Dawnstar was released on Jan 21st, 2013 and costs $5.00.It's a really interesting little open galaxy space combat game with quite a few RPG elements. The choices you make as you play the game will determine whether your reputation is famous or infamous, and the side quests you chose to take on and what you do in each of them impacts on the story and your relationships with your companions. As you gain experience points and level up, you will get stronger and unlock space ship upgrades.
Dawnstar is an open world game, meaning that you can just go around and explore the galaxy if you want to, or shoot down enemy or neutral ships travelling by just to be a jerk. You can choose to either take on side missions or strictly advance only the main story. The areas are gigantic and it will take you some time to learn your way around. There are 20+ story line missions and 20+ world zones to explore. With randomly generated side missions and levels, there is basically no end to the adventures.
Controls are a little unusual in this game. The direction in which you move your mouse is the direction you are constantly moving in, and keeping the mouse in the center keeps you moving forward. You can dock in stations to switch to a variety of ships whos speed, damage, accuracy, and other characteristics vary. Once in the station, you can trade and buy better gear and upgrades for your ship. There are thousands of different pieces of equipment to customize your ship with.
Fear, desperation and organized crime dominate Dawnstar, the lawless sector of the galaxy. A cold war between the major Mafia groups has erupted into a massive battle royal where the ultimate prize is complete control of Dawnstar. As a hotshot pilot, you're hired to help reign in the chaos ravaging the sector. You'll be provided opportunities to either transcend the chaos or exploit it, and position yourself as the next major Mafioso. However, you quickly learn that there are other forces at play that may have doomed your mission before it even began.
Sometimes when you destroy ships, they will drop a item. These items could be just more ammo that you need to use some of your more powerful weapons, or in-game currency that you’ll need when you want to upgrade your ship. They also drop pieces you can use for your ship. You pick up the items by hovering your mouse over the item location and pressing shift to pick it up.
The AI in this game is pretty good. Some enemy ships will engage you on sight, others will make you chase them down and work for your kill. During some missions, your companions will join you and your trio will face down many enemy ships at once. If you’re being tailed you can do an aerial flip to dodge incoming ships and appear behind them. Enemies will also try diversionary tactics to lose you and make it difficult for you to target them. You do have the option of ramming your ship into theirs, dealing a lot of damage and also losing some of your own HP in the process (it's usually a bad idea to do repeatedly when up against larger ships).
Combat took some time to get used to. Pressing alt zooms in like a sniper rifle scope to allow you to better target enemies. Big ships typically move a lot slower, but have a lot more HP, deal more damage when they collide, and will be harder to take down. The smaller enemy ships move fast and will require you to manoeuvre as well as being able to aim. And always make good use of your special ammunition in each mission, taking care not to waste it or forget to use it.
Dawnstar is not without it's drawbacks. First of all, you have to find and dock in a station if you want to save the game. The user interface has a steep learning curve. It sometimes feels like the galaxy is too big and it can take minutes to travel from place to place, plus the arrows that are supposed to be telling you where to go are difficult to understand; it is hard to tell if you are facing the right direction or the exact opposite direction.
Wraith Entertainment have added a co-op based multiplayer, which you can play with up to four of your friends in an open world environment. You all have to be in the same network for this to work however.