Space Wreck is a hardcore, combat-optional, break-the-game RPG that clicks

Character on a CRT-style screen being persuaded by the player, rolling dice on a speech check, succeeding.


"You can sequence break the game," the developers of Space Wreck suggest on its Steam page. The game is "Inch wide, miles deep," with "Combat 100% optional." There is so little artifice to Space Wreck's presentation as a "Hardcore role-playing game," no real sense of wider-audience marketing. Perhaps that's because, after playing it, you get the sense the developers saved all their creativity for the possibilities inside.

The easiest point of comparison for the just-released Space Wreck are the first two Fallout games, the isometric, click-to-move kind, from the late 1990s. That's because Space Wreck's developers, two folks from Latvia, directly point to those games wherever they can. Having sunk hundreds of hours into those games, I see the homage. It's a game with a post-apocalyptic, used-future aesthetic, intentionally clunky graphics, a wicked sense of humor, turn-based combat, and room for lots of builds and strategies.

Full release trailer for Space Wreck

But Space Wreck offers a whole lot more role-playing than gaming, and that's a good, refreshing thing. There's no deep mythology here, very little voice acting, and combat is not all that complicated. Instead, you get, according to the developer, three to eight ways to complete every quest. To get into a room guarded by a gun-toting security guard, you could, of course, win a shootout with the guard. You could persuade him to step aside. You could disguise yourself. You could, if small enough, climb into a nearby vent and sneak into the room. You could reprogram some nearby security bots to take out the guard for you. Nearly every situation in Space Wreck has this kind of flexibility, and some of them far more.

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