If you can bear the frustration of that early grind, there’s a reward waiting for you. The thrill of pushing your thrusters to full burn, looping around the asteroids near Karahdor Outpost, the Prince Ol in your sights, his fighter dancing in evasion. Vulcan cannons blazing. The stars watching, an entire universe built for for one exhilarating fight after another.
House of the Dying Sun’s numerous achievements are all the more remarkable because it is largely the work of one man, an ex-AAA developer named Mike Tipul. In some ways, Dying Sun reminds me of Gunpoint, the terrific single-developer stealth game from 2013. While the games share little in common in terms of style or mechanics, both take a couple of good ideas and expand on them in smart ways without adding flabby padding. Both feel guided by a single vision, and both left me wanting more when the credits rolled.