Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula
Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula is a 1989 science fiction video game developed by Binary Systems and published by Electronic Arts as the sequel to the successful Starflight. It features a combination of space exploration, role-playing and strategy within a futuristic setting. The player commands a spaceship capable of traveling to the game world's 150 solar systems, communicating with or attacking other spaceships, and landing on planetary surfaces which may be explored with a manned rover for plot clues, minerals and alien lifeforms. Game mechanics and the overall look and feel closely resemble the earlier Starflight game, but many new features are introduced including an interstellar trade-based economy, new sentient alien races, and new spacecraft accessories and artifacts. The player is tasked with discovering the ultimate source of the advanced spacecraft technology and unlimited fuel supply which provide a military advantage to the Spemin, a hostile alien race threatening to annihilate or enslave humanity. A major part of the game consists of earning enough money to pay for spaceship upgrades and crew training by engaging in interstellar trade and barter with various alien cultures at their planetary trading posts.
Reviews were somewhat mixed. Computer Gaming World designated it the "role-playing game of the year" in 1990 and praised its playability and vast, immersive, scope. Some reviewers criticized the graphics and sound quality, the handling of saved games, or the repetitive nature of the situations the player encounters.