Noctis IV is the latest version of an open source space simulation game that is remarkable for modeling a vast, fictional galaxy (over 78 billion stars) but having a file size that is around a megabyte.
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Date of Release:
|Also try:||Dwarf Fortress, Mount & Blade|
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|Windows:||zip 1.5 MB|
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this review helpful.
Now, Noctis IV is a space exploration game. I don’t mean exploration like in Star Control 2 with different alien races, missions, and fighting. I mean exploration. As in you alone flying through the galaxy finding unknown stars, going onto the surface of planets, walking around, and maybe taking pictures if you see something nice.
And really, that’s the whole game. Just finding new places. What makes it interesting however is the sheer magnitude of the galaxy. There are over 78 billion stars, most with multiple planets. And since the files needed to run the game are only a megabyte, that’s a lot of value for a small amount of hard drive space.
The pros of Noctis IV are that it has a truly huge galaxy, a real sense of exploration and discovery, and a large variety of planets to explore. It also strangely feels like you’re making a difference, especially if you’re naming planets and stars. Sure there’s another 6 billion unnamed stars to go, but I named this one!
Now there are problems with this game. For one, the graphics are…punishingly terrible. Now I can deal with bad graphics, even ASCII. But these are… horrific. Sometimes the ground can become eyewatering with the brightly colored grass, and everything seems to be colored extremely brightly. Except when you’re on a planet with dense cloud covering, or on a planet at night, at which point it is almost impossible to see.
Also, the controls are confusing for this game. It took me at least ten minute to figure out how to move my ship, and then an even longer time to land on a planet, and then figure out how to move once I’m there. The manual (which there is a link to in the files you download) can help, but it still takes a while to get used to it.
If you can get past the extremely dated graphics, and confusing controls, then Noctis IV truly offers something worthwile. It really gives you a feeling of exploring a universe, and with its massive galaxy, you could play this game for your whole life, and still not see everything. It’s not exciting, it’s not story-based, it’s not even goal-based. All there is to do is explore. And you know what? That can be pretty fun.