Now anyone that knows me will know I am a massive fan of Rogue-like and lite games. While everyone was obsessed with which triple A title showed off the best graphics and capabilities of their hardware, I was sinking hour after hour into clearing the castle on Rogue Legacy. For me, gameplay is far more important than nice graphics. So when I saw a survival rogue-like game advertised on social media by team 17, I had to take a closer look. The video on the store had me and i threw £25 at it before I give it much more thought. My initial reaction was, “what have I done”?!
My early time playing Genesis Alpha One was trying to get through the sodding tutorial. Now, you don’t normally die during tutorials, but it can happen. I however had to restart the tutorial 3 times due to me ship and crew being decimated. It turns out I hadn’t realised some of the mechanics of how the game works and the tutorial doesn’t efficiently teach you. At was at this point I considered what else I could have spent my £25 on. However I am a completionist and didn’t want to give up despite my growing indifference towards the game.
It was only really once I had somehow blagged it through the tutorial and started playing the actual game that I felt I really began to learn more of the mechanics of how the game works and what to do. Now I know what I am doing, Genesis Alpha One has become my new obsession! Literally love this game! If you are expecting to build a ship and go on grand missions across the galaxy, let me stop you there. The game is all about the ship. Landing on planets should be considered more of a mini side-game, so if you were hoping for big sprawling open maps to discover then stop right here. Expeditions to the planet surfaces are nothing more than a small wave defence survival mission. You will load into a small map with the shuttle planted firmly in the middle. As you and any crew you have assigned harvest resources to take back to the ship, enemies will appear and try their best to take you out. However the best resources can only be obtained through planetary expeditions, so it’s an essential part of the game.
So for anyone else who feels the draw of a ship building, wave survival, first person shooter, I’ve complied a few tips of things I picked up during my time.
1. Energy nodes – When building your ship, modules must always be connected in some way to the bridge. If not, you will get a warning and an energy symbol appears over that module on the ship building screen. If left too long, the module will disintegrate and will be lost. This was how I died the first time wandering through a disintegrating corridor just as it exploded and I was left spiralling lost in space. Each module contains numerous energy nodes which if damaged just require you to go up to them and reactive them. Be aware that enemies who board your ship will also try to destroy energy nodes and if more than half the nodes in a module are offline, that module will continuously take damage until it is destroyed.
2. Service tunnels – Every module has service tunnels that can be accessed. Most rooms have a way into the service tunnels, but if you have long corridors you may want to consider access points. Each access point will allow you to drop in to the service tunnels, but will cost 1 energy so build wisely. Creepy crawlies will infest your service tunnels, so be sure to sweep them from time to time and check those energy nodes under the floor.
3. Infestations – KILL EVERYTHING. I cannot state this enough! If you leave anything alive, it has the potential to hide somewhere else and spawn more aliens in. It’s not just aliens, but the gloopy alien looking structures too can give off fumes that make crew sick or grow and spawn in new crawlies.
4. Expeditions – As soon as the shuttle lands, throw down an energy barrier in the doorway on the ramp. Several times I have lost additional crew I took to the surface because they have retreated back to the shuttle, but then been pinned inside and slaughtered by overwhelming hordes of aliens. Saying that the ramp area is your best friend as there is a turret on top of the shuttle just above the ramp with what appears to be infinite ammo. It can be helpful to kite aggro’d enemies to this area and let the turret give you a helping hand. If it all gets too much, run inside and use the panel inside the shuttle to top up your health. You will notice that there is almost a short grace period of no enemies before anything spawns in to come and kill you and your crew once the expedition starts. As soon as the ramp lowers, I like to either run around to the front of the shuttle and start farming resources and work backwards towards the safety of the ramp, or run the perimeter of the map to find a site location if there is one. As soon as 5 resources nodes have been farmed you will get a notification that the harvester is full and any crew you took to the planet’s surface with you will wait for you in the relative safety of the shuttle. You can send assigned crew to the plant’s surface without you to return with resources, but they will more than likely return with extra guests too, so have those turrets ready.
5. Site locations – When looking at the system maps and checking the resources available on potential planetary expeditions, you may notice a picture of a chest. This means there is a site location on the planet surface (possibly more than 1 in some cases). If you find the location which is usually somewhere near the edge of the map away from the safety of the shuttle, you can unlock new gear, weapons, upgrades or locations of objects across the generated universe. All you have to do is stay within close proximity of the site while a scan reaches 100% before you can grab the unlocked item. This will be a big part of what I consider end game unlocking meta items before initiating a genesis and starting a new play through of which they can then be selected from the start. The higher the level of danger on the planet, the more likely the item will be of a higher value.
6. Resources – Early game you are going to be focused on getting as much iron, copper and aluminium as you can to build up your ship. However don’t overlook sulphur, lithium and iridium. Once your ship is built, you won’t need the metals to keep building up. You will however need sulphur to build turrets, lithium to build energy barriers and iridium (as well as sulphur and lithium again) for creating more ammo packs. Special mention for Uranium which you will need to power your hyper drive and will cost you one uranium a time when you want to warp more then 2 squares.
7. Turrets, barriers and more turrets – Defence of your ship is key. Turrets and barriers aren’t just for your expeditions. Strategically placing turrets and barriers though out your ship will help should you face alien boarders or creepy crawlies trying to infest your ship. For the latter, I will be placing turrets and barriers within the service tunnels too, although don’t think this will completely eliminate the possibility of them getting past.
8. The Hanger and Tractor Beam – The hanger and tractor beam are the two main sources of farming new resources. They are also the two main sources of how alien life forms can board your ship. These two rooms are where you should set up as many turrets and barriers as you can. I tend to make a square pattern with 4 barriers around the tractor beam centre to trap anything inside and turrets around the edge of the room to kill anything that spawns into your trap. I’ve seen people online advising to place both of these modules on their own separated floor away from anything else. It doesn’t seem to have stopped aliens getting elsewhere, but it certainly has slowed the spread and improved things.
9. Alien boarders – You will see on the map that there are other factions that are space faring pirates traversing the map. If you get within a few zones of them, don’t be surprised if they make a beeline for you to engage. It can be worthwhile checking their proximity on the map from the bridge even if you are still harvesting the system you are in. If any of the other factions have found you, they will continuously send boarders over to your ship until you warp away to another system. Recommendation here is to warp as many systems away as you can, jumping several times if need be and you don’t have the hyper drive upgrade yet. Just be sure you have warped far enough away that they don’t just follow you!
10. Shield module – This upgrade is invaluable. Whether you find it from site locations on expeditions or but the blueprint from a trader, this module is absolutely essential if you plan on visiting most of the map. Large areas of the map will be shaded in red showing that the location contains things such as sun spores, cosmic storms or asteroids. If you enter this area with no shields, your ship will take a pummelling straight away. As you build more shield modules (up to a maximum of 4) you will notice the shaded areas on the map change from amber to green showing the new safety level of your ship entering that area with your newly improved and strengthened shield. I believe shields also help repel boarders so if you don’t want that fight, I highly suggest you find the shield and build 4 ASAP.
11. Energy – It’s not just the biosphere and having the right plants in your greenhouses that come under life system of the ship building menu. Your ship also needs energy and building reactors is an essential part of this. Each module requires energy, and once you run out, you will have to build another reactor before you can build anything else. Just be aware that you can only have 5 reactors maximum giving you a total cap of 300 energy on your ship. Remember each corridor segment requires 1 energy, so build accordingly and build smart. I rebuilt my ship 3 times in my first “successful” game, so don’t be afraid to change things up as you progress. Just be aware not to cut off modules from the bridge when rebuilding and anything sitting in the deposit unrefined will be lost if you dismantle it to move it.
12. Cloning crew – Don’t be afraid to diversify your crew especially if you have a mish-mash of plants available for planting in your greenhouse. You can concern yourself with preparing for a genesis and having crew members of all the same race later in end game. Bare in mind that when you die, you will inhabit the body of another available crew member who will be promoted to captain. Your crew are your spare lives! Look after them and have as many available as possible! Different races have different health stats, intelligence, speed and resilience. Consider arachnoid clones working your engineering jobs on board for speed and Kraul clones accompanying you on expeditions for their increased health and resilience.
13. Genesis – The main aim of the game is to settle one the planets on the map. Each genesis candidate will have a requirement of X amount of crew must be breathing the atmosphere of that planet. Keep in mind that by completing a genesis with a crew at a certain percentage of all being the same race will unlock the ability to choose that race from the start to crew your ship in new games.
So that’s about it! There is plenty more advice I’m sure that has been missed off, but these 13 tips will get you started so hopefully you won’t keep finding yourself at the main menu after a complete crew wipe too often.
Good luck and happy cloning!