Welcome to The Indie Fix, where we are taking a look at the most interesting indie games that may have slipped under your radar! Get your ship suit ready and get robust, ‘cos we’re taking a look at Space Station 13.
Space station 13 is a multiplayer space station simulation game, at it’s core. Players join one of the many servers and choose any of the jobs aboard the space station in question, be they managing scientists as the Research Director, setting up engines as engineers, cooking as chefs or doing many other jobs! The game is a roleplay, so on most servers staying in character is a requirement.
The game’s graphics may be fairly poor quality, and the controls may be a little awkward, but the depth of the game’s systems more than makes up for it. Most servers run different game modes, many of which include some players being chosen as traitors, with missions that work against the station, which they must complete without being detected. This can be tricky as all the other characters are played by live players, so you need to deceive real people while playing your character.
Almost all of the jobs have enough depth to keep you occupied and interested, some being harder than others. Being a Chef, for example, requires you to keep the wiki page for all the recipes in the background so that you can refer to it when you need to, however being a medic requires you to learn the steps to treating all the different injuries because when someone has a crowbar through their face, you don’t have time to consult the internet.
The kind of experience you will get is highly dependent on the community you play with, and thus the servers you play on. At the two ends of the spectrum are the GoonStations and the Baystation 12 Server. On the Goonstation end you get just as much depth, but with a whole lot more silliness. Staying in character isn’t really enforced, you can, broadly speaking, do as you please, with clowns running around with bombs, roboticists turning people into cyborgs at random, and plenty of silly RP. The Baystation 12 (and inspired) servers are completely different. If you would like a more authentic, realistic (although not as complex as real life) simulation of life aboard a space station then you want these servers. The rules are a lot more strict, acting in character at all times is enforced, and breaking the rules will result in bans very quickly, but if a more normal, intelligent game is what you want, then it is definitely worth it.
This game may be classed as a ‘wiki game’, a game in which you should always have the game’s wiki up as reference, but I think it differs in that you should learn the necessary parts of the wiki (there really isn’t a lot for each job) and only refer to it when not in the middle of a game.
Because all the characters are played by live players some jobs are more difficult than others, such as playing a head of staff, where you need to control and coordinate real players, or security, where you need to detain or arrest them without actually permanently harming them (even if they’re shooting at you with a crossbow). Some of the jobs are more complicated, such as genetics (which involves making clones for characters so if they die, the player can get a cloned character, although I have never been able to quite get that one right), and others are simpler once you get the hang of some of the basic mechanics, like being an engineer and fixing broken doors and lights. The time you really need to know your stuff is when a traitor blows a hole in the ship, and you need to know enough to do your part to fix it.
So I say to you now, good readers of n3rdabl3, Go forth and be Robust! You can find this game by searching for space station 13 in the BYOND client, which can be downloaded HERE. You can, once you have the client, also find the Baystation 12 wiki & server HERE.