of Armada developed independently by its original creator. It's still in Alpha stage, but this hidden gem already has some creative ideas rarely seen in mainstream games. The community is still active and helpful.Armada-Online website
3437379038 8cb84448b0-1- Black Prophecy Reakktor Media 2011-present

A space combat MMO that came out of nowhere and surprised everyone. It's Eve's aggressive cousin, with more combat and less other typical MMO stuff (It's still there, just enough to make your time invested). A bit of a hardware hog for a MMO, but the game looks fucking amazing. It's F2P, also. Currently Dead, don't bother


C64 elite 04 Elite Firebird 1984 This is the granddaddy of the space exploring and sandbox games. 8-bit computing with (wireframe) 3D rendering, and 3D combat. 170kb but over 2,000 unique worlds with their own commodities and fluff. If you want the Elite experience on modern computers, look for the open-source Oolite.
EScover Endless Space Amplitude Studios 2012 Turn based 4X in space.
EVE EVE Online CCP 2003-present Fuckhuge galaxy, fuckhuge ships, and hostile players are way more of a problem than any NPCs. Pirates camping the jumpgates, parking cargo into unremarkable interplanetary space for safe keeping, make money by mining, trading, research, collecting bounties, privateering, smuggling, mercenary...
Fl box Freelancer
Digital Anvil 2003 A /v/ favorite. Basically it's a free-form space sim that plays much like a MMO when you get online. The story mode is worth a swing through, but online is where you stay (and play with /v/ bros). More on brolancing on the /v/lancer wiki.
256px-Freespace2box Freespace 2 Volition, Inc. 1999 One of the staple games in the space genre.

Many mods for Freespace 2 are still widely used, mostly run on Freespace SCP.

Galciv2 ship designer Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition Stardock 2006-2008 Turn based 4X in space. The deepest of its kind. Has a very extensible Ship Builder. Shit's addictive.
Gratuitous Space Battles full6 Gratuitous Space Battles Positech Games 2009

An unique fleet management game. You build ships, deploy them on battles, give them directives, then sit back and enjoy the havoc, gain money to buy ship parts, rinse and repeat. Although you play mainly on the Ship Builder and Formation screen, the space battles steal the show.

Homeworld Homeworld Relic Entertainment 1999 RTS with true 3D tactics, fuck yeah. Comes with an awesome story and a beautiful soundtrack. Part 2 of the series is decent as well, especially with Complex Mod applied.
Nexus-the-jupiter-incident-beating Nexus: The Jupiter Incident Mithis Entertainment 2004 A combat-centric RTS. Tough to get a solid control of, but past that, it will treat you with a deep gameplay and an interesting alien war story to go along. The graphic looks impressive even in 2011. You'll have a good time if the stealth missions don't make you ragequit.
Solarempire Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity Ironclad Games 2008-2010 GalCiv's RTS cousin. Not quite like Homeworld since it's more 4X oriented. Plays and looks good.
1 Space Engine Vladimir Romanyuk 2011 A universe simulator is the only way to describe this game, as in it simulates the entire universe... TO SCALE. All in a 400mb free download. How? Procedural generation. A great experience to make you feel humble and small, and also a great way to make some wicked looking wallpapers.
Star Conflict cover Star Conflict Star Gem Games 2012 Instance-based MMO space combat. This is basically one of the only choices for straightforward online space combat with little to no MMO hassles to get in the way like STO or EVE. Looks decent, runs on pretty dated rigs, and you'll get some good space combat action if you have an okay ping. The rounds are matchmade, but since the game is F2P, players wouldn't be barred to join from any initial cost.
StarTrekArmadaIICaseArt Star Trek: Armada II Mad Doc Software 2002 Trek RTSs are rare, but the the ones we got are good. Traditional RTS gameplay all the way through, with enough twists and Trek themes to make things fresh. Best played with mods for a huge graphic update.
Star-trek-online-20100217040337178-000-1- Star Trek Online Cryptic Studios 2010

Despite a lot of hardcore fan misgivings, it actually does emulate the Star Trek experience quite well-- especially the TOS and early NG style cheesiness, which is fun. Free to play now, with a cash shop for vanity type crap.

Also, like it or not, this is currently the main story material for Trek's Prime World, now that Trek TV series is no longer produced. Get on that ship, trekkies!

Startrekinvasion Star Trek: Invasion Warthog Games 2000

Little known Trek space combat at the end of the Playstation lifecycle. Unlike many other Trek games, you control a very small craft, so the scale of the battles is relatively bigger. Incredibly satisfying to play once you got used to the controls (especially strafing and lock-on tailing abilities).

Strike Suit Zero cover Strike Suit Zero Born Ready Games 2013 A Kickstarted space combat from a relatively new studio trying to revive the genre, going so far as to outsource the mech design to Appleseed mech designer Junji Okubo. For better and for worse, the influences of other franchises are all over the place: Freelancer, Freespace, Macross, Battlestar Galactica, Homeworld, Zone of the Enders or even freakin' Project Sylpheed. So what you have here is something with identity crisis, but delivers in parts that count: massive space battles with all kinds of eyecandy sprinkled over the screen (colorful laser, explosion flashes, engine trails,...).
Uqmasters small The Ur-Quan Masters

Open source

Original game: Toys for Bob


Original game: 1992

Port of the old game "Star Control II" for modern pc. It is basically Mass Effect with the shooter part replaced with small scale starship battles and with better story and characters. It is surprising to see how much Bioware stole took inspiration from this game. Full of good humor and nice 2D graphics, features a non-linear storyline. Try to ally with many different alien species to liberate planet Earth from the tyranny of the Ur-Quan, a powerful race that is dominating the galaxy. Also completely free. Link
X3TerranConflict X³: Terran Conflict Egosoft 2008

Often called "EVE Offline". Has a just as steep, if not even steeper learning curve but once you're in you can experience an incredibly open and versatile world with what seems to be endless choices regarding everything from your career path to your ship choice, and it goes as far as being able to purchase space stations to establish your own trading routes. Also there are tons of mods thanks to the active community. The successor X: Rebirth is currently in the making and will be out sometime in 2012 in November 2013. It's already out and it's shit. Stick with X3 if you want to actually have any fun.

Xwing X-Wing (series) LucasArts 1993-1999 X-Wing, TIE Figher, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter (as well as the campaign expansion Balance of Power) and X-Wing Alliance make up an absolutely shit series of Star Wars starfighter games. Pilot a wide variety of craft in heated battle against and alongside other fighters and capital ships, on both sides of the galactic conflict. Every one of these games is worth playing, though X-Wing itself is a bit dated.

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