Rebel Galaxy is a flawed but fun space game and it’s free on PC this week

Spaceship combat in Rebel Galaxy

My brain keeps wanting to say Rogue Galaxy

I almost need a PSA to remind me to bring you these Epic Games Store PSAs. Almost. The giveaway period for this week’s free game, Rebel Galaxy, runs from August 12–19.

Now I know “flawed but fun” isn’t a super enticing pitch, but when we’re talking about a small-team production like Rebel Galaxy, some elements are naturally going to be better than others, and you try to focus on those to enjoy the wider experience, which is pretty cool. This is a space-adventure game with trading, smuggling, and naval-like combat.

As our reviewer, Nic Rowen, first summed up almost six years ago, “your ship in Rebel Galaxy performs more like a boat than a spaceship, locked on a single two-dimensional plane that you can steer around on left and right, but not up and down. Other capital ships are locked to the same plane, making standoffs with them feel like large naval battles. Meanwhile, smaller ships — such as enemy fighters and your hired wingman — zip around in a fully 3D space. They’ll be coiling and wrapping around your larger vessel as you try to train your various mounted turrets on them, worry about the exposed shielding on your portside, and prepare to deflect an incoming volley of torpedoes.”

Does that sound interesting enough to outweigh wider issues with repetitive content? I’d say so. For a time, anyway. The thing is, Rebel Galaxy was always a budget game — it launched at $20 — so it’s best to come in with calibrated expectations. And now that it’s free-to-claim, there’s less pressure to keep playing once you hit that boredom wall.

A sequel, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, was released in 2020, though it’s got a much different space-combat vibe. It’s a classic take-it-or-leave-it “mixed” response from players.

The free-game train hasn’t derailed yet, so next week we’re getting Void Bastards, an FPS roguelike, and Yooka-Laylee, an N64-inspired 3D platformer, from August 19–26.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.