Flatspace, Escape Velocity et al

I have a craving for games like Flatspace (which I am just starting to play) and Escape Velocity: Nova (which I already finished). You know, the top down space shooters with lots of depth, trading, etc. I was wondering if there are any good ones out there that I might not know about. The genre seems to have moved into an indy developer phase, since big budget games don’t do space sims or 2d shooters anymore. Is there anyone around here interested in this genre and if so, do you have any tips on what I should play?

Those are the only two I know of (and believe me, I love these games as well). If you find any more, let me know, and I’ll do likewise. :)

Edit: Actually, I stand corrected (I should wake up a little before I write these replies). There’s also Space Rangers, which is very cool, but is only available in Russia currently, since they’ve yet to find a North American publisher. I got to play the beta a while back, and it’s a lot of fun. There’s also Wazzal, which is a pretty good freeware game that I enjoy. If I remember any more, I’ll be sure to post them.

Did you try the free conversion of EV:Nova, that recreates one of the older games in the series? It adds a bit more replayabilty if you haven’t tried it and is available from the Ambrosia website.

I recommend grabbing the latest version of MAME and then finding some shooter roms. You can find and play stuff as new as 2001-2002 on a reasonably new PC, so long as you don’t have any moral qualms about it. I’d recommend looking for a japanese vertical scrolling shooter called E.S.P. - it’s one of the most fun I’ve ever played.

ESP ra de? Yeah that one is awesome.

yeah! that’s the one. I play through that one regularly. Atlus makes some great shooters. The last stage just cracks me up, with the screams of all those little clones as you mow them down. I know that will sound really wrong to people that haven’t played the game, but it’s just something you have to see for yourself.

Heheh, from Ambrosia’s EV: Nova website:

It is into this maelstrom of territorial contention that you are thrust, like a pebble tumbling aimlessly between the tectonic fault lines that uncomfortably separate these divisions of humanity.

Like a pebble tumbling aimlessly between the tectonic fault lines that uncomfortably separate well-written fiction from The Eye of Argon.

Of course, I’m still downloading the game.

The EV series and Flatspace have little in common with the arcade space shooter genre despite the setting and that you can shoot stuff. For the most part, I find arcade shooters to be almost a complete 180 from EV and Flatspace. Yeah, they’re real-time and have shooting, but they don’t have the waves of enemies that arcade shooters do. They’re closer to Freelancer, X, and Wing Commander Privateer. If you haven’t already played the original EVs, I’d suggest playing the Classic and Override official mods for EV:N. There’s a slew of other mods out there for EV, but I don’t have a lot of experience with them.

Yeah. Comparing EV to an arcade shooter is like comparing City of Heroes to an arcade fighter. Sure, both of them include over-the-top colorful characters who beat the crap out of their enemies, but that’s about where the similarities end.

I actually bought Freelancer explicitly because I wanted a game like EV, but then it didn’t have enough variety of missions or equipment. I bought X2 The Threat for the same reason, but the game turned out to have the pacing of a corpse and an interface only a 70s Unix sysadmin could love.

Yeah, I’m not really looking for scrolling shooters. I do, however, like scrollers. I also enjoy games like Armada (DC), which allow you to fly around at your own pace, do some upgrading and kill LOADS of baddies. If anyone has suggestions for those games, that would be fine too. But I was really more interested in the 2d privateer type games. I plan to try to EV mods. I didn’t get a chance to play those games, since I haven’t owned a MAC in years. Those mods will help reinvent EV for me, perhaps.

Has anyone tried the Starfleet mod for EV:N? It seems to be in eight parts, for some reason. Maybe the files were too big otherwise. I was just wondering if it was worth the hassle.

Okay, forgive my ignorance about the subject matter then. The only other scrolling shooter I’ve played recently on the PC was Starscape, which is a pretty cool little game that you can download the demo of for free.

Ah yes, Armada was the SHIT. That game sucked away so many hours of my free time. I know a sequel is in the works, but when it’ll be released is anybody’s guess.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve picked up Armada in the store, looked it over and though it could be exactly what I want, but wasn’t ever sure enough to pick it up. But if it appeals to someone who likes EV and Flatspace, maybe I should give it a go.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve picked up Armada in the store, looked it over and though it could be exactly what I want, but wasn’t ever sure enough to pick it up. But if it appeals to someone who likes EV and Flatspace, maybe I should give it a go.[/quote]

Just keep in mind, appeals to, not fills the void left by not playing EV. It’s fun, but much simpler. On the other hand, multiplayer!

Flatspace or EV:Nova

OK, I just spent a stupid amount of time (at work) at both websites. I had no idea these types of games even existed but now I’m pumped for some elite style action. Which is better? I know both are shareware and I will eventually try both but I noticed EV:Nova needs Quicktime which I don’t care for but will install If its TEH game to get.

Any help?


I dunno, I think that EV: Nova is deeper than Flatspace, but flatspace is more visceral due to better graphics. I think I’ve had more fun with EV:N, but I’ve also had more time with it.

(self promo alert)

Cosmic Rift is a quick Subspace like game we did for Station Pass.

Shooting against other people online and no trading but for what its worth. We still log on and blast folks most nights.

Free download and trial if you are interested.


This is kinda self promoing so if its an issue lemme know and I will delete this post.


I actually like these subspace style games, so a little self-promo doesn’t bother me a bit.

And I want to second the above posts and say that Armada is not nearly as deep as EV or Flatspace. However, there is more to fight, quickly. It’s a nice diversion but it has very little plot, trading, etc. Still, you level up and it’s a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the sequel which seems to get cancelled then reappear again. Right now, it seems to be an Xbox game, but the date keeps getting pushed. I have no idea why. I know the devs wanted to make a deeper game the first time but were pushed to get it out for the Dreamcast launch. Maybe this time they want to make something more revolutionary.

You know, I am really impressed by the Dr. Who homage at the beginning of Flatspace. At least, I assume it is an homage…otherwise, it is an interesting psychological echo in the minds of the developers. I’ve always loved the Dr. Who music, and this is a nice throwback.