Lately I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about a new game coming out that you may or may not have heard of called No Man’s Sky (who am I kidding everybody and their mother has heard about this game).
No Man’s Sky has been receiving tons of media coverage due to many factors, some of which involving the game being a remarkably vast universe for players to explore, as well as the perfect combination of exploration and excitement. I myself, however, am simply enthralled by the idea that I get to fly around in space. You see, just like 75% of children around the world, I grew up wanting to be an astronaut and the idea that an entire universe, vibrant and expansive, can exist on my Playstation 4 is absolutely astonishing. Now, I’m not going to lie to you- the moment this game was announced I went on a games-about-space kick meaning that whether it be Mass Effect or Spore you can bet your bottom dollar I had a file in progress. Cool thing about space games though, is that there’s literally thousands available for you to experience, and I felt that with my extensive knowledge on the topic of outer space games, I might as well do my job and make a list about it. Luckily for you my dear reader, this is no run of the mill list, this is one that consists of more obscure titles that not many people know about, but are more than capable of standing out.
So get your wallets ready, because here’s 5 unique games about space. I’ m not saying you should buy them and play them-but that’s exactly what I’m saying.
1- Sun Dogs– PC
I know it’s always weird to see lists like these starting out with text adventures but hear me out. No game has made me accept my inevitable demise as fluidly as this one (and I’m a philosophy major). Sun Dogs is an absolutely beautiful text adventure that is all about exploring the solar system, altering one’s body, and embracing death. This game has stunning and minimalistic visuals that enhance gameplay perfectly by creating a realm for your mind to dance in as you are taken on a journey through the universe and are given space to expand your horizons.
2- FTL: Faster Than Light– PC
If you ask me, space is the perfect place to host a procedurally generated game, especially one where you are literally in control of a space ship and crew. In FTL players get to take command of a ship, defending it from various threats such as enemies boarding your ship and earth’s deadliest force: fire. This strategic game is also home to some crazy replay value due to the fact that with every run you find new equipment and experience new encounters. This game also has tons of varying gameplay opportunities through the use of different ships that change up the style of play and pace of the game. All in all this fantastic/hair-pullingly frustrating title is both an amazing time waster, as well as genuine hardcore title that will leave you sitting at your control panel thinking “Move over Picard, there’s a new captain in town.”
3- Ikaruga– PC, Gamecube, Dreamcast
Anything I say will not do this Goddess of a game justice, so here’s some quotes from true scholars to speak for me.
“Ikaruga is a harsh mistress. She is a love you cannot conquer, she is a complex beauty who demands perfection. Your best will never truly please her, she will make you feel inadequate at every moment, and yet you cannot stop trying to win her heart. When you are with her, any mistake you make will sting a thousand times worse. And she will make you furious, she will make you cry, she will drive you crazy, but you cannot stop loving her, because there is nothing else in the world that can compare to what she is. Pros: She is perfection. Cons: You are not.“- MEAT GOD,
“git gud“- A cat with a camera.,
With such rave reviews for a classic vertical shoot em’ up, how could you not scramble to your Steam account to buy it?
4- Duskers– PC
Do you like scary? Do you like space? Do you like drones? Well have I got a game for you.
Duskers is an exploration based game in which you pilot a drone into derelict space wreckages all the while avoiding aliens. Personally, I have an affinity with the Alien movies and I can say with full confidence that Duskers is the one of the only games that has been able to put me in the same place as the Alien series does- it’s that good. With tense moments and haunting visuals, Duskers is not a force to be reckoned with. This title is amazing for those who want to try their hands at command-based games and is no stranger to intense situations.
5- Spaceteam– IOS, Android
Spaceteam is best described as being a bluetooth party game, utilizing multiple handheld devices in order to connect people through bluetooth and wifi through the magic that is outer space. In Spaceteam, players will see a control panel on the screen of their handheld device that changes with every level while success is based on how well team members can communicate. Having played this myself, I feel that I can truly set the stage for what experiencing this masterpiece is like.
Imagine sitting in a circle with 3 of your closest friends, phones out and bluetooth on. Spacrteam starts up and excitement fills the room; levels pass and finally you get to level 5 and you get the warning “Turbulence Ahead”. The group is sweating, the cries of commands are getting muddled together as the screen shakes and wormholes leave everyone playing the game upside down. The team inevitably fails the mission and the group is no longer friends due to shattered trust. That is Spaceteam, and it is glorious.
If games like No Man’s Sky leave you yearning to take to the stars, never forget that there’s a whole universe of space games at your fingertips!