Smugglers 3 Review

If you want to have fun this is the game for you

Submitted by George_Chiriac on Wed, 2008-04-02 08:43.
Author's Product Rating:
Addiction Factor: 
Ease of Use: 
The lowest price: 16.96$
You can buy it at RegNow for that price.
Very fun game
Has a lot of bugs,fugly display, annoying interface quirks, and lots and lots of errors in the game's text

It is with great trepidation that I recommend this game as it suffers from a fugly display, annoying interface quirks, and lots and lots of errors in the game's text, including one help screen (the crew one) that gives incorrect rules. That said, this turn-based, overgrown desktop game is probably the most fun I've had with an Elite clone in ages.

There's a liberal dose of Pirates! in this game, in that you're a freelancer in the middle of a civil war between four factions, there are a number of optional goals you can achieve (like plundering the treasure fleet or marrying the senator's daughter) and like Pirates!, the goal of the game is to make as much money and rank as you can and retire while you're still young enough to enjoy it, so it avoids that usual Elite clone problem of getting the best ship and then saying, "Now what?"

The feature I like the most about this game is the one it lacks: WAITING! From Freelancer to Flatspace, the majority of time in these games is spent sitting around, waiting for your hyperdrive to recharge, or slowly cruising between trade lanes and jump points. A single random mission in freelancer can be a dull 15 minute odyssey with maybe three minutes of actual action in the middle. In Smugglers, if I get a mission telling me to kill an enemy on the other side of the solar system, I just double-click and BAM! I'm there! Click the trade button in orbit and the game automatically displays the current price for every planet in the system as you browse the goods. It's so quick and straightforward you can amass a fortune in trade in over the course of five breezy minutes.

While the ship customization is not the greatest, it does give you multiple ways to approach the game once you get your first corvette. In my last game I ditched my cargo bays entirely for some surveillance equipment and armor and spent most of my time in enemy space collecting data, scavenging treasures, and hunting spies, and I ended up with plenty of money to buy a fully souped-up battlecruiser. The tricky thing is, every faction has a monopoly on specific upgrades and you'll have to buy them on enemy planets during the brief peacetime lulls to get the most out of your ship. While the X series lets you found and manage your own exciting space corporation, Smugglers lets you use your ultimate ship to conquer the galaxy for your chosen faction.

I'd call this the perfect coffee break Elite clone except for one glaring problem. While the game is obviously running in a window, it insists that it's a full-screen game and blots out your desktop with a starscape picture. This gets even worse if you run your desktop at higher than 1024x768 because the game doesn't re-size its window and what you get is a tiny screen in the middle of a big black waste of screen space with a picture of a starscape in the upper-left corner. The other problem is that in combat you choose weapons from a pull-down menu, click a separate fire button, then click OK on a pop-up window for each and every component every single round, turning combat, especially extended combat between big ships with multiple turrets, into a physically exhausting clickfest.

As far as the expansion pack is concerned, if you're buying the game you might as well get the expansion because any future patches that might address the above problems will only be expansion-pack compatible. The pack gives you a little more variety and getting a bride involves a neat multipart rescue mission, even if you are usually twice her age by the time you rescue and marry her. As a bonus, once you do marry her you can drop by and fuck her for "life points."

(I eventually figured out a way to trick the game into running in windowed mode. Change the shortcut properties so the game runs in a minimized window. When you click it back to life it runs in windowed mode, albeit with the starfield picture still obscuring a tiny corner of the screen. So, final verdict: great coffee break game with suprising depth, but in serious need of some polish in the next patch.)


Pretty nice game,very fun,it will make you lose hours after hours in front of the computer even though it has some bugs.