Space 1889

Title		Space 1889
Game Type	RPG
Players		1
Publisher	Empire Strategy
Compatibility	All (1 MB)
HD Installable  Yes

The late 19th century was the Golden Age of science-fiction, as authors
such as Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle boldly
explored new worlds and new technologies that weren't too far beyond
Victorian imagination.

Space 1889 is set in the world these authors created. What if Thomas
Edison had invented a steam-powered spaceship, and visited Mars? What if
he found intelligent life there? And what if the Colonial powers had
scrambled to add Mercury, Venus and Mars to their terrestrial empires?

Space 1889 is based upon Games Designer's Workshop pencil-&-paper game,
who also developed MegaTraveller. Space 1889 is based upon the same engine
as MegaTraveller, and despite the different settings, the two games feel
very similar.

You begin with the very familiar process of creating your characters, with
professions as varied as Explorer, Actor, Detective, or Master Criminal
(to name but a few). Uniquely, Space 1889 allows you to create your own
professions. Next, you out-fit them with equipment, and send them out on
the adventure. You start off in the Natural History Museum, London, but
soon find yourself visiting the pyramids of Egypt, the ruins of Angor, the
lost city of Atlantis, the deserts of Mars, and the jungles of Venus. The
game unfolds in a subtle and satisfying manner, as your party initially
sets out to find the treasure of Tutankhamen, but soon finds themselves
unravelling an ancient interplanetary mystery. Along the way, you'll meet
the likes of Jack the Ripper, Thomas Edison, and PT Barnum, and solve
dozens of mini-quests.

A huge amount of detail has gone into Space 1889. The game feels quite
large, as it takes in Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, and Mars. Each
planet can be thoroughly explored, along with its major cities. This is
handled much like the Ultima games; you wander the wilderness, until you
enter an icon representing a city, and then the scale changes, and you
explore the urban environment. The game's manual provides lots of details
on the period, making the game educational (to a point). All this
information on the Victorian Era isn't vital to the game, but it's
fascinating to read. Space 1889 is wonderfully loaded with atmosphere.

The graphics, viewed from above, are detailed, and have quite a dinky
feel- Space 1889 feels like it's composed of little plastic toys. When you
interact with another character, their portrait appears in a window on the
left-hand side. These images are polished, and are better than those of
MegaTraveller 1. There are spot sound effects- nothing too stunning, but
they get the job done. There's lots of combat to be had, though it's not
quite as pervasive as in SSI's AD&D series. Instead the emphasis is placed
upon exploring, solving puzzles, and interacting with the game's numerous
NPCs (Non Player Characters). This makes the game's storyline much more
satisfying, if a little harder, to uncover.

Space 1889's unusual setting alone makes it a worthwhile game to play.
Seasoned RPG and adventure fans will love the dozens of little mini-quests
that crop up along the way. From start to finish it's a really fun game,
and I can whole-heartedly recommend it. My only gripe is the copy
protection. Space 1889 quizzes you for codes from a card supplied in the
packaging. The card is printed on dark blue to foil photocopiers, but it
makes it awfully hard to read, and I swear there are some misprints in

Category list.

Alphabetical list.