Behold, the majesty of space…
Starfleet Deluxe represents a lot of things I love about gaming. It’s an homage to a well-loved property that makes a game out of something we’ve all dreamed about doing. It lets you get on with your mission however you like, without fudding you to do things “right.” It’s an incredibly old school (think, ‘telnetting-into-a-remote-BBS’ old school) game ported to Android with a slick and highly usable interface. It’s tense, it’s fun, it’s exciting, and even though it’s really old, it’s still almost completely unique.
Note: This is a Check-out-TIme that actually means a lot to me. It reminds me of a community I used to be a part of, of a time when I was younger. A time where indie games and game makers operated totally differently from how they do now. The internet is something that we often view as a permanent archive, that something released on the internet will somehow live forever. But, that’s only partially true: Many of the digital gems from this time are probably already impossible to find. Content on the internet only lives as long as someone keeps it there. The obscure, small, and “unimportant” content can wither and die, just as any other medium can. This is me trying to keep a small part of that history alive. If you read this article, and can’t find the games I talk about here, contact me. Message me on WordPress. I’ll try to keep Ikiki’s great work on my hard drive. I hope you find something youenjoy in this article
The indie gaming scene of the mid-thousands was a unique moment in time. Cave Story had just been released, and was a simple unassuming game that few had even heard of yet. Derek Yu’s doubtless masterpiece Aquaria was right around the corner, and nobody had even considered purchasing indie games on Steam yet, or really buying anything digitally at all. In this landscape, the small indie freeware game ruled. Simple, rough games built in GameMaker or even Multimedia Fusion by high-school and college kids trying their hand at it for the first time. This was back when Cactus was putting out a game every other week, when Tim W. was still trying to balance what would become the monolithic IndieGames blog, and maybe even Home of the Underdogs got a blog post or two. There’s absolutely no doubt the indie gaming scene is stronger now. The tools are better, there’s actually viable distribution models, and indie games creators can go toe-to-toe with their AAA counterparts. But, there’s something nostalgic for me in remembering these rough-edged gaming pioneers, quietly posting a .rar file of their newest creation for free in some obscure corner of the web. And one of the quietest, but most prolific of all was the Japanese creator Ikiki.
Check Out Time is a series of articles in which I talk about games I’m excited about. Here is where I take off my editorial and critical hat to a degree, and just blather on about why I think things are cool. The games I talk about here may not always be the best games in the world, but they’ll always be something I think you should probably Check Out.
When I was a young gamer, one of the first games I really fell in love with was Rainbow Six on the Nintendo 64. How strange to think that I was playing one of the venerable PC greats on Nintendo’s little box, but that game is really what formed my deep and long lasting love for ordering little digital troopers around, for drawing up intricate and well made plans, and watching them all fall apart at the pull of a trigger. Door Kickers very competently brings that love for careful planning and controlled chaos into the modern era, delivering a highly accessible and elegantly designed tactical simulation.