Astronaut: Spacewalk Preview

Think back to the last time you watched Apollo 13 or any other flick with some suspenseful outer space action. Remember how much you were on pins and needles while the astronauts made the slightest course corrections, little bursts of propellant spelling the difference between salvation and a doomed journey into the infinite vacuum of space? That’s what Jorge Hernandez’ Astronaut: Spacewalk is made of. Last month we interviewed the dev to find out more about his out-of-this-world game idea, and after much rolling, pitching and yawing, we’re ready to file an early report.

We came away from the interview with a big question on our minds: Is Astronaut: Spacewalk a proper game, or should it be classified as a simulation instead? In the end, we’d have to cop out and call it “an experience” — one of the most suspenseful you’ll ever have if you take a chance on it when it releases. Each of the game’s missions seems fairly mundane at first blush: get in this position, fix that, move there. The key is that every single movement you make demands fuel or electricity from a limited reserve, and all the tasks that compose a mission are a race against a swiftly depleting oxygen supply. You have to be extremely careful, and yet you can’t take your sweet old time either. It’s a perfect recipe for addictive challenge if we’ve ever seen one.

No matter what your gaming background, Astronaut’s movement system and complexity will throw you for a loop — clearly the developer’s unabashed intention. The game comes with an entire instruction pamphlet and it’s not just fluff. Players will really need to dig in and learn the difference between roll, pitch and yaw – here’s a great Wikipedia diagram to get you started while you wait for release day – and how to use a handy dual-perspective radar. Fail to master these and your poor astronaut will float off into the ether, helplessly flailing around all the way! Gamers in search of depth and complexity can expect to be well rewarded here.

Astronaut: Spacewalk could hit any day now with an initial price tag of $3.99. If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to step into an astronaut’s space boots, you’d best keep an eye on the dev’s blog for the latest news! Let’s leave you with the new gameplay trailer: