Despite what mankind has achieved in terms of science, space still remains the final frontier. We may be still quite a ways from manned deep-space expeditions but we'll still keep fantasizing about it. Aside from the wonders that come from flying among the stars and looking for new worlds to explore, there's the ship that needs to make these journeys. As it was when people decided to sail the seas, maintaining a ship requires a whole crew to pull their weight and keep things running smoothly. That's the core premise of Trigon: Space Story by Sernur.tech and you never know what you're going to find out in space.
Stories in space tend to be some of the most epic and complex. There are entire odysseys dedicated to small crews risking everything to find life on other planets and pursue a future for humanity. In Trigon: Space Story, you're encouraged to pursue your own future however you see fit. You take control of a small crew aboard a vessel who gets wrapped up in intergalactic politics, while also fending for themselves. You're a key member of the events that are going to unfold, but you can also make some events happen for yourself while you're pursuing the main story.
If you're going to take out for the stars, you'd better make sure you have a good ship and crew with you. In Trigon: Space Story, you can get those and then some. The first is the overall presentation. This is an isometric 3D game that incorporates some split-screen effects for encounters. It's got a nice smooth sheen to aspects like the ships, stations, and space phenomena that give it a streamlined look. When it comes to the internal rooms of the ship, things still feel linked to the exterior, and all the crewmembers feel present.
Speaking of the crew, there's a lot more emphasis placed on their importance. Unlike FTL, the beings you recruit for your ship are given more influence on how things go. In addition to keeping your ship in one piece, there's the challenge that comes with keeping your designated captain alive. On top of that, there are four species you can have aboard your ship all with their strengths and weaknesses. However, each crewmember also has individual stats and professions to expand the element of strategy.
Lastly, this is a true thorough rogue-like experience. You only get to choose which species storyline you play and your starting ship, but everything else is up to the fates. Each run, save for the story missions, will shuffle the encounters while presenting detailed text.
When FTL hit the scene, it left quite an impression in terms of space travel and management. Though Trigon: Space Story tries to follow in its footsteps, it may follow too closely. The first is that it doesn't add enough to feel different. You're still in a ship separated into rooms with individual crewmembers roaming around. There are energy points and levels to worry about that'll need fixing whenever they break in battle and events. Though it captures them quite well, it lacks transformation.
Then there's the difficulty level. When it comes to roguelike games, there's always going to be a degree of luck involved. Sometimes you get bad layouts and other times they're perfect, but the challenge should always be scaled fairly no matter which layout you get. However, that's not the case here. Enemy encounters jump between being too easy and overly difficult even when you're just starting out. There are a surprising number of low-level ships that have a much higher evasion than you so you'll be struggling just to hit them.
Lastly, the value system is imbalanced. If you want to have a fighting chance at making it through to the end of a story, you'll need to grind and hope that you'll get lucky with huge bounties. Everything requires either lots of scrap or credits in order to upgrade your ship and buy stronger weapons. Since everything is up to the fates, you'll more often than not be underpowered when faced with tougher encounters.
Trigon: Space Story Review | Final Thoughts
Trigon: Space Story is a narrative roguelike sci-fi adventure where you command a crew to fly, fight, and maintain a ship through whatever you encounter. It makes a solid effort to stand apart from FTL with its nice 3D, detailed crewmembers, and true randomness. Unfortunately, it's too similar to FTL yet it's way too difficult, and making consistent progress is expensive. Try to save up and you may reach the end of this space story.
TechRaptor reviewed Trigon: Space Story on Steam with a copy provided by the developer.
- Solid and nice 3D aesthetics
- More emphasis placed on crewmembers and their roles
- True randomness in narrative encounters
- Far too similar to FTL
- Overwhelming difficulty even when starting out fresh
- Progression and upgrading is slow and expensive