“Choice of the Star Captain” Is a Text-Based Space Opera with the Heart of a Campy Sci-Fi Novel
Choice of the Star Captain, written by Doran Hart, tells the a pulpy sci-fi story of a young pilot with special abilities, running secret missions for StratComm in the space battle of humans versus Blob. Players are, of course, that talented young pilot, and they begin by choosing their name and gender, a mechanic I really love. (Did I mention that the upcoming Read Only Memories will add more than 2 genders?) Next is a truly bizarre aptitude test, with questions like “how gravity smells” or “how many fuzzy Thursdays are purple,” followed by the odd StratComm recruiter discovering you have the exact amount of skills humans need to battle their alien enemies, the Blobs!
I’m an unabashed fan of ChoiceScript’s text-based games. These usually involve well-developed narrative and plenty of player choice without any bells and whistles. In this case, the entire game plays out like a campy science fiction novel, with characters like Lloyd, the snarky shipboard computer, to Gressle, a tough lady rocket mechanic, to Salazar, the StratComm recruiter with unusual methods. Players progress by reading the latest event and then choosing how to react; despite the campy silliness, Choice of the Space Captain still brings dramatic tension. I found myself hesitating on questions, wondering if the Blobs were really so evil or if I should complete this mission or if my shipboard computer was out to get me.
You can play Choice of The Star Captain online, or download it for iOS or Android. In keeping with the interactive-novel theme, there’s also a build for your Kindle. For fans of space opera and ChoiceScript games, there’s also Reckless Space Pirates, among other text-based adventures.