Some games defy easy genre pigeonholing. As you can probably tell from this article's subheader, The Tiniest Shark's Redshirt is one of those games.
Redshirt, in case you missed our preview from the Eurogamer Expo a while back, is a game in which you play a new recruit on a space station. Everyone on this space station manages their life through the on-board social network Spacebook, which allows them to do everything from managing their woefully limited free time to setting up social gatherings with other people. Using Spacebook as your window onto the world, it's your job to successfully climb both the social and career ladders and make the most of your time on the station -- because it's limited.
That's right, you only have a limited number of days on the station before something indescribably bad happens. You discover that this mysterious "bad thing" is on the way early in the game, and it becomes clear that only the privileged few who occupy the upper rungs of either the career or social ladders will be able to get to safety in time. Nothing like a bit of encouragement to get you working a bit harder, eh?
Redshirt's gameplay is turn-based. Each day is split into a number of turns, and each action you take will use up one or more of these time units. On days when you're working, you'll have less free time, so you'll have to carefully balance your career progression with your social life and taking care of your own needs if you don't want to end up sick, lonely and in danger of dying from some dreadful spaceborne horror.
Redshirt's a solid, fun game, but its real appeal comes from the amount of wit and keenly observed humor therein. Parodying our modern use of social networking may seem like an obvious target, but the game carries it off admirably. To say too much more would constitute spoilers, so instead I'll simply say that Redshirt is available now via Steam, GOG or direct from the developer.
See you in space!
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