Sword of the Stars: The Pit – Mind Games
Developer: Kerberos Productions
Price: $5
Platform: PC
A Steam code for SotS: The Pit – Mind Games was supplied to us

Sword of the Stars (and its sequel) is a space strategy game, so I’m sure many people were scratching their head when a spin-off title was announced to be a roguelike. The Pit ended up being quite well received and now Kerberos Productions have dropped a small expansion to the game called Mind Games.

If you haven’t played Sword of the Stars: The Pit yet let me give you a quick explanation on what it is. It’s a roguelike that takes place in the SotS universe and while there is a story here it’s merely a brief introduction at the beginning of what your character’s objective is and then a confirmation at the end of the game that you have indeed completed your objective; everything in between is just you and almost certain death. As with all roguelikes the levels, item spawns, and enemies are completely randomized (to a degree) and the deaths are permanent. You’ll progress through each floor with the goal of either rushing to the exit or hanging around to grind out some resources and the difficulty jumps with each new floor. The fun in these types of games is the slowly increasing challenge and the fact that each time you play things are different enough to not feel like your last run.

There are three classes; the marine, engineer, and scout that are all varied enough to give you some incentive to try them all out. Each one does exactly what they sound with the marine having skill points invested more in combat while the engineer focuses more in electronics. Besides leveling up you’ll find other RPG mechanics such as crafting (success being dependent on your skill level), stats to invest in, and tons of loot to find. The game is fairly accessible, but like most roguelikes expect to need to put in a few hours before you understand all the mechanics.

Now what you’re here for is to know what the Mind Games expansion adds and I think it’s fair to say it’ll change how you play the game in quite a big way. The small additions include 10 new floors, a few new enemies, a new difficulty level, an endless mode, new room types, and new items such as weapons & traps. Two new classes are included as well which bumps the total up to five. You’ve got the Psion who focuses on (you guessed it) Psionic abilities and the alien Ranger feels a bit of a jack of all trades class. The major change comes in the form of the newly implemented Psionic abilities. There are 28 total powers that you can learn that vary from healing you, controlling enemies, being able to view where an enemy is out of your line of site, setting baddies on fire, and more. There’s a nice amount of variety to play around with and it’ll definitely add a lot of replay value to a game that already had more than enough.

The Final Word
Mind Games is exactly what a small expansion should strive to be; it’s reasonably priced, adds a significant amount of changes to the core gameplay, and it’ll last you more than an hour.

- MonsterVine Rating: 3.5 out of 5 – Fair