Space-themed games are definitely in no danger of becoming a dead genre anytime soon. It seems that with the release of games such as Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous, developers have become more interested than ever in tackling a project that takes place in space. While I must admit, I've never been the largest fan of space-related games, Defect has intrigued me by putting a fun and unique twist on the genre.

Defect, a game by Three Phase Interactive, is definitely a space game. It includes fast-paced space combat, exploration, and pleasant backdrops. However, there's a really neat twist that Defect has that I haven't seen in many, if any, space games that came before it. You can not only create your own ship from scratch, but once you do so, your crew will toss you out into space and steal your ship.

Creating ships in Defect is really fun and accessible. I usually get a bit worried when it comes to having the freedom to create anything, as I often create ridiculously impractical machines (oh, boy Robocraft), but I found Defect's ship building system quite easy to navigate. The interface is quite nice, and allows you to choose from various pieces that are organized into categories such as weapons, engines, etc. You can then scale, rotate, and move all of your ship's pieces, allowing you to customize the look of your ship. Another cool feature of the ship builder is that you can choose which "layer" the piece is on. Think photoshop layers, meaning that the piece on the top of the hierarchy will be visible on top of the stack.


The ship builder does not limit creativity in any way. I was able to come up with some very cool designs that turned out to be very practical once I took them out for a spin in space. You begin with a core, which is sort of the nucleus of your ship. This piece determines how much power you have to play with, which in turn determines what pieces you can use to build your ship. Basically, the heavier and more powerful the component, the more power and crew it will require. This prevents you from create a super-ship right from the beginning, so you'll have to progress a bit in the game if you want to create the next death star.

Once you have your ship built to your specifications and are happy with the design, you can move on to tackling one of the game's missions. These missions are displayed on a star map, and allow you to choose from a few different ones, meaning that there is no linear path to which missions you must complete (other than the tutorial mission, of course). Missions usually consist of destroying enemy ships, capturing space stations, or responding to distress beacons.


Another fun part of the game is what happens after each mission. After completing a task, your crew will then decide that it is the perfect time to defect and take over the ship. This means that you'll soon find yourself floating in space alone, waiting for a ride. This also means that it is time to build a new ship. Sure, you can go with the same design again, but when you face your mutinous former crew, you're going to need something even better than your last ship. This means there is a constant urge to rebuild and design better and better ships in order to defeat your own creations. Defect also allows you to upload your creations, meaning that players around the world can challenge your best designs and put them to the test.

Defect does a really nice job of putting a fun twist on a genre that desperately needed some new ideas. The game is a good bit of fun to play, but really shines when you're in the ship creator. Being able to turn into a mad engineer and create and test crazy ship ideas is a lot of fun, and is the main reason I'd recommend checking the game out. You can currently find Defect on Kickstarter, where it is looking for funding. The game has already been Greenlit, so expect a Steam release sometime in the future.