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REBEL GALAXY from DOUBLE DAMAGE Games is an action and combat game set in a science-fantasy universe which is very much like any other science-fantasy universe you have probably encountered.

You are an outlaw of the Han Solo variety. You like a little bit of smuggling and running on the side while you are inbetween legitimate jobs (which come few and far) and you are not totally against destroying real enemies, killers, assassins and downright nasty folk who mean harm to you and your friends.

Currently you are searching for your Aunt Juno from whom you learnt most of what you know. You have her old ship, the Rasputin, a once proud warship that is now little more than a battered derelict hulk (a bit like how I feel most mornings) that can just about hold its own against weak opposition.

Using the A & D,  E & W  and Q,commands, you can fly the Rasputin with ease after no lessons as it handles and responds well, quite unusual for a spacecraft in a game of this genre. You reach Rust City and head for the most appropriate place to begin your search, the bar!

   

The barman, Orzu, is the friendly type and gives you a certain amount of information plus the "Specter" which is a round metallic object that looks a little like the Death Star and is an Artificially Intelligent `symbiote'  (an organism living in a state of symbiosis - the living together of two dissimilar organisms, as in mutualism,commensalism, amensalism, or parasitism - I could go on but heck, anyone reading this can look it up on Google anyhow).

Orzu tells you that you need to upgrade your ship and there is an option for you to go to the store. Here you can see some of the available upgrades, better weapons, better armour for your ship etc. the problem being that you do not have enough credit to be able to purchase any of it. Of course Orzu has a partial solution for you. Help him out and he will help you out.

He asks you to go collect some Whiskey from a smuggler friend of his who is a little too scared to come to Orzu because of previous indiscrepancies in Rust City. This is an easy mission and gets you set on how to use the controls and steer your ship through space debris. You are given the option to deal with the smuggler as per the task given or you can keep the credits (500) for yourself and run or buy the Whiskey and keep it for yourself. Doing either of these screws you up for further missions from Orzu and besides 500 credits isn't worth the hassle as it isn't enough to get you any good equipment. He gives you the necessary coordinates for the mission and onscreen this is shown as a yellow diamond shape. Enemy ships show up as red.

Orzu is true to his word - there you go a hint on how to approach this task - and he gives you the choice from two pieces of necessary equipment and a lump sum of credit. He then tells you where to meet Aunt Juno's partner, Sandar, and from there on the game is up to you. There is a story thread you can follow in a somewhat linear fashion but there is also a pirate ship problem in the quadrant, not too far removed from Rust City, who you can beat up and rob if you like without upsetting the authorities; though you might upset the pirates.

   

If you can, build your ship up as best you can when you have the credits. Better weapons than you begin with are certainly required and you cannot go wrong if you strengthen your ship's hull. If you go off in cavalier fashion or half-cocked then you will end up as a red splodge on your monitor screen like an ezploded tomato.

I have played similar games in the past and they all play out quite the same with the exception that REBEL GALAXY is the easiest game to get right into and hooked on from the word go. Everything about this action-shooter screams F U N !!! even if you are not a science-fiction know-all that can tell your sensors from your phasers from the photons. It has some weird looking aliens that could have stepped out of the pages of a StarWars(Tm) script but thankfully they all speak English (okay your ship has a translator device built-in).

Nearly every one you meet has their own agenda, they are mostly helpful to you as long as you "do them a favour" first. Their "favours" are likely to get you killed, caught by the authorities or worse (not sure what could be "worse" but it sounded good as I wrote it).

Overall this is a fast, fun game of building up your craft, doing missions, trading, fighting, negotiating, making decisions that will affect you throughout the game and following a storyline as you go. When you consider the work that has gone into producing REBEL GALAXY it is worth the £14.99 price-tag. But there is no doubt that it will be compared by many to the number of free and less expensive games on the market and I'm not sure how it stands up to some of those that I have played. For me what makes it worth it is, as I mentioned, ease of access without a long-winded pre-story and set up.

     

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015