Hands-On With Star Serum

It’s got lightsabers, space flight and explosive Jenga. You listening yet? Good. The team at Kc8 Studios have embarked on a project that’s pretty ambitious by indie standards: Star Serum boasts five gameplay modes, most centered on the concept of rehabilitating a galactic warrior after he barely survived his latest battle. We’ve spent quite a bit of hands-on time with Star Serum over the week, and we’re ready to report on four out of five of those.

With the amnesiac Captain Morven freshly resuscitated, the player is ushered straight into a lightsaber battle against floating droids. It’s custom-made to trigger your nostalgia for a certain movie, but who are we to complain? The idea here is to swipe a plasma sword back and forth across the screen like a laser-edged windshield wiper, blocking shots and taking out droids that have the guts to move in close.

If that exercise requires a little of the Force on your side, then you’d do well to bring nerves of steel to the next phase of Morven’s training. His second exercise sees him driving a spaceship through an asteroid field, and as luck would have it the fuel he needs to keep swerving left and right quickly dries up. Fuel canisters randomly appear, sure, but they’re often snuggled right in front of the asteroids bearing down on his vehicle! There’s just no way he’ll make it through unless the player continually wins a game of chicken with these astro chunks, learning to tell the difference between surefire disaster and risks well taken.

Star Serum’s third phase tests the player’s logic puzzle skills. Confronted with a stack of differently shaped blocks, the player has to remove them one by one so that a droid and a landing platform end up attached when it’s all said and done. This phase has 25 iterations, and after the basics are introduced it mixes in explosives and floating blocks that wreak havoc further up the stack once some weight is taken off them. Funnily enough, a few rounds of Angry Birds-style bomb flinging cap off Morven’s re-training. Then it’s off to the very battlefield that sent him to the hospital in the first place!

Stir in a set of nicely drawn and partially voice-acted cutscenes, and you’ve got a project we’re definitely keeping on our radar. Check out Kc8’s official page for the game and a preview video below. No word on a release date quite yet, so keep an eye on the developer’s Facebook page and Twitter account for the latest.