I’ve listed my favorite computer/console games before, but somehow I’ve neglected to include a terrific little game by Ambrosia Software called Escape Velocity: Nova, the third installment in the Escape Velocity series. It’s an oldie but a goodie, as they say. It’s now at least eight years old and is still as entertaining as ever.
It’s kind of a space adventure game. You begin as the pilot of a small shuttle in a big, unknown universe. You visit other star systems, land on friendly planets and run the missions available to you: take 10 tons of medical supplies to another system, ferry passengers to some other place. But also there are commodities markets where you can buy low and hope to sell high somewhere else. It’s always worth stopping in the bar wherever you land, as special missions may come your way when you do. You may find yourself doing special and lucrative work for a government or a company.
As you earn more money you can buy new ships, weapons, sensor enhancements, shielding and other special technology add-ons.
There are several story lines in the game and you are free to play it any way you want. You can become a trader, a privateer, a pirate, a bounty hunter or an agent of one of several galactic governments.
What makes EV Nova so good? I think it’s the mix of adventure, strategy and arcade-style combat. Somehow Ambrosia got it just right.
In spite of its age, EV Nova will still run on the most modern computers.
I hope Ambrosia creates a new Escape Velocity game one of these days. Meanwhile, Nova is still a supremely engrossing time-waster. You can download the free trial and see how you like it before shelling out the $30 for a license, too. I recommend it highly.