Approaching Infinity - touching affinity


#21

The game has got storylines, although I didn’t get much into any of them because of my ineptitude at it (I must have managed to explore 30 sectors, at most). But they are mostly “do this and that thing to progress the arc” things from my experience… but I must confess I didn’t care for Starflight’s storyline in the least (I know, burn me!).
What I liked in Starflight was the sense of discovery wandering around space, and I got that same sort of feeling from this game, although it is done very differently: you navigate single screen space sectors (there is no “overspace” map with grand features, like you can see in Starflight), and jump from one to the others in a definite order.
You can easily see with the demo if that aspect of the game is working for you. I played that demo way too long before finally buying the game - I was unsure why I was enjoying it, and you can see from my confused ramblings I am still unsure why the game resonates so much with me ;)

I play the game with permadeath, but I can see how you might not want to, as to keep on going (after all, I must have seen 1/10 of what the game has to offer?)


#22

Ha ha, you posted new questions while I was replying to the old ones!

The game has been much less frustrating to me than FTL has ever been (those events! :E ), but it can sometimes be like a lot of roguelike, throwing at you a super enemy you didn’t gauge first. If permadeath is frustrating you instead of making things more thrilling, you should definitely turn it off, in my opinion.

About the DRM, it is a single time activation, but you can do it on a limited number of computers (or setup?), 3 times I think, and then you will have to ask Shrapnel to allow you more activations (which they state they will gladly do, and I believe them). You need to be connected to the internet only that first time: it never phones home again.

I find the exploration really lovely: this is why I play the game. But again, exposing it in words, it seems shallow. After all, all you do is scourge little maps, finding occasional resources and enemies or other threats… and that’s about it. There is quite a lot of variations, although it also depends upon your progression (every few sectors, new stuff is introduced, and that stuff will always be introduced in that order - for instance, the first alien race you meet is always the same agressive klingon like one, then you will always stumble upon a single sector some ancient one, etc). You’d need to ask someone who is much better than me at the game about whether the story arcs and other things influence that progression.

To assess whether you like that aspect, and whether the graphics look good on your setup: my only suggestion as always, give the demo a try :) I think the game’s screen resolution is locked at 1024x768, although it scales up nicely on my Mac (but that might be some of that double dpi or whatever technical thing at work - I am not privvy to any of those technology thingies).

I remember a few things from all my runs.
One was how I was thinking how I was going for a nice run, got cocky playing bounty hunters… and bit something much too big for me. Not the most evocative story, but a trauma that is still in my mind!

A little anecdote, spoilerish though: the game comes with art and notes it throws around, and if you let your mind do the work and fill some blanks, it can give build up some world… I was wandering a planet, and stumbled upon a cave. inside that cave was a civilized hidden base, with humanoid “mercs” I was destroying. I then found one of those random notes: it was basically an ad brochure for space safaris. I couldn’t help but think what I did was just massacre clean a space hunter resort…

It is tough to tell things, because actually, it’s little surprises and moments that give you a “oh!” feel. They aren’t huge, world shattering events. Just nice touches, and I don’t wish to spoil more of them to anyone… I am not coping out!


#23

Playing demo. I really like the “pay if forward” deal to help you feel better about going rogue. Does the game come with music? or a widescreen mode? I can already tell how much fun this could be after a short time :)


#24

I had forgotten the demo was music-free! The game comes with a wonderful soundtrack which you can sample or even purchase here. It is one of those rare games where I never turned off the music.
No widescreen support, sadly.
The demo is very generous, and I was able to play it for a week before I couldn’t reason myself anymore and got the game. I think it gives a very good idea of the game, since Approaching Infinity is about repetition with variations, and the demo offers less variations than the full game.


#25

Outside of no widescreen support the game looks great on my monitor. I always hold my breath with pixel art. Some pixel art games are barely legible if not at all. I really want to find a software program that interlaces pixel art games.

Is it my imagine or would this be a fantastic ipad game? I could play this for “infinity” while I’m sick and stuck in bed. Makes me wish I had an MS Surface3. When you say the demo is generous. What is missing? Is content missing? or is it a time based cut off? I couldn’t find any information in-game about what limitations there were.

BTW - I totally understand now why you say it is so hard to out your feelings into words to describe a game like this. I bet it’s like comfort food. You can’t always describe why it’s the best, because it’s not filet mignon, but in their own way they’re comparable.


#26

I think there were some DirectDraw 9 hacks that let you do that (I remember using them for the D&D arcade games ports on Steam, which lacked any proper filters), but they were very unintuitive - cryptic command line editing - and it took a while before I could get what I wanted out of them… and then when I tried again, I never managed it again! And they are probably obsolete in those DirectX23 days, and I am unsure those would work with the present game. I don’t even recall what they were named!

I nevert thought of it, but the game would probably work really well on a touch interface indeed! The single screen layout, the buttons are even there…
As far as the demo I don’t recall precisely: I know content is missing, I think the limitation is the max sector you can reach (10 or 20 or something?).
I’d say, if playing the demo you feel bored of the death-exploration cycle, the game might not work for you. If after a dozen hours of it, you feel like you are longing for more, then the silly price might be justified? The game is in Shrapnel’s clutch for the foreseeable future, sadly, so a reasonably priced and DRMed version isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but you might also always hope!

Comfort gaming is a very nice way of describing what I feel for the game: I don’t play it with any expectation of achieving something, so I do not mind losing all my progress (well, most of the time…) and restarting. I just get lost in it, an hour at a time, enjoying the journey… It probably fits in a spot Diablo 2 or other ARPGs - which descend from roguelikes, from my understanding?- were filling 15 years ago before I got too old for the intensity of the action in their “A”!
Funnily and totally unrelated, I had never watched any Star Trek series, and playing Approaching Infinity motivated me to get into the original one on Netflix.


#27

Not unrelated to Star trek as I can totally see that connection. In fact, I can see how the game can draw someone to better appreciate an older sci-fi gem like Star Trek. Explore, do your away missions, come back to ship. It’s a fantastic formula.


#28

I love Approaching Infinity. It ended up being well worth the price of admission. So far it remains my most played rogue-like. I didn’t find the DRM all that intrusive and I’ve reinstalled the game on a number of different pc’s.

IBOL’s next game releases today on Steam, The Curse of Yendor. I’ll be getting this just based on my experience with AI alone.