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Rex Leinster is a young man from the remote, backwater planet Earth, who dreams of one day exploring and adventuring throughout space just like his father. He enters a local space race hoping to earn a bit of money and fame for himself, but winds up losing by a hair. However, his performance attracts the attention of a recruiter for the Lightning Express shipping company, and soon he's hired on as their newest cargo pilot. Unfortunately, Lightning Express is perpetually on the brink of bankruptcy, uses outdated and poorly-maintained equipment, and is generally a laughingstock across the galaxy. But everyone's got to start somewhere, right? Rim Runners is a light-hearted, anime-style sci-fi visual novel. The player takes the role of rookie cargo pilot Rex as he tries to make a name for himself with the crew of his ship, the Jack Pot. Like most visual novels, the game progresses linearly, with occasional dialogue choices affecting the flow of the story. At certain points, the player can explore the ship and speak with its crew and passengers freely. There are also so-called "Live Command" sequences when situations get heated or particularly dangerous; during these events, choices have a strict time limit, it is not possible to save or reload the game, and incorrect choices can easily lead to losing a job or even a game over.