Starsector, originally named Starfarer, is an absolutely brilliant top-down 2D open-world space game that's been going for years and a huge new release is finally out. The gameplay carefully mixes together RPG mechanics, open-world exploration, tactical and exciting space combat with lots of ship and weapon variety and economics.
Here's just a small slice of what's new in the 0.95a release:
- Complete story missions and uncover some of the mysteries of the Sector
- Face new endgame enemies and acquire their technology, including new weapons and a unique capital-class ship
- Make playstyle-altering choices using a revamped skill system
- Customize your playthrough – mentor officers, specialize colonies, make permanent alterations to ships, and more
- Raid the core worlds for what you need using a targeted raid system
- Improve your colonies using lost technology
- Build relationships with contacts and gain new opportunities
- Take on many new types of bounties, choosing the challenge level you want
- Incorporate automated ships into your fleet
- UI scaling and support for 4k monitors
- Ship AI and combat balance/gameplay improvements
- Several new ships
This is easily one of my favourite indie games, it's been something I've personally followed since around 2011 and it was a personal purchase too because even back then it was impressive. It's the combat and the ship design that really pulls you in though, it's just awesome. It has some of the absolutely coolest looking spaceships in any 2D space game.
Some great audio went into the game too. If you want a look at some of the fun combat side of it, here's a quick walk-through of the basic tutorial. This gives you an idea into how deep the game goes, considering the many things you need to think about during ship to ship combat.
If you love space combat and exploration, go get it. Currently though keep in mind it's not finished.
You can buy it from the official site.