SGJ Podcast #06: The Bottom of the Cargo Container…

F*ck Off Darklight Conflict…

Hey folks, welcome to the latest episode of the Space Game Junkie Podcast. This week, Jim and I discuss the bottom of the barrel in terms of space gaming. We talk about games we hated, were disappointed by, or just generally disliked, all in the hopes of helping y’all avoid the same mistakes I’ve made (trust me folks, I’m a professional). ;)

If you have a space game you hated that we didn’t cover, or anything else you’d like to chime in on, don’t forget to hit us up below or in the forums. Thanks for listening, as always, and enjoy!

Podcast #06 Notes

Games Mentioned (To Avoid):

Games Mentioned (Other):

Author: Brian Rubin

24 thoughts on “SGJ Podcast #06: The Bottom of the Cargo Container…

    1. Heh, I’ll be honest in that I never played that one. All the negative reviews steered me clear, so it didn’t even enter my mind.

      1. I bought that one on launch day after following their forum for months.

        Worst. Game. Evar.

        1. Yeah, that’s why I never got it at the time, I saw so many people burned by it. I eventually purchased it on GOG, but I’ve yet to touch it. I hear it’s better with mods nowadays?

          1. I’ve heard that too (most recently from Zeraan below!), but at this point I have too many other things to play to warrant going back to something that needed so much extra work just to get to “playable” or “not too bad”.

  1. You might forgot the (in)famous Battlecruiser 300AD (initial release version, not the patched ones) too.

    1. I’m one of the few people, I believe, who actually played the hell out of BC3000AD when it came out and mostly enjoyed it, so I didn’t think of it, but I’m sure it’d be on a lot of other people’s lists. :)

      1. BC3000 was not bad.Hell, it was good! But It was imho one of these games, as you said “require a college course to start enjoying”. I have tried it 3 times at each version (initial BC3000AD, v 2.0 and Millenium) before i finally gave up in the end with the verdict “I’m too stupid for this game”. We all want to be starship captains, but this game was as close to reality, as it was possible at that moment of gaming technology. And in reality, very few people can really be starship captains.
        Sadly for me, it was the same with RoE 2.

        1. Whoa, really? RoE 2 is waaaay more approachable than BC3K, I find. Maybe try again! :)

  2. I see that my game is mentioned here. Can you tell me what you discussed about it (Remember, I’m deaf)? Or was it just a reference to list of games in development?

    I see that MoO 3 is already mentioned in the comments, I want to counter that after patched and modded with Vanilla/Strawberry, it’s not too bad, but is a bit frustrating because it’s better to let AI control your ships in combat (they launch volleys immediately and react better compared to sluggish UI), among other stuff.

    Can’t think of any other space games that people need to avoid, looks like you covered most of them!

    1. Hey man, was just mentioning how your game is trying to appeal to fans of both MoO and MoO2.

  3. Regarding “blue space” – the first time I remember seeing that was in either Frontier: Elite 2, or in Frontier First Encounters. I played the original Wing Commander when it first came out (the reason I bought my first sound card). I don’t remember space being blue. Maybe you’re mixing up space and Blair’s hair? :-D

  4. No Brian, no! Defense committee mobilize. Neither Darkstar One nor Darklight Conflict deserve to be on such a list. I’m playing Darkstar One at the moment about 40 hours into it right now. I mean, I can perhaps see how someone might be disappointed if they were expecting the next Freelancer, but it’s a fine game indeed. What keeps drawing me back is the combat engine. It reminds me somewhat of Freelancer being mouse-driven, and while it’s less “sim” and more “action” it works well and delivers the thrills. Each sector is alive with activity, ships going about their business and radio chatter, there are secrets to be found, and even the script has its moments (although the cut scenes are as poorly acted as always). It’s not up there with the best, but it’s far from the bottom of the barrel and anyone should at least try it out next time it’s on sale.

    Also, I’m going to defend Darklight again. I’ll never understand your dislike for this classic game, one of the most atmospheric space sim settings ever. I think the music plays a big role in that, but the lighting and general moodiness just makes it a place that I loved to fly around in. And the combat engine was brilliant, bits and pieces flying off structures, ships exploding satisfyingly, it was a great combat engine. It couldn’t compare with Descent: Freespace the following year of course, but for a while I loved it.

    In terms of recent games, I’d be adding Miner Wars 2081 and Sol Exodus, and if we go back far enough no list is complete without The Great Space Race (if anyone can remember that, and if you waited for months for it to be released and believed the hype back then, I doubt you’d forget it).


    1. Hahah, hey man, good to see you. Now, I might, MIGHT acquiesce in regards to Darkstar One. It’s horribly bad, I just don’t think it’s really worth people’s time. Darklight Conflict on the other hand, was just a freaking mess, and that game was just a pretty face and little else. I found the combat annoying, the gameplay abominable and the atmosphere lacking. I’ll revisit it eventually, but until then, my opinion stands. ;)

  5. If you want to check “Birth of the Federation” you might want to look this site:

    (And I really liked some of the games to avoid. But that’s a matter of taste!!!! I used to be a “Strategy Plus” (or “Computer Games Strategy” as it was called later) subscriber. Really good magazine!!!!

  6. I maybe drop several names also here.
    1. Xenocracy, A 1998 game which was great and unusual at start, but was becoming boring pretty quickly
    2.Homeplanet a 2003 Russian game.Tried to be Wing Commander with Newtonian model, Was too hard for most players, Was never translated to english as i remember
    3 Subspace – captain’s chair. An Escape Velocity clone (like many others out there now) which doesn’t manage to even clone enough.

    But bad as any game seems to be, it still can click for you for some reason, I have played for many hours in Ironseed, which none of my friends can even touch, calling it “strange and boring”.But for me – it was a gem uncut, And I enjoyed Star Rangers (1995) as well.
    So, check the video, get a demo. You may find something, that will take place in your heart in the end,

    1. Oh GOD, Homeplanet, TOTALLY forgot about that one. Oddly enough, I have never hears of the other two, so on the list they’ll go, and thank you!

    2. Where can one get more info for this Subspace game? All I’m finding are horrid links with no info.

      1. Holy crap! just noticed the game list on the site. Man, you guys are unbelievable! I never seen such compedium of space-related games.
        I may still add some bits:
        1. Outer Ridge (1995) – A space arcade shooting game –
        Quite fun for a couple of hours
        2. Starscape (2003) – seems like precursor of SPAZ.
        Pretty sound 2D fighting with upgrades, mineral collection and even some story, albeit cliched.

        1. Nice, already had Starscape on the list, but not Outer Ridge, so on the list it goes. Thanks man!

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