What’s Mined is Mine — An Elite: Dangerous Short Story

What’s Mined is MineType-9 Mining

Commander Vithigar Erdé skimmed his cargo manifest, freshly updated with the output from his onboard refinery. As the star set behind the looming dark orb of the nearby gas giant he permitted himself some brief optimism and hoped the trip would continue to be as fruitful. The hold of his mining outfitted Type-9, which he had dubbed the Type-Mine, was about half full of the requested osmium and silver necessary for the construction of a new Aegis security installation in the Pleiades, and even the undesired “side catch” was still a valuable haul of platinum and palladium.

“Well, time to move.” He didn’t want to have to relocate, but with the light from HIP 19054 disappearing quickly it would become all too easy to accidentally remodel the front end of the Type-Mine against the side of an unseen rock if he stayed any longer. Pulling away from the planetary ring to clear the effect of its mass on the Frame Shift Drive’s ability to warp space, he prepared to make a quick trip at sub-luminal, but still relativistic, speeds to the opposite side of the planet.

Just after arrival in a day-side area of the ring a pair of unidentified blips appeared on his scanner. “Just as expected…”, Cmdr. Vithigar muttered. It never failed that two or three baby-fresh wannabe pirates would follow the obvious FSD wake of a mining ship as it entered a ring, hoping for an easy score. His mood soured when his sensors finally resolved exactly what ships were bearing down on him. This wasn’t the usual pair of sidewinders or eagles, but a pair of Federal craft, one assault ship, one dropship, both likely obtained through not-entirely-official channels, approaching from opposite directions. There was a silver lining though, now that the ships had been ID’d they were showing mismatched IFF signals. By some incredible coincidence these two Federal craft weren’t working with each other, they just happened to arrive at the same time. Vithigar made the decision to stand his ground, hoping they wouldn’t fight together, while at the same time recognising that this was probably not the wisest course of action.

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Destroying Iconography For Fun And Profit

Iconoclasts attracted my attention randomly and immediately when Steam happened to throw its trailer in my discovery queue one day. I had previously heard nothing about the game but wanted to play it probably within the first 10 seconds of the preview.

You play the role of Robin, a fairly typical player-insertion silent protagonist with an oddly geometric ponytail whose only established character traits are unwavering helpfulness and a talent for swinging a giant wrench.  The supporting cast, in contrast to Robin’s relatively flat character, is surprisingly multi-faceted and several of them see meaningful development throughout the game. It is very much the story of these other characters that the game is really about, with their reliance on Robin’s help being central to how they develop.  Iconoclasts also never really gets too serious, with a fair scattering of lighthearted dialogue to keep the mood up.

The gameplay itself is also fun, with responsive controls and a satisfying variety of abilities. It’s nothing groundbreaking with fairly standard “metroidvania” mapcrawling, but executed competently enough so that it remains enjoyable.  Many screens of the game are more akin to puzzles than challenges of mechanical ability to play, which is great for any puzzle game fan. The graphics themselves are colourful and eye catching, with great variety between different areas and full of little details which can actually fill in some of the story for someone paying close enough attention.

If you’re a fan of metroidvania-like mapcrawling with puzzle elements then definitely check this out.

A Rolling Stone Misses Out On This Great Game

Well, it’s been a while.  I can’t say exactly what prompted me to post here again, but here I am now, and since it’s Monday, I’m starting with a progress post.

Moss is, simply put, enchanting and whimsical.  You join a little mouse named Quill on an adventure to free her people from an evil snake, and find out what happened to her uncle, who left hurriedly after Quill showed him a magical glass relic she found.  The game is played in VR and you loom above Quill on her adventure, playing the role of a benign guide helping Quill on her way.

The third person perspective is executed amazingly well in VR, casting the player as the “reader” of the Moss storybook, and as a real entity in the game which Quill can see and occasionally interact with.  She and I high-fived at one point after we solved one particular puzzle that was notably more complicated than the ones previous.

This one is definitely worth checking out.