Day 97: Final Rift

Posted: 2011/02/14 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #97, and today’s game is “Final Rift”.

I noted that yesterday’s game, “SolarStruggle”, was no “Elite, nor is it Frontier or Privateer,” despite its excellent story. Today’s game, Final Rift, definitely is what fans of Elite and its many successors are looking for. Explore, fight, and trade your way across a huge and sometimes hostile universe as you seek out the game’s namesake, the Final Rift.

Elite was a revelation when it came out, somehow managing to get wireframe 3D graphics (with hidden line removal!) and an expansive universe into classic 8 and 16-bit computers and game consoles such as the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Apple II, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Tatung Einstein, IBM PC compatible, Acorn Archimedes, Amiga, Atari ST, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was all the more amazing given that it was programmed entirely by two people, David Braben and Ian Bell. It was a technical marvel, and there had been almost nothing like it. It was one of the first truly open-ended games, where you could fly almost anywhere and do almost anything. This was many years before games like Sid Meier’s Pirates!, and what feels like a lifetime before modern sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto.

Amazingly, this $1 game brings a great deal of what made Elite special to the table, and adds some flavour of its own. I bought it today, happily slapping down my 80 Microsoft Points, but I could play it for months without a comprehensive review, such is the way of things with open-world space games. But that’s not the point of my reviews, my goal is to get to the point where I’ve determined the game is quality and worth purchasing, and then review it from the perspective of passing that on. This game costs $1. This game is huge, with gorgeous production values. Buy it! That is all. :)

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  1. terrett101 says:

    The video makes it look like a slightly slimmed down version of Freelancer. If you’ve played Freelancer, can you comment on the similarity?

    • Yes, it’s either an upgraded version of Elite or a slightly slimmed down version of Freelancer, depending on how you want to look at it. But it has one of the largest play areas and represents one of the best values in the Indie Games channel. This could easily have been an 800 point XBLA game based on size and quality, IMO.

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