Realism is something that few will attempt on the App Store, however lone game designer, Jorge Hernandez, has done just that with his recently released Astronaut Spacewalk, and pulled it off with some stunning success.
The game was only released yesterday, but first impressions on this game are phenomenal. The level of work that seems to have gone into making every aspect as engaging as possible, especially when considering that one man designed it all, is absolutely top notch. Gameplay is centered around the delicate movements and tact it takes to move around in a zero gravity environment. From the perspective of an astronaut, players will have to make use of their jetpacks and gaming skills to inch their way through the game’s twenty missions. While movement is a bit tricky, the game does come with a detailed tutorial to help players get started, but this is certainly no pick up and play experience. Those who try to brute force their way through levels in the game will quickly find themselves suffocating alone in the void of space — not a pretty picture is it?
Scoring for each level is done with a three star system and based on the player’s ability to manage three essential resources. The first is electricity, this manages the game’s “auto-null” system, allowing players to immediately slow themselves should they be too heavy on the thrusters. Electricity is the only handicap in the game, a sort of “ohshit” scenario inhibitor for players to fall back on in an emergency, but should they expend all electricity, they’re on their own. It should be noted that electricity is also the only resource in the game that, when exhausted, does not directly result in the player’s death, it is only there to help. The second resource will definitely kill you if it runs out, because it’s oxygen. Oxygen serves as something of a health bar, it steadily decreases over time and if the player takes too long to complete a mission, they suffocate and die, simple. Finally, fuel is the resource expended when using ones jetpack. Even though the game encourages gentle use of the item, should a player find themselves out of fuel to propel them about in the vacuum of space, they will receive an immediate game over…implying that your space man was left to suffocate and die.
The less you use of any of the three resources, the better your overall score will be, and a game like this should amply challenge players to responsibly manage those factors. Astronaut Spacewalk is on the App Store right now for $3.99, a bit steep, but worth the price.
For more information about Jorge Hernandez’s project, check out its main website.