We (Hunted Cow Studios) run a free and interesting space exploration and trading game which we setup last month.
Here is the full info on the game...
"Solar Fleet is a massively multiplayer space trading/combat game where you work towards gaining power by building up a space empire. Starting with a basic fighter ship, you must trade, explore, fight, research and build your way to galactic dominance.
Finding lucrative trade routes is the key to creating a solid income for your Empire, which can later be used to construct colonies, mining outposts, research facilities and much more. Explore vast galaxies discovering literally thousands of star systems and planets, noting mineral and artifact rich locations for development later.
Remember also you will be competing against tens of thousands of other real players who will also be trying to better their empires. However, by forming strategic alliances with other players, you will find it easier to defend your outposts and colonies and of course you will be able to group together to gain a combat advantage against stronger foes. Not all technology can be bought. For highly advanced weapons you will need to perform your own research and develop technology for yourself, however once you are able to manufacture this advanced technology, you will be able to make profit from this via selling to other weaker empires. Research is achieved by constructing Research Laboratories on artifact rich planets where researchers can expand their knowledge with the resources available to them.
You control your ship and navigate in the main game area which is represented by a 2D starmap. You can purchase new components for your ship at the various shipyards that can be found scattered throughout the sectors. Possible purchasable components include many different hull types, dozens of engines, powercores, armours, shields, weapons and many special and unique systems which could give you a tactical edge in combat. However to be able to use the more advanced components you will need to gain combat experience by destroying pirates, other hostile fleets and take on missions available at various faction mission boards.
Take your rightful place in the circle of intrigue, espionage, diplomacy, trading and combat spanning the stars…"
If you interested please feel free to create an account and try it out - also we would like to hear your feedback on it!
hoofmaster (Andrew @ Hunted Cow)