Back in May of last year, I posted about a game that pretty much everyone who refers to it calls “EVE Offline”, Astrox Imperium. In my recent quest to find an in-depth sci-fi game, I reloaded it from Steam and found that many updates have been applied, including new station interiors! Goodbye greybox!

This time I spent more time doing and less time dicking around. I still spent most of my time mining, because it’s easy to extract ore from the rocks right outside of the starter station. As I earned money, I upgraded my mining lasers, and added some cargo bay expanders so I could hold more per sortie.

Unlike my last attempt at this game, I started taking missions. Most of them were trasport; go here, get that, bring it over there. These were paying out between 80k-100k and were usually about 1-2 jumps from one another so the bank account started to fill up fast.

In my travels, I found one station which had a deficit of a the most common mineral in the game, and was paying a premium for all raw rocks. Oddly yet conveniently, there were several massive asteroids right outside of this station, so I could head out, fill the hold, and dock back at the market to sell for upwards of 250k a trip. Considering each trip took maybe 1-2 minutes, I was in the millions of credits before I knew it. I upgraded all of my life support systems so I could basically fly damn near anywhere around the starting system and not have to worry about dying to the elements.

Ship upgrade time! I picked a hull which had a bonus to cargo, and…that’s kind of when things stalled out. I could keep doing what I was doing, as the station I was working never seemed to get enough of this mineral floating in abundance right outside of their doors. I could earn enough and buy a fighting ship and start taking on combat missions.

But then the original feeling of “why” crept in. Playing Astrox Imperium is like being the only human being left in the universe, surrounded by bots, none of whom are at all interested in my achievements, and none of whom can really share in my adventures (they can be hired as part of a fleet, but it’s not the same). I really do appreciate the work that the lone developer has done in the interleaving periods between my attempts at loving the game, and I am not really sure what could be done to jazz up the experience. I mean, it might be ideal to allow users to run their own servers, but I don’t think multiplayer is on the roadmap for this game at all.


  • Nimgimli

    October 30, 2021 - 4:24 PM

    That kind of reminds me of Fallout 76 in a way, even though that WAS multiplayer, for the most part you were doing things so you could sell junk to robots and it kind of felt like … “Why?”

    Seems like maybe this one needs maybe some kind of narrative that is gated behind some progression, or maybe like asynchronous MP where the entire player base influences prices…. both of which sounds like a big ask for a lone dev.

    • Scopique

      October 30, 2021 - 4:55 PM

      I believe the dev is going to be adding a story, which might help with engagement since EVE doesn’t really have that

  • Tipa

    November 1, 2021 - 9:27 AM

    My one big complaint about open-ended, sandbox, single player RPGs is “why”. It’s the very essence of a time wasting activity, one that doesn’t have any purpose, not even to give the player a sense of being part of a story.

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