Space Pirates and Zombies: gonna sing you my level song

, | Game diaries

See that multicolored blobby stuff floating out there, son? Those are black boxes, and they contain data, which some would say is more valuable than rez or goons. Data is what helps us make bigger and better weapons, armor, shields and even ships. Best way to collect data is by destroying other ships, so get out there, son, and make with the mayhem…

As I’ve said before, there are three resources in Space Pirates and Zombies: Rez, goons and data. While Rez allows you to purchase blueprints and create ships, and goons allow you to pilot those ships and repair them, data is where things really get interesting. Data is the currency of the RPG portion of the game, in which you level up and gain research points as well as designs for new ships to employ. While we’ve taken a look at the combat and factional elements of Space Pirates and Zombies, we’ll now take a look at the RPG elements that keep me coming back for more.

After the jump…in space, no one can hear you level

Data is a very, very precious commodity in Space Empires and Zombies. When you begin the game, you have very basic ships and equipment at your disposal (read: thrift store quality). However, when you get enough data, this happens:

Ding! Leveling up gives you research points which you can spend on various things such as shields, beam weapons, armor, hull strength and so on. While it may seem practical to spread your points out on multiple areas, the more I play the more I find out that’s less of an optimal strategy. Upgrading things through research points can give multiple benefits. For example, upgrading to level three of shields will give your current shields bonuses as well as allow you to use the next highest level of shield generator…once you find the blueprints, of course. Here’s an example of how I’ve spent my research points so far:

As you can see, I’ve spread the points around, which I’m now unsure if that was a wise decision, and have begun to focus my efforts a bit more on things such as reactors and beam weapons. The bonuses these upgrades give can honestly be more valuable than the equipment itself, which might be a balance issue. Ah, betas…

Collecting data can also give you access to new ship types. When a ship explodes, it leaves a black box behind that contains data on its construction. Collect enough of these black boxes and you will be eventually able to build that particular ship. Remember that ship I really, really wanted from the last journal entry, the Big Bus? Welp, now I have one, and she’s sweet:

There are nearly thirty hull types in total, ranging from Tiny to Large, and each ship has their own benefits and downsides. The beauty of this system, I think, is that finding these new ships slowly over time allows you to experiment with them once you have them in a natural manner, as more technology opens up to you as you level. As I love spaceships, I of course want to collect them all. I mean, look at how pretty they all are:

Oohhhh, look at all the shinies. ;) Seriously though, one of the joys of space games has always been playing with new toys, and Space Pirates and Zombies has toys aplenty for you to play with. I’m not even really a quarter of the way through my galaxy and I’m still finding new stuff to play with, and I hope that doesn’t stop anytime soon.

Tomorrow: to grind or not to grind
Click here for the previous Space Pirates and Zombies entry!

Brian Rubin is currently an underemployed freelance search engine optimization consultant sharing an apartment with two cats in sunny Los Angeles. You can read more of his inane rants at VonGeekenstein.