The Fleet is a CYOA-esque piece of interactive fiction from indie outfit Choice of Games (I wrote about Choice of Broadsides, one of their earlier releases, last week). The Fleet trades in Broadsides’ sailing ships for space cruisers, and costs money ($3) whereas Broadsides was free, but in mechanical terms, the two are very similar. Both take about 30-60 minutes to play through, and both are about making choices that play to the main character’s strengths. (For instance, attempting fancy manoeuvres in Broadsides will lead to disaster if the player character has a low Sailing stat.)
Fleet’s greatest failing is that it lacks Broadsides’ charm – Fleet’s setting isn’t just space opera, it’s stock standard space opera. It will contain nothing new to anyone who’s read or watched much science fiction. Still, its plot – dealing with the trials and tribulations of a refugee fleet fighting to reclaim its homeworld – is serviceable, and I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending I achieved: I finished as a true statesman, someone who’d led his people – and the galaxy – to a better tomorrow. There are other endings out there, but I’m reluctant to replay the game to discover them – I don’t want to mar my first ending! Overall, a decent time-killer.