Sword of the Stars: The Pit was a bold move for Kerberos Productions -- a complete reboot of its sci-fi strategy franchise into the form of a rather cartoony roguelike. But it was a risk that paid off, as The Pit was, in itself, an excellent game that people have been enjoying since its release earlier this year. Come July 1, the game will enjoy a variety of new possibilities with the introduction of the Mind Games expansion pack.
Mind Games, as the name suggests, will introduce psionic powers into the mix, with a new character class specifically focused on these extraordinary mental abilities. In total, there will be 28 new psionic powers to make use of, as well as psionic enemies drawn from previous Sword of the Stars games.
Aside from psionics, the expansion pack will introduce the game's first playable non-human character in the form of the Tarka Ranger, 10 new floors of "ancient, evil science" featuring new room types, new traps, new weapons, new items and new recipes.
The expansion will also introduce two new play modes to the game: Infinite mode challenges you to survive as long as possible rather than trying to complete the game, while "Seriously?" mode provides an even greater challenge than the current Insane difficulty.
An interesting meta-game mechanic has also been added, allowing you to "bank" experience points and spare items from one session, allowing you to start a subsequent run at a deeper level using your banked equipment and levels. This, in theory, will cut down on grinding time and/or having to run through the early stages of the game over and over again, but if you feel it's somewhat against the spirit of roguelikes, you are presumably free to ignore it if you wish.
For those yet to enjoy the fun of The Pit for the first time, it's one of the more accessible examples of the roguelike genre, featuring simple to understand but deep gameplay, plus a wealth of randomized elements that help ensure every play session is significantly different from the last. Be prepared to die, though. A lot. This is a roguelike we're talking about, after all.
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