Sunday, January 13, 2013

Zigfrak Gameplay Review

I'm playing Zigfrak, a role-playing space adventure game by Entheogen Studios.

The game features a single player campaign with extensive tutorials and space stations that serve as mission hubs, eventually (once you reach level ten) giving out the occasional randomly generated scenario. Missions usually involve jumping somewhere, shooting enemy ships, and activating something. Experienced gained over time unlocks the ability to equip higher-level weaponry. Controls use the mouse to select and steer, plus keyboard controls to fire all weapons (spacebar), dock (enter), and switch between available enemies (tab). There is also a role-playing-style toolbar where you can bind specific number and function keys to deploy weapons and abilities. The inventory could be better organized; it’s tedious to find items that are better than those currently equipped. Zigfrak has a ton of weapons of different types (pulse, ballistic, rocket, mine, rail, beam, drone) and properties (fire damage, radioactive, wave, nuclear), in addition to the ammunition required for each type. The game automatically switches to another compatible ammo type when one is depleted: a nice feature. You can also upgrade ship engines, shields, overshields, fuel, and craft items using templates and components. While the focus of the game is on combat, you can mine resources, though trade is not a viable career choice. AI ships know how to use their special abilities and provide a good challenge, though you are almost always unfairly outnumbered. Zigfrak doesn’t have any overly compelling unique features, but it is a solid indie space adventure title that lacks exciting combat and branching career options.