Neptune's Pride II: Triton released, promises more strategic scheming in space
Good news for fans of galactic conquest, bad news for fans of having and keeping friends: Iron Helmet's real-time multiplayer space strategy Neptune's Pride is back with a sequel. Neptune's Pride II: Triton sports a shiny new HTML5 engine - adding tablet and phone support to the browser-based game - as well as an overhauled UI, and new tech and research options. A short tutorial video explains how these new features can help you to betray anyone you've ever cared about.
Neptune's Pride was an odd one. It's both really good, and a game I swore to never play again. Your in-game actions are relatively simple - you research tech, build fleets, trade, and fight with your opponents to own the majority of stars in a galaxy. Every action takes hours in real time, so a big enough game can last weeks, even months. That means most of the game takes place outside of your moves: in messages and chat clients. Alliances are formed, schemes schemed, betrayals inevitable.
When I played, it was with a group of friends, and I still remember the reaction of my flatmate as he returned home from work and discovered my triple-cross had left him with a handful of stars and no hope of a comeback. He wasn't annoyed or angry, just... sad. Stretched out over months, your actions in the game take on a weird significance. I felt horrible. It was probably only the third-worst thing I did in that campaign.
My tale of shame, regret and occasional cackling triumph was far from the exception, judging from the PCG vs RPS war diaries. You can read how that galactic struggle unfolded over at our old home at CVG. Here are parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
You can play Neptune's Pride 2: Triton right now, here. It's free-to-play, so the only cost is that of the friendships you sacrifice.