Isolated Games “Between The Stars” is a mission based 3D space action adventure game, with RPG, management and roguelike elements.

So in a way, you could say that “Between The Stars” is like a cross between “Freespace” and “Elite” (“Between The Stars” was Successfully funded via Kickstarter on the 16th of October).

between the stars me vs asteroids

There are plenty of dangers to lock out for in “Between the Stars”, dangers such as asteroids (for example).

Taking influence from “Freespace”. The game involves completing objectives, whilst remembering to upgrade your ships, and your crew, if they carry out sterling service following “Elite”. You can also dock with space stations, although, unlike in that game, it is pretty easy to do.

At the start of the game, you are offered a gender choice – although this makes no difference to the dialogue at the moment, as you are always referred to as a male.

between the stars the docking procedure in-action

This is what the docking procedures look like in the game.

“Between the Stars” starts with a simple tutorial of the many keys needed to pilot the ship (perhaps in the full game, joypad support should be added), and once that is complete, you are immediately attacked and have to defend yourself.

As for the game’s battles, well…”Between The Stars” battles aren’t particularly fast and maybe that is one area that is currently lacking during fights – a sense of speed. Another annoyance at the moment is how quickly your weapons overheat, especially at the start of the game.

between the stars the inventory screen

This is what the inventory screen looks like in “Between the Stars” (the inventory is pretty basic, but it gets the job done with no sweat).

Well, I think you get the idea. So once you have defeated your enemies, you limp off to the nearest space station, where you first have to dock your ship.  This initially appears complicated (as you’re dealing with a 3D environment), but is a lot easier than in “Elite” (it’s just a matter of getting your ship within a cone of light and then waiting).

between the stars the visual novel type section

There’s even a visual novel type section to be found in “Between the Stars”.

Anyways, once docked, the next mission has you quite literally bumping into a mechanic who will repair your ship. However, in return, you have to go on a quest for her.

between the stars the 3d star map

Say hello to “Between the Stars” 3D Star Map (have fun trying to read the text on the map).

The inventory screen is where you open all your loot from destroyed ships, assign tasks to crews, upgrade weapons and initiate missions.  The problem at the moment is that the text is a bit too hard to  read, and doesn’t stand out from the background.

Initially, creating an Ion Drive was a bit confusing (there is sometimes a lack of help about exactly how you go about doing things), but once you get the hang of that, creating and destroying things will become second nature.

between the stars space station

There is a rather interesting story to be found in “Between the Stars”.

You also converse with people whilst on space stations and the like, which is done in a fairly basic visual novel sort of way, usually with a fair few options.  This is an interesting way to expand the story, but at the moment it’s a bit dry.  Again, the font size problem rears it head.

between the stars a really action intense space battle

I got rather pleasantly surprised when I realized that the soundtrack is very good in “Between the Stars” (I didn’t expect that at all).

So once you’ve completed these initial missions, you then use the Star Map to warp to your next destination. However, once again, text size is a problem here – and seems to be a common theme throughout the game.

between the stars the moon

The visuals are pretty darn nice in “Between the Stars”. However, textures and graphics do need to be upgraded with no doubt.

Furthermore, once you warp jump to the chosen star system, you have a “Kobayashi Maru” type battle, with the demo ending with a rather poignant ending

between the stars the great space fire

“Between the stars” doesn’t suffer from any dead serious technical issues or down sides. However, the game’s voice acting leaves a lot to desire…

Even so, I still find “Between the Stars” to be a very impressive and interesting space action/RPG/roguelike management game.

So if you’re into games of that kind, then you might want to give the early access version of “Between the Stars” a try.

Pros:
+ Music is nice
+ Sounds work, but nothing special about them
+ Story is interesting
+ You can unlock new ships through achievements
+ The space battles are really cool

Cons:
– Voice acting (which is for most of the game) is hysterically bad
– Textures and graphics do need to be upgraded – more and better !
– Text size is too small
– Dialogue doesn’t reflect gender

Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound and music: 3/5
Controls: 4/5
Replay value: 3/5
Story: 4/5

tgg grade 4 out of 5

Verdict: 4/5
“Between The Stars” is with no doubt a game project to follow at least, and for a demo it’s shows that there is something substantial to be had.

The fact that it’s not free-roaming may deter people, as may the speed of everything.  However, if the project is successfully funded (which it was), then there is no reason these things can’t be fixed, especially  as there seems to be the basis of a strong story.

Title: Between The Stars
Developer: Isolated Games
Format: PC
Genre: Space action/adventure
Resolution: User-defined
Release date: 2018-09-12
Difficulty: Mission defined
Spent time: +3 hours
Average grade internationally:  N/A
PEGI age rating:
+12
Price: Demo available for free
Download URL: Between The Stars via Kickstarter and Steam

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

***Disclosure***
The review code was provided by Isolated Games.

tgg author avatar David Lucas
Nicholas Kingsley
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @sku_te

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