Cheap and cheerful
If you don't own Smugglers V: Invasion then there's not much point in picking up this expansion pack but unfortunately the base game isn't all that great either so if you skip them both, you're not missing much. The base game is a sort of 2D version of Privateer
, without all the flashy cutscenes and suchlike and although it's kind of fun, it's a bit too minimalist for its own good, and is rather lacking in excitement. If you did enjoy it though, you might be tempted to pick this up as it is cheap and cheerful and does extend the lifespan a bit. What you basically have here though is a set of background stories where you can choose to play as various characters in a set of branching, multiple choice-style adventures where you follow a storyline, reading up on the background material, while making decisions as to how the story unfolds. It's all a bit more like an interactive novel than a space sim so don't go in expecting the same kind of gameplay as the other games in the series or you'll be disappointed. This really is one of those little curios that is a sort of love letter for the fans, as it opens up the series' background in new ways. To be fair, the stories here are quite interesting, if a little unoriginal in places and there are enough twists, turns and choices to keep you entertained for a while. They are however, rather short so again don't expect to be playing for weeks here. In terms of visuals, the game is pleasing rather than spectacular, with some decent if minimalist graphics that won't set the world on fire. All in all, a strange little experience.