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After over a year in Early Access, the rather good space sim Helium Rain [Official Site] is going to leave Early Access on October 11th.

See Also: Our previous interview with the developer.

They recently released one of their final updates, which includes a few notable new features including: a new Artifact system, which has you scan planets for some research points and lore, a new economy model, AI improvements, some updated graphics, new sectors and so on.

To celebrate reaching this milestone, they have a new trailer up:

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Some feature highlights:

  • 12 playable ships with weapon and engine upgrades
    Build and fly fleets of fighters, bombers, cargos, corvettes or capital ships. Buy new engines and weapons. 
  • Fast-paced combat with Newtonian flight, localized damage and joystick support
    There is no speed limit in Helium Rain. You can fly at half a mile a second while aiming backwards. Aim for critical systems in order to disable ships, kill their crew or capture targets, and don't fly into asteroids.
  • Complex economy model
    Take advantage of a complex simulation of space trade to be the most competitive company. 
  • A planetary system to explore
    Explore around 25 sectors orbiting the gas giant Nema and its moons.
  • Procedural contracts, world exploration, technology upgrades
    Pick contracts and build your empire to become the largest company.
  • Quick-action skirmish mode
    Setup your fleet, pick an opponent and go into fighting action right away.

It's an impressive game, one I'm sad to see didn't really gain much attention overall. It has interesting and engaging gameplay, some really quite striking graphics and it feels good when you're piloting your ship. The Linux version also works really well, I'm quite fond of the skirmish mode as I just love the combat!

You can find it on Steam.

Hat tip to Boldos.

7 Likes, Who?
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Tchey 24 September 2018 at 10:25 am UTC
I've spend about 10 great hours when it was first released in Early Access, now waiting for the full experience to restart. It's a nice game, beautiful, smooth, and a totally good replacement for X-Universe games (very much similar gameplay, but differently done, and different scale).
theghost 24 September 2018 at 10:46 am UTC
Does this game offer a campaign or is it kind of sandbox?
Tchey 24 September 2018 at 11:32 am UTC
There is no story, it's a open sandbox.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/681330/discussions/0/1735465524710863984/#c1735465524714936239

QuoteI understand the feeling, though we also added things that weren't promised, based on what we thought our players wanted the most. Let me explain how this happened.

We actually started development on the story, but it had to be shelved to make progress on huge economy changes that were badly needed. We thought a stable economy with better contracts would have more value to the game than the minimal storyline we had in mind.

We're a small team with limited resources, and completing Helium Rain has been a very long project - the first designs are basically five years old now. I wish we could make everyone happy.
theghost 24 September 2018 at 1:11 pm UTC
TcheyThere is no story, it's a open sandbox.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/681330/discussions/0/1735465524710863984/#c1735465524714936239

QuoteI understand the feeling, though we also added things that weren't promised, based on what we thought our players wanted the most. Let me explain how this happened.

We actually started development on the story, but it had to be shelved to make progress on huge economy changes that were badly needed. We thought a stable economy with better contracts would have more value to the game than the minimal storyline we had in mind.

We're a small team with limited resources, and completing Helium Rain has been a very long project - the first designs are basically five years old now. I wish we could make everyone happy.

Ok. Looks like a great game anyway and 15€ seems a good price. I will wishlist it until I have some time to play.
bradgy 24 September 2018 at 2:08 pm UTC
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  • Supporter
I once mentioned to the developer on reddit that I appreciated the native support of Helium Rain, but I had been burnt by early access titles one too many times (SNOW... uuugh) so I wasn't going to buy this until it launched launched. They said they had heard a similar thing from other potential customers, and seemed disappointed, but thanked me nonetheless for the kind words.

Never got around to telling them that I changed my tune about EA titles thanks to the ones that do it right (Factorio, Distance, Rise to Ruins etc etc), and that now I check reviews and the dev's Linux stance more thoroughly before writing them off completely.

Based on its reviews and Linux support I purchased this in early access about 3 months ago. It's great.


Last edited by bradgy at 24 September 2018 at 2:09 pm UTC
melkemind 28 September 2018 at 8:21 pm UTC
There was a game-breaking bug in Early Access when using the Vulkan version of this game. I wonder if they fixed it.
Stranger 9 October 2018 at 3:08 pm UTC
melkemindThere was a game-breaking bug in Early Access when using the Vulkan version of this game. I wonder if they fixed it.
Hi ! Are you on Nvidia, or AMD hardware ? We only recommend Vulkan to AMD users, as UE4 doesn't seem to work well with the current NVidia drivers while using Vulkan.
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