Transcendence is a single-player, PC-based, role-playing game of space-combat and exploration.
The space-operatic theme and realtime combat were inspired by Star Control II, while other game mechanics in Transcendence were inspired by Nethack. Most of the star systems in the game are procedurally generated and part of the appeal of the game is adapting to the circumstances created by the random-number generator. Some items are unknown to the player, and their effects on the ship, good or ill, are only discovered after using them. In addition, the game encourages (but does not require) playing with permadeath.
Transcendence has a passionate community of players, mostly drawn to the game's sophisticated and powerful modding system. Anyone can create an extension for the game by editing basic XML files. More advanced modders may use TLisp, a Lisp-derived scripting language, to create more complex and varied extensions.