There is no shortage of roguelikes set in space to choose from these days. Still, developers are finding all kinds of ways to distinguish themselves. Genesis Alpha One is such a title that feels both familiar and totally new at the same time. Basically, imagine a roguelike shooter with survival alongside base building. It might not sound all that original at the outset, but all these elements actually fit together into quite the unique package. It all begins when Earth has predictably become inhospitable to human life. Your task is to take your Genesis starship out into the universe and seek a new beginning for humankind.
The universe you set off into is randomly generated each playthrough. As players embark on their journey, they also make the choice of which Genesis ship they are to command. You see, the plot makes it such that there are four corporations who have instituted the Genesis program together. Each is setting off into space in search of a new home, and you get to choose which to align yourself with. Each of these corporations features a different sort of ship as well as different crew. Whichever starship players choose, they’ll still be free to build it out exactly as they desire.
This is a huge component of Genesis Alpha One. Players start with a rather meager ship. As they gather resources, they can build out new modules. These modules range from hangars and greenhouses to crew quarters and more. Of course, with these new modules you unlock access to more features to make this ship a truly livable environment. Choices about modules also impact what kind of starship you end up with. Ships can be built to prioritize defenses, offer huge cargos for storing more, and basically whatever else might be desired. With that said, the ship is never quite safe, meaning all this hard work building can be destroyed in an instant.
Genesis Alpha One at first seems like a rather friendly space game with its focus on cute things like customizing modules with new colors and titles. However, exploring proves incredibly dangerous. For example, sometimes sending off a ship to check out a planet yields a bounty of fantastic resources. Other instances might not end this way. Instead, a ship might return with aliens who’ve secretly hitched a ride. No, not friendly aliens. This is where things get tricky.
An alien infestation isn’t something to play around with. Sometimes this might take the form of spores spreading throughout dark areas of the ship. It might not sound awful in theory until it plays out. These spores come with alien eggs that quickly hatch into small, scurrying alien creatures. Although they might not be massive, they can kill overwhelmed crew members with incredible ease. The continued spread of spores throughout the rooms will even destroy your hard-earned modules if they aren’t stopped in time. Setting up in-ship defenses such as turrets is imperative. So too is never forgetting about the potential danger of stowaway aliens.
Some roguelikes would make it so losing your initial crew is a game over state. Genesis Alpha One is at least somewhat more forgiving with its ability to clone crew members. All you need is a cloning module to start producing new, specialized crew to serve the ship. Expect other cool tweaks to the formula as you play on. All in all, the game definitely feels like a cool mashup of genres and concepts that play well together. There’s no release date set for Genesis Alpha One just yet but expect to see it hit both PC and consoles whenever it does launch.