Forum Overview :: Article Submissions
FINAL DRAFT by Mischief Shai-hulud 02/22/2021, 1:13pm PST
A couple typos fixed. And I decided to keep the metaphor once it was clear that the only one complaining was my e-stalker. Also that roundup article I mentioned is coming very soon.

Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars

I'll admit my bias right off the bat, the original Strange Adventures in Infinite Space was the title that started my love of indie gaming. A Star Trek inspired coffee break game that had you illegally exploring the cloud nebula as its first human representative, (for better or often worse), grabbing everything not nailed down then delivering it all to your mob boss patron for fame and fortune. The sequel Weird Worlds was more of the same but better, yet retaining many flaws from the original. Then FTL came out and was a worldwide sensation. Years later this third iteration was finally released to middling response in a post-FTL market.

Which is a damn shame because not only is the third the best of the series, its innovations elevate it to the point of... I'll put it this way, what King's Bounty is to the Heroes of Might and Magic games, Infinite Space III is to the Sword of the Stars games (The 4X originals).

The game takes place on a 3D map of space where you have 25 years to explore all the star systems of the cloud nebula by moving in straight lines from star-to-star, avoiding nebula clouds that will slow (most) star drives to a crawl, and grabbing as much loot as possible before the time limit... and maybe saving humanity from certain destruction along the way. All finished in 30 minutes or less! Some veterans of the series complained about the switch to 3D, but I love it; you no longer get trapped in a corner by nebula clouds like you could in the 2D games, and navigating a single fleet in 3D is a piece of cake compared to ordering around an entire 3D space empire in SotS.

Your ship is fully modular, letting your replace your weapons, shield, FTL drive, impulse drive, and many other systems with higher-tech alien equipment you find on your journey. On the way you might pick up or hire alien ships to add to your fleet, including fightercraft. Unlike the earlier games, the world is alive in IS3. Alien fleets move from star-to-star and if you arrive in a system when two enemy fleets are there, you have the option of allying with one to team up against the other. As time goes on in your 25 year mission, the technology level of the nebula increases (indicated by announcements from home of a new ship class available) and if you reach an alien homeworld with a ship of that species in your flotilla, you can upgrade it to a higher class with more weapon hardpoints and potentially new abilities (like upgrading to a Garthan light carrier with its unlimited hangar of disposable fightercraft). PROTIP: You only need one corvette or survey-class ship in your fleet to get the full cargo space bonus.

Combat in this game happens in pauseable realtime in a 2D circular combat arena whose size is based on the number of fleets taking part and their respective weapon ranges. Unlike earlier games, you can warp in individual ships where you want when you want, so Urluquai-style pincer maneuvers are totally doable for the player at last. Once on the map, ships autofire their weapons at whatever is in range, each hardpoint having a different visible firing arc, and you can maneuver them by dragging a path. Fightercraft make strafing runs based on their own AI, but you can specify their target ship. And its worth noting that while capital ships suffer permadeath, if you win a battle any fightercraft of yours that died can be recovered and repaired afterward.

And as a veteran of the series, the balance is just so much better. While the hyperdrive and Particle Vortex Cannon are still powerful, they're no longer the "I win" button of the previous two games, and they may not even spawn every playthrough. Interesting new ideas abound that shake up old strategies, like the Calatians who are tiny furry aliens whose equally tiny ships can only equip fighter-class weapons, but they equip so damn many their peashooter barrage can shred a larger ship in moments. Ramming maneuvers are no longer a thing, so no more killing the Yellow Kwangi with a single cloaked Garthan corvette. And not a balance thing, but I have to mention that for a series that was so weak in the music department the last two games, the music for IS3 is wonderfully Star Trekky.

The game has some downsides. Their art guy from the previous two games sadly died, and the new stuff just doesn't have the same personality. If you mix a super fast drive on a fighter craft with a super slow-firing weapon, the AI may barely get more than a single shot out on each of its strafing runs. Finally you can't save mid-run, but this isn't THAT BAD as the game is designed to be finished in 30 minutes or less.

While it's a Star Trek-style roguelite, it is NOT like FTL and should not be judged as such. It's a beautiful game that brings the sense of exploration and grandeur of a combat-heavy 4X to a single coffee break-sized play session and I've been enjoying it for years. Criminally underrated gem!

You can get it on Steam or DRM-free from Humble Store or And if you need a demo, the original game is now freeware.
Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars review by Mischief Shai-hulud 02/14/2021, 11:24am PST NEW
    Nobody knows what this means by ???? 02/15/2021, 2:38pm PST NEW
        The tactical combat + world map gameplay as an adventure game rather than 4X. NT by MM 02/15/2021, 6:13pm PST NEW
        Infinite Space is the spank fodder to SotS the way King's Bounty was jerkable NT by Semen Maker 02/16/2021, 5:58pm PST NEW
            Did you just do a forum search or were you holding on to that for seven years? NT by Genuinely Disturbed Maker 02/16/2021, 6:26pm PST NEW
                Don't gaslight us for YOUR embarrassing published kinks NT by is BDR now off limits too? 02/19/2021, 11:16am PST NEW
                    Pretty ladies in skimpy outfits is a "kink" now? NT by Volcel Apocalypse 02/19/2021, 11:37am PST NEW
    Infinite Space III is the something to Sword of the Stars? by I'm lost. 02/17/2021, 7:03am PST NEW
        ALRIGHT! I'll change it tonight. NT by Mischief Maker 02/17/2021, 7:37am PST NEW
        It's SO EASY! by Youtube Maker 02/18/2021, 2:56pm PST NEW
    I'll post this ASAP. Sorry I missed update Thursday by Ice Cream Jonsey 02/18/2021, 5:21pm PST NEW
    Thanks, I don't know why everyone is so confused. NT by The Happiness Engine 02/18/2021, 6:17pm PST NEW
        Fucking newbies haven't played King's Bounty or HOMM. NT by Generation "Press X to Not Die" 02/18/2021, 6:45pm PST NEW
        Who hasn't played HoMM AND King's Bounty AND Infinite Space III AND SotS? NT by you are the 1% 02/19/2021, 11:19am PST NEW
            All of those classic titles regluarly go on sale for $2.50 at GOG. NT by Generation "Press X to Not Die" 02/19/2021, 11:35am PST NEW
                maybe some of them just aren't that good NT by Occams Cheapass 02/20/2021, 6:44am PST NEW
                    Maybe they aren't. Enjoy your next $60 Call of Duty iteration! NT by Generation "Press X to Not Die" 02/20/2021, 10:22am PST NEW
                        GO BACK 2 QUAKE NT by turns out GenX is pretty dumb 02/20/2021, 11:52pm PST NEW
                            Are you a person who just repeats the joke in the youtube comments section? NT by Captain Obvious 02/21/2021, 5:28am PST NEW
                                Those people unite the community NT by Vested Id 02/21/2021, 8:57am PST NEW
                                Who says Caltrops never gets any new blood? NT by Tell us how you REALLY feel! 02/22/2021, 1:39pm PST NEW
                The theory of relativity states that time dilation would eventually allow one to NT by play every piece of GOG garbage 02/20/2021, 9:09am PST NEW
                    Fun videogames cutting into your busy schedule of stalking me? Heaven forbid! NT by MM 02/20/2021, 10:24am PST NEW
    FINAL DRAFT by Mischief Shai-hulud 02/22/2021, 1:13pm PST NEW
        Question about this line: by Ice Cream Jonsey 02/27/2021, 12:16pm PST NEW
            That was intentional, yes. NT by MM 02/27/2021, 1:11pm PST NEW
                All good. I'll host the screenshots locally. Thank you, MM!! NT by Ice Cream Jonsey 02/27/2021, 1:58pm PST NEW
    speaking of done fucking it up... NT by mm 02/26/2021, 7:19pm PST NEW
powered by pointy