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Roguelike games were never my strong suit. The time investment required in a character that will surely die never had a strong appeal. From games like The Binding of Isaac, to Legend of Dungeon, I found myself playing a few hours and moving on to games with a more persistent progression to them. As someone who often finds themselves with limited time to game, having a character that I could work on over a long period of time was key to my enjoyment. However, in the sea of roguelike games on the market, there was always one that I could just not put down: FTL. The space atmosphere combined with the depth and challenge of the game provided the exact experience that I was looking for. Space Rogue takes the FTL formula and builds upon it to create a game that I feel is not only extremely entertaining, but features a fantastic amount of depth as well.

If your mind is immediately made up that Space Rogue is just an FTL clone, featuring no substance or differentiation, then I urge you to have a look at the game before you make such claims. While Space Rogue is very similar to FTL in many ways, it adds a very well-done visual aesthetic, the ability to mine planets for minerals which can be used to upgrade your arsenal, as well as a sandbox mode that allows you to tune the game to your liking.

Place in the role of a space captain, you are tasked with safely navigating your crew of loyal followers through the dangers of the galaxy. Throughout this journey, the trials and challenges you will face are completely determined by you. Decide to become a benevolent peacekeeper, or a deranged and violent space pirate. Determine which upgrades you would like to attach to your ship, which completely alters the flow of the gameplay and creates a unique experience for each playthrough.

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Space Rogue is a solid combination of strategy and tactical gameplay. You are given the freedom to explore the galaxy as you see fit, which also extends to the goals that you can set for yourself. The game is driven by player choice, and depending on who is playing, it can end up being a radically different experience for each person. Comparing my experience with another player's was both interesting and surprising. It seemed that we both received a completely unique impression of the game, but the important thing was that both were extremely positive.

Featuring six races, each with their own abilities and tactics, you can expect to gather and maintain a diverse crew to assist in piloting, repairing, and defending your ship. The game's battles are very entertaining, and also provide a nice feature that I feel FTL was lacking. Space Rogue allows you to zoom in on your opponent's ship in a full-view, which leads to more precise targeting and just an overall better battle view. Also very interesting is the ability to mine planets for resources, something that was very well-done in the mobile title Out There. Mining can be dangerous, and requires tools to complete. However, the rewards that can be gained from mining planets far outweigh the risks, in my experience.

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Space Rogue is currently in Early Access on Steam, and is being sold for $29.99. However, there is currently a sale (until May 21, 2015), bringing the game down to $19.79. While the price is more expensive than its competitors, I feel that Space Rogue definitely can hold its own in the genre, and deserves a place on any roguelike fan's virtual shelf.