You’re crouched outside a cave. Near the entrance stand two burly guards packing heat. Do you: Attempt to sneak past them? Bait them away by dropping pictures of Madonna touching tongue with Paris Hilton? Wander away to the southern mountains to join a Feng Shui monastery? Or just crouch and gobble that buttery Taco Bueno burrito you’ve been carting around?
Such are the travails of Space Rangers 2, a hybrid turn-based/real-time genre mongrel and all-around hoot that reaches across party lines to send you pirating, probing, trading, occasionally text-adventuring (no joke!) and ship-slugging it out in a galaxy gradually undergoing assimilation by a psychotic silicoid collective known as the Bor - we mean, Dominators.
Pick a race and profession to steer your load-out toward trading or fighting (or somewhere between), then you’re off to scuffle or scavenge up enough leadership points to lock horns with the rapacious Dominators system by system. Your ship moves in single or batch “turns” through a 2-D galaxy by mouse-clicking to navigate asteroids, planets, star bases, med labs, pirate dens, research centers and other sundry interstellar tackle. Lighting out, the easiest way to make a buck is nibbling loose ore spun off random asteroid collisions and pawning it for cash, though you’re in occasionally blood-knuckle competition for the stuff with all manner of law abiding/shunning space citizenry. Touch up your ride and you’ll eventually command the space lanes, but what you do and to whom dictates faction disposition. Piss off the “good guys” and you’ll be earmarked for only the seediest fringe hubs.