Playing in the Sandbox

Back in the day. Oh how I fecking hate that saying. Look back in 1984 I was like 16, studying at the Isle of Ely College. And this game Elite was somehow on the Beeb micros there, along with Frakk, and clones of popular arcade games of the time. I was programming in BASIC on the Beeb, my Commodore 64 and any other platform in front of me. It wasn’t until it came out on the Commodore 64 that I got to spend real anytime on this open world sandbox game. I remember enjoying the game but not exactly being any good at it. 

It’s that memory of Elite from my teenage years that attracted me to Xia: Legends of a Drift System and it’s expansion Embers of a Forsaken Star. It looked and sounded like Elite the boardgame. 

Luckily Edmund gave me the chance to get Xia to the table yesterday when he invited me to an afternoons gaming.

We played without the NPC ships, but with everything else from the base game and expansion. We set the fame point target to achieve to the suggested first game target of five.

Neither of us took weapon upgrades for our initial ships. Edmund was flying wildly doing blind jumps into sectors, while I spent the energy to scan first. 

Both Edmund and I ended up with bounty on our heads when we traded in the wrong part of the galaxy. Guilt by association.

Edmund did manage to complete a mission and earn enough credits to upgrade to a tier 2 ship and get rid of his bounty. He was also better at trading than me and earns a couple of fame points that way too. 

Me I was bumbling around space going “lalala”, “oh look pretty star”. Pretty much no different to when I was playing Elite way back.

We didn’t even get close to scratching the surface of Xia. With more players and the NPC’s thrown in the experience would be different again. There is so much to explore with this game. Each game will be familiar, yet different due to the modular nature of the tiles. 

Xia takes up a massive amount of table space. The quality of everything is really high. Metal coins, pre-painted minis.

This is an impressive game. It’s epic in scope. I love it. I can’t wait to play it again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *