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    dkirschner's Duskers (PC)

    [August 30, 2018 11:41:10 PM]
    Crammed in a couple hours of Duskers before my EA month is up and before Dragoncon. A friend of mine who likes hacking/command prompt games that model old OSes has talked a lot about it. After dabbling, I can say it has a unique feel, though it's not as suspenseful as I was led to believe. Alien this is not. Granted, I haven't played much, but everyone's favorite get-killed-in-space game FTL has it beat for intensity...and everything but hacking, for that matter.

    Duskers places you in control of drones that explore derelict ships. Your own ship is stuck out in the middle of space with low supply reserves, and you've got to scavenge scrap and fuel to, presumably, make it somewhere safe. You control drones by inputting commands into a DOS-ish program. Select drones with 1-4, move them with the arrow keys, and type things like "d2" to open door 2, "tow" to tow damaged drones back to the airlock, "generator" to connect a drone with a generator mod to a generator and power rooms, or "motion" to detect motion (enemies) in nearby rooms. You can control drones directly as described, or you can zoom out for a top-down strategic view of the ship and move them in DOS (e.g., navigate 1 3 moves drone 1 to drone 3; navigate all r4 moves all your drones to room 4; etc.).

    The game reminded me a bit of Endless Dungeon, a roguelike with some similar mechanics, such as using generators to power sections of a floor. If you've got a drone powering a generator (or later, you find a ship mod so you can power a generator remotely), then you can open nearby doors. No drone on the generator, and you can't explore further. I never quite figured out what connecting to computer interfaces did, though I suspect it has something to do with controlling ship defense systems, one of which attacked me when I didn't have a drone connected to the interface. Also like Endless Dungeon, there are enemies on the ship, and you need to route them from room to room so that you can navigate your way safely through the ship. So far, it was easy to see how to solve these puzzle-like problems, but I'm sure it becomes extremely complex.

    I quit playing when I lost two drones and had to exit a mission severely beaten up. Somehow I tripped an alarm and caused a radiation leak or something, and I ran my affected drones to safety. The radiation seeped to another room, so I shut all the doors. Would it dissipate? Would it still spread? No, it was contained. But then I wondered if I could open more doors and diffuse it. Nope. It spread quickly and my two favorite drones were trapped. So I don't know how to get rid of radiation! Maybe route it to an airlock and open that, but everything on the way would need to be powered.

    Duskers, then, is like a puzzle-hacking-roguelike game. Look at it in strategic view and you'll see what I mean. It's got a neat premise, and the commands (so far) are intuitive. I was confidently exploring ships after 30 minutes. If I didn't have to cancel my EA subscription, I'd probably spend a few more hours with Duskers, but as it is, I'm happy with the couple I did spend.
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    dkirschner's Duskers (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 14 August, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 30 August, 2018

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Heard it's like Alien. Suspenseful? ------------ Not terribly. Still a neat hacking experience though.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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