I got to play Artemis last night!
Artemis is a spaceship bridge simulator. It’s a multiplayer game where everyone connects to a host (who plays the captain, generally) and they man the different stations you’d likely see on a bridge. I picked up Artemis a long time ago, before it was on Steam. I got a handful of chances to play it. It was pretty basic back then and because the chances to play were so few and far between, I pretty much walked away.
Then it released on Steam and hey…it was 7 bucks. Why not?! Well just like that initial version, it has pretty much sat in my Steam library.
UNTIL LAST NIGHT! SPAAAAAAACE!!!
I was online at the right time in the Hammer Gaming Discord chat when they started getting a game together. The host took captain and did an amazing job getting us all to work together. I manned weapons and shot many a torpedo and laser beams.
Artemis has different scenarios to play. We played the one were you have to get rid of all enemy ships from a region. I think we cleared it in a little over half an hour. Maybe less. Regardless, it’s a lot of fun and makes for some great moments. I like how it facilitates interaction with the other crew. The captain is key in this, but there are other areas where good communication is rewarded. Best example is asking the science officer to scan targets to find out what laser frequency is the most damaging to your enemies.
In additions to weapons and science, players can man the helm, comms, and engineering stations.
Comms is interesting because when I first heard of it, way back when, I thought it would be a pretty boring station. But you can actually do a lot there. You can declare a Red Alert and communicate with other ships. You can order allied NPCs into battle and taunt the captains of your enemies. And it’s an integral role too. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to dock with friendly space stations to refuel and resupply.
Each station plays different and is important. Each has it’s own level of action and responsibility. Each provides a challenging test to a ship’s crew. A very big thanks to Hammer for letting me take part.
If you’ve never heard of Hammer Gaming, they’re a great community of gamers and they host and produce HammerCast! It’s a podcast that airs on the regular, is paneled by a good group of folks, and covers a wide range of topics and gaming related news items. It’s one of the few podcasts that I actually make an effort to not miss and I highly recommend it.
I forgot to talk about playing Artemis at GenCon 2015! Naturally, Artemis can be played over the internet, but a really cool thing is when you do it over a LAN and everyone’s right there. I got to experience it once this year at GenCon and it was completely different. I had a lot of fun. The concept of playing over a LAN in person is pretty slick. In practice, I don’t think our experience was what it should have been. But it wasn’t the game’s fault. It was the fault of the guy running the game for us (it felt like he was on his last hour and was already checked out about to light up a bowl). Also, I was expected a bridge kind of set up like I’ve seen in a bunch of videos the group doing the event posted. Instead we got some laptops around a table…I still had fun though. The game itself, and the friends I were playing with were what made it amazing. I’m saying this to say that, with nearly anything, the people you surround yourself with make or break how enjoyable things are. If I’d played that game with a bunch of strangers, it would have probably been the last time I played Artemis.
Well…probably not…but I couldn’t fault someone that felt that way.
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