Hard Nova II is a very competently designed, rules-light, space opera RPG. Much like TSR's old Star Frontiers set, Hard Nova II gives you all the rules you need begin playing in about 40 pages, with a few adventure scenarios and just a hint of a background to kick start your campaign. Unlike Star Frontiers, though, HNII includes simple rules for space battles in the basic set.
The rules are fairly similar to those of PIG's (or whatever they're now called) other products. You roll two six-sided dice and try roll under the sum of the relevant abilty and skill. The GM applies any modifers that may apply.
The authors seem to have covered most of the major space opera tropes including multiple non-human sentient races, faster-than-light space travel, psionics, cybernetic enhancements, ray guns, uncharted portions of space, a federation of peace-loving planets, and a race of worm-like evil doers (who look a little like Star Frontier's evil race, the Sathar) to threaten everything. None of these items is treated with great detail but the result, brief and generic though it is, seems to work really well.<br><br>
<b>LIKED</b>: The rules are simple and the background is generic enough to accomdate almost any space opera adventure that the GM might fancy. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: I did like this product but you might not like the product if you require an original, evocative background; realistic combat or space combat rules; or an epic campaign metaplot. The background is really conventional and generic but for this kind of product, I don't think that that's such a bad thing. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>