Have you ever wanted to explore the outer reaches of space, but have either A) Been too terrified, B) Not had billions of dollars, or C) A and B? Fret not, because the developers at KnapNok and Nicklas “Nifflas” Nygren are working together on a new Wii U exclusive title called Affordable Space Adventures that does exactly what it sounds like: offering you affordable space adventures.
And I am so damn excited.
Both developers are no stranger to the Wii U eShop with previous titles Knytt Underground and Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party gracing its digital market; however, their collaboration will be something very new, and what looks to be surprisingly sophisticated for the eShop, taking full advantage of the Wii U hardware to create something truly unique and complex.
In fact, there will be a few different difficulty modes, ranging from family-friendly to extremely complex, and it shows in one image showing what will be displayed on the GamePad while maneuvering about. Of course, this won’t be exactly like real space travel. There seems to be a lot of maintenance in properly navigating the creepy and desolate cosmic wasteland, with a fuel engine, electric engine, separate fuel tanks, stabilizer, anti-gravity, mass generator, decelerator, heat vents, scanner, landing gear, booster, and some other gauges that I have no idea what they mean. This deceptively complicated game only continues to intrigue me more and more with the amount of depth it seems to be boasting.
According to the press release, as part of the development process, each team is specifically combining their talents in separate areas:
We are merging Nifflas’ passion for making atmospheric exploration and mind-bending puzzles with KnapNok Games’ dedication to work with weird new interfaces and an eye for what is happening in front of the TV.
I’m not totally sure of what the developers mean by what will be happening in front of the TV, but this may have something to do with how everything on the GamePad and beyond works like a little machine in its own, rather than the standard “move up to move up and press A for thrusters.” This all sounds like something that you would just need to experience in-person, especially with another major option for maneuvering: controlling the ship with multiple people. I can imagine the possibilities of getting together with some friends and having everyone assigned to certain duties with one person as the captain to engage in affordable space adventures together, practically redefining cooperative play in video games. At the moment, details are scarce, but my imagination is rampant.
In regards to what will be explored in Affordable Space Adventures, the teaser video, in the neat format of a Skynet or Aperture Science-type commercial, shows a lot of dark and mysterious-looking areas rife with crevices and corners to satiate the curious gamer(s). You’re set up to venture through some other planet with different obstacles from unknown vegetation, hostile robotic-looking lifeforms, storms, and the challenge of just keeping your ship going with proper maintenance.
Gears are turning, and the strategist in me is ready for some challenging and terrifying tactical exploration. With all the controls appearing on the GamePad, your strategies are in the palm of your hand, leaving the screen with no HUD to further immerse the player in whatever creepy situation you may have wandered into. I can see how remote play won’t be working very well here, but the important thing is how this pushes the boundaries in exploring the full potential of the Wii U hardware as an excellent example of how the GamePad may work in superb synchronization with the events on screen. These are the experiences that Nintendo had in mind when developing the system, and hopefully more developers will follow suit in grabbing hold of that concept for more unique titles, raising the bar more and more.
Affordable Space Adventures is currently estimated to be released sometime this Autumn, but we’ll be sure to let you know when an official release date comes around. Similarly, keep and eye out when we update you with more details as the game continues developing and expanding, and once it’s hot and ready. Right now, Wii U owners may have something very special to look forward to.
You can check out the teaser for Affordable Space Adventures below: