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Rezzed Hands-On: Redshirt

Schmooze your way off the crumbling station.  Because we all know what happens to the red shirts.

In the far flung future, social networking will be the only way to get ahead in life, and to work your way up from being an expendable grunt to being an important member of a space station crew.  At least, that’s how it will be if Redshirt is any indication.

Redshirt is a game being developed by Positech Games and The Tiniest Shark, and sees you playing the part of a lowly, bottom of the barrel member of a space station crew.  After joining the social networking site Spacebook, you discover that the station you are on is going to disintegrate in 180 days, so your aim is to schmooze your way up the ladder and make yourself important enough to warrant being saved, or garner enough wealth to buy your way out of danger.

When you start the game, you’ll get a bunch of randomnly chosen NPCs in the game, with the names of the characters being references to various sci-fi shows and films, including Star Trek, Star Wars and Red Dwarf.  You’ll get a certain number of these characters as friends immediately.

Each day, you get a set number of actions you can perform.  Things such as posting messages on other people’s walls and liking status updates will only cost you a point, but arranging activities either for yourself or with friends will cost more.  Taking part in these activities will affect your stats and the relationships with your friends.  People who are into what you’re planning will be particularly grateful.  However, you can only include so many friends and those you don’t include will feel neglected and even jealous, so you’ll need to balance things from time to time.

Each weekday, you’ll go to work which will change your stats and earn you money, which you can spend on activities and various items.  In a jab at games with microtransactions, you can also use the money you earn to buy extra action points each day.  Getting promoted in work can be done in a couple of ways.  The standard way is to get your stats and experience up to meet the requirements for the job description.  However, if you’re friendly enough with the person hiring for the job, they might give you it even if you don’t meet all the requirements.  New job positions will also change how your relationships with people are affected during work days.

As well as getting promotions in the game, you’re also given aspirations to meet, which will award you bonuses.  These can range from simply accepting a friend request from someone to getting a friend to mention you in a post or even start a romantic relationship with someone.

Redshirt is hugely addictive.  I found myself playing for around 40 minutes, determined to get a promotion.  The game is coming to PC, Mac and iPad and should be out in about 2 months time.  You can find out more at the Redshirt website.

About Mike Jones

Mike is Brutal Gamer's Indie Editor. He has been playing video games since the early 90s and is fond of racing games, puzzlers and MMOs. Typing /played while in WoW makes him cry, but not enough to stop him playing some more.

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