Readers unfamiliar with roguelikes may wish to read my introduction first. Previous Roguelike Highlights can be found here. Also, as always, you can click on screenshots for bigger versions.

I have never played Sword of the Stars. Apparently it is a space-faring strategy game of the 4X variety. The four “X”s in question stand for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. So really it should be 4E. Anyway, the 4X game is a time-honored subset of the strategy game genre, one where building up armies and conquering the world/solar system/universe/general area is the only viable strategy. There are, naturally, many ways to go about this, so these games are no less tactically rich despite their focus on military supremacy. In fact, now that I think about it, Master of Magic (which I’ve previously covered in History Lesson form) qualifies as this type of game, so you can read my post about it if you want more details about the sub-genre.

Anyway, I gather that Sword of the Stars (aka SotS) is a lighthearted take on the classic design, provided the roguelike spin-off game Sword of the Stars: The Pit is any indication. In the tutorial for The Pit, an obvious parody of a grizzled military officer taught me how to make a sotswich, which is of course “a fine, multicultural sandwich”, made from cooked meat and Tarka Warbread. When your universe has aliens who make Warbread, I suppose it’s not that weird to make a science fiction dungeon-crawling roguelike spinoff of your huge empire-building strategy war simulation game. But the tongue-in-cheek humor and science fiction setting are only two of many reasons why The Pit feels different from its roguelike kin.

Click below to read my thoughts on the game.

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