Earthless, developed by Blackbird Interactive, is a game that defies simple categorization. In this captivating blend of deck building, turn-based strategy, and relationship management, players find themselves onboard a spaceship hurtling through uncharted space. It's a unique combination of games like Slay the Spire, XCOM, and FTL, with a touch of 70s-style hard sci-fi.
In Earthless, players must build a deck of cards to attack and defend against space-faring threats while navigating through a grid of tesselated squares. The game's mechanics draw inspiration from games like Fights in Tight Spaces and FTL, with Choose Your Own Adventure-style prompts popping up as players explore the galaxy node by node.
The premise of Earthless is familiar yet intriguing. With Earth on the brink of destruction, humanity is forced to seek survival among the stars. As players embark on each run, they take command of one of the spaceships that have scattered throughout the galaxy in search of a chance for humanity to thrive again. Each ship offers a unique opportunity to build a deck suited to different playstyles, accompanied by a crew of bridge officers with their own individual abilities.
Similar to Rogue Legacy, each run in Earthless is tracked, allowing players to revisit their previous paths. This feature adds a layer of continuity to the game, allowing players to trace their progress and learn from past experiences.
Although the game is still in development, Earthless shows great promise. However, it currently lacks some polish, with a lack of impact and reward in its combat sequences. Nevertheless, the tactical brilliance shines through, indicating the potential for a compelling and complex gameplay experience.
In conclusion, the success of Earthless will ultimately depend on the final product and the complexity offered in its various builds. If Blackbird Interactive can pull it off and provide satisfying gameplay synergy, Earthless has the makings of an exceptional game. With its planned release on Steam's Early Access in 2024, there's reason to be cautiously excited for the potential that Earthless holds.