For those who aren’t familiar with the series, the original Captain Forever was a browser based Action / Space Roguelike / Shooter. The mechanics are quite unique and simple in that you start off with just a handful of components to build a small ship, almost like putting Lego or K’nex pieces together. Once that’s done you set out into the stars, blasting away at enemies and other ships so that you can recover the wreckage and then use the additional components from your enemies ships in order to create a ship that’s even bigger and better. It’s a top-down shooter for people who love shooters, and who love to build and create.
Captain Forever Remix retains these core mechanics and adds a humorous and cartoony story to the mix. Additionally, Captain Forever Remix (CFR from here on) now has brighter, more colorful graphics, and a fun soundtrack to back up the gameplay. There are also a handful of new “building blocks” to experiment and play with at your discretion. The inclusion of extra features does a good job of maintaining what made the original Captain Forever so unique and so much fun without messing up the formula or design. It’s still a unique game and is a lot of fun.
Captain Forever Remix (Early Access – Steam)
Even though CFR is still in Early Access, the game feels polished. The controls are very much the same as they were in its predecessor. Control your ship using the WASD or Arrow keys, shoot with the spacebar, and use the mouse to connect newly aquired ship components. Speaking of which, your ship will mostly be made up of different colored (and different strength) blocks, but you’ll also need to utilize parts that act as thrusters and weapon blasters. The combination and ways in which you attach these pieces together will have an immediate and sometimes humorous affect on how your ship controls and responds. You can easily build a slow but hulking beast of a ship with a dozen or so forward-facing blasters, something that can bust through the hull of anything that steps in your way. Or, you could create the most awkward, cumbersome, L-Shaped goofy ship that fires in all directions, but only flies in one.
The one thing I’m missing, now that CFR has made it’s way to Steam, is having some sort of controller support. Even though the game controls fine with a mouse and keyboard, I really wanted to sit back and be able to play CFR with my controller, even if it meant having to use the mouse every-so-often in order to attach new ship components. I think incorperating either full or partial, native controller support, would be fun without compromising the core mechanics too much. Aside from the personal desire to be able to play the game with a controller, the controls in CFR are intuitive and responsive. The game uses it’s own version of Newtonian space-y physics that take a little bit of getting used to at first, but fans of the classic Asteroids style gameplay will feel the familiarity between the two games.
Captain Forever (Original – Browser Based Game)
Captain Forever Remix is coming along quite nicely so far, but I was already a fan of the browser based game and it’s sequels because of it’s unique build and play mechanics. Is CFR worth the monetary commitment during Early Access though? That depends. It’s worth it if you enjoy top-down 2D shooters, and like the sounds of a game in this genre with build-and-play mechanics. The game is currently selling for $15 on Steam, and while that may or may not be expensive to some, it’s important to remember that it’s also the price of your average fully released indie game.
I think there’s enough of a game here so far, and I haven’t encountered any game breaking bugs (yet), but I also only recommend Early Access games be purchased by gamers who are extremely enthusiastic about the content going into a game they’re interested in, and if they are then willing to support the developer. If you’re simply curious, then you can still try out the free browser-based flash game over at the original Captain Forever website. If you’re still on the fence about buying the game while in Early Access (and this applies to all games in Early Access or EA), then be patient, add the game to your wishlist, watch for updates and follow development progress – all of which is easily done through your Steam game client. You could also wait for a sale, that way you can still support the developer and keep realistic expecations in regards to game development.
Be sure to check out Captain Forever Remix on Steam for more information, development progress, and content updates!