Saturday, December 26, 2015

A peek at Sam Mustafa's "Freejumper"!

Hey all!

One of the advantages of living and gaming in northeast New Jersey is that I often cross paths with Sam Mustafa, writer of such games as "Longstreet," "Maurice," "Blucher," "Aurelian," and of course "Grande Armee."

But right now he is working on a spaceship game, which I got to try out!

"Freejumper" sees the player designing a single ship, outfit with weapons systems and shielding and defense systems and hacking programs and crew and thrusters, which then goes off and fights enemies, all in the name of making some dough!

At a game at nearby Highlander Games and Comics (a FANTASTIC place in Boonton, NJ, with a HUGE gaming space!) I got to try "Freejumper" out!

Now, I got MAULED.  I had outfitted my ship (the star destroyer looking guy with the enemy blasting it from the rear!) with a lot of big, heavy hitting guns, but they took so much to use that I was often left getting picked apart by enemies with smaller, easier-to-use weapons (the more power a system takes to activate, the less often you can use it) and couldn't quite keep my ship repaired and operational AND hammer the enemy efficiently.  One enemy used a very finely-tuned laser (appropriately nicknamed "The Scalpel") to pick my ship apart system by system, and between that and another enemy ship pounding on me with some HUGE short-ranged, "dumb" guns, I just couldn't keep afloat (aflight?) forever.

Overall it is a pretty cool game, although it is still in EARLY development.  The system for determining roughly "who goes when in the turn" is f'ing BRILLIANT.  Without giving anything away, it is a very intuitive way to allow players to do what they want to do, but they have to be very strategic about WHEN they do it, in relation to other players.... but all seamless and in an unobtrusive manner.  It is cool to see how players can customize their ship quite a bit... one player had a ship that was basically dedicated to being a hacking ship, constantly assailing enemy ships with different viruses and worms to disable their systems, which allowed other players to hit them hard; I think it's name was the S.S. Edward Snowden, if I recall correctly.  The game has a lot of potential (although is SCREAMING for a really cool, card-based campaign... which I am not sure is in the cards!) and, while still FAR from being done, seems like a lot of fun, especially with a few friends and some drinks!

Anyway... just a look at what is out there!

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