Affordable Space Adventures - Recensione

Author: Roberto Magistretti
Date: 2020-07-31 00:20:33
"Space adventures for all budgets": so says the slogan of Uexplore, an interstellar travel agency specialized in organizing fascinating, cheap and safe trips. The goal is always the same, Spectaculon, a planet floating here near Earth (just a few tens of light years away) and waiting to be explored. And mapped, too. Among other things, anyone who manages to draw a detailed map of an entire area can then claim it, becoming in all respects its rightful owner. In short, Uexplore's proposal is one of those on which it is difficult to say no. Also because, although space travel always involves some risks, Uexplore is an agency that places great emphasis on safety: imagine that decades have passed since the last accident!

These are the premises of Affordable Space Adventures, a new video game developed by KnapNok Games (those of Spin the Bottle on WiiWare) in collaboration with Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren, one of the many small stars of the indie scene. At first glance, Affordable Space Adventures could be mistaken for an odd vintage shoot and run, beautiful two-dimensional and related to "classics" like Sub-Terrania (Mega Drive, 1993), Zarathrusta (Amiga, 1991) or, better yet, Solar Jetman (NES, 1990). In reality, however, little is shot in Affordable Space Adventures. Indeed, almost nothing, just a few rockets every now and then. On the other hand, he runs away. From what? From everything, in principle. Above all, we try to escape from Spectaculon, which is not exactly the planet that Uexplore had promised us, on the contrary ... And the same can be said of the whole space trip that, needless to say, begins with the crash of the mother ship on the surface of the planet. In short, in a moment, you find yourself alone, lost and vaguely terrified. In addition to the controls of the Small Craft, a space shuttle that is not exactly a technological gem. To say it all, the feeling is that it is held together with glue: that it is a cheap shuttle you can also understand it by taking a quick look at the command bridge, which in fact is a "recycled" GamePad (a bit like what happened for the chassis of the Jaguar delle Atari, the bankrupt console of the Nineties, which were reused as medical instruments for dentists and dental offices, now you know).

It is precisely this idea, that is, that of transforming the GamePad into the control panel of a spaceship, to give a very strong personality to this new video game. In practice, within a moment, we find ourselves keeping under control both the television screen, where our space adventure is staged, and that of the GamePad, where there are icons, icons, buttons, indicators, various and any. Initially some tools are not active / activated, but the more you explore, the more possibilities we are offered. The Small Craft, in fact, has two engines (one petrol, the other electric), three landing systems, stabilizers, mass accumulators, laser scanners, heat exchangers, signal flares, propellers and whoever has more, more put it. And each of these tools will prove indispensable.