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Offworld Trading Company is free to try this weekend

Offworld Trading Company bills itself as "an economic real-time strategy game set on Mars". Which, admittedly, might not be the most enticing sell for everyone. Matt Elliott's 88-scored review—which compares the sci-fi RTS to everything from FTL to Street Fighter—is a more convincing endorsement, which may tempt you to sample its free trial this weekend. 

From now through Sunday, May 6 at 10am PST/6pm BST, Mohawk Games' Offworld Trading Company is free to try on Steam

Here's some in-game footage:

As outlined there, Offworld Trading Company tasks players with dominating a Martian market where money trumps military force. Rule the Red Beige Planet (see below) in singleplayer campaigns, skirmishes and daily challenges, or in online bouts of up to eight players. Mohawk Games' head honcho Soren Johnsen is best known as Civ 4's lead designer, but so much is flipped on its head here—not least Offworld's sci-fi themes and real-time strategy (and not turn-based) execution.  

"Battle isn't limited to the board room," explains publisher Stardock. "You can use the black market to employ some more... underhanded methods for victory. You—and your opponents—should prepare to deal with pirate raiders, or hackers trying to disrupt production, or a covert electromagnetic pulse to an opponent's base."

I could quote any part of Matt's review here, but I'm fond of its opening paragraph: 

Most people assume Mars is red, but it’s not. It’s actually a genteel shade of beige. As well as being a tolerable pub fact, that provides a helpful contrast with the bright, vicious and exciting thrust of Offworld Trading Company, where the only colour that truly matters is green.

Check out the review in full this way. If you like what you see following Offworld Trading Company's free weekend, it's on sale for £7.49/$9.99 with 50 percent off till Monday, May 7 at 10am PST/6pm BST.