Thrust For Life: Lunar Flight

By Adam Smith on December 15th, 2011 at 3:38 pm.

hail, blue blot

It is a day, in part, for talking about old things made new. Lunar Flight is a modern take on Lunar Lander, which allows aspiring astropilots to undertake a full career, transporting cargo from moonbase to moonbase and gathering beacons scattered across the surface of the moon. Essentially, it’s a game that simulates using thrusters to control a tin-can in unfamiliar gravity, attempting to befriend the laws of physics even as they repeatedly plant your face in the lunar dust. All that would be just peachy if every slight nudge of the thrusters didn’t cause your dwindling fuel supply to…dwindle. Gaze at the trailer below.

I’ve always wanted to go to the moon and am hoping Lord British will invite me to live with him there one day, but until then this is a beautifully atmospheric depiction. There’s something quite haunting about it, all barren and empty as it is, with that evocative music playing in the background. In fact, the atmosphere is unnerving enough that when the alarms started to go off I had a genuine sense of panic. Imagine when I’m actually playing the blasted thing! When I was a wee lad I remember jollying about with Thrust and Lunar Lander, but becoming so tense during trickier levels that a therapist would probably trace my several anxiety issues back to those rotating death-plunges.

While it looks to maintain some of the arcade qualities of its forefathers, Lunar Flight also aims to be a proper simulator, with Newtonian physics and realistic low gravity flight. It is the work of Australian indie team Shovsoft, which is the kind of team I had to form when no one picked me during sports classes at school, being made up of one person. He has a little help from his friends, with that ominous music in particular, but mostly it’s just Sean Edwards, a ten-year industry veteran.

I should be able to try the beta shortly and will have plenty more to say then. If you want to try an early version too, a $5 donation gives access to all upcoming builds and the final release once it’s complete.

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28 Comments »

  1. staberas says:

    The thing soundtrack?

    Do we shoot aliens in this game !!!?!?!

  2. n0rwegian says:

    in space nobody can see you asplode.

  3. Kohlrabi says:

    Does this game feature John Madden?

  4. mss2 says:

    Part of me loves seeing the classic Apollo LM… and part of me can’t help but ask how it’s taking off using its descent stage. :-) (Never mind the idea of it transporting cargo.)

    • Zenicetus says:

      It does require a little suspension of disbelief, yeah. Maybe it’s because there are existing 3D models of the LEM, plus specs to work with for the flight model? Something like the Moon Bus from the 2001 movie would fit the premise better, but then there would be licensing issues.

      Anyway, looks interesting. And it supports proper Translate, Pitch/Roll, Yaw and Thrust on a joystick (Yes! but also gamepad support), so I want to try it. I’ll support any PC game that remembers what a joystick is for, and gives me something interesting to do with it..

  5. Nyst says:

    This needs to be combined with Kerbal Space Program and Moonbase Alpha.

  6. db1331 says:

    Fake. This was done on a sound stage.

    • The Tupper says:

      Whatever happened to James Brolin and why did he not get Harrison Ford’s career? He was there first.

  7. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    As I got to the end of the line with Sean’s name on it I thought for a moment it was going to say he was a ten year-old!

    Even though he’s probably a smidge over 10, it’s still bloody good work from the look of it. =)

  8. The Tupper says:

    That video is rather exciting, possibly a result of me being a child of the early 70s, possibly because I’ve been awake for thirty four hours.

  9. Ginger Yellow says:

    While it looks to maintain some of the arcade qualities of its forefathers

    Ah, crap. I saw that shot of the cockpit and started to have flashbacks to Shuttle.

  10. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    I can tell this is fake because the Earth and the Sun are way too huge in the sky.

  11. minerwilly says:

    The shadows clearly don’t fade away when the jet is fired from the lander. Worst. Fake. Ever.

  12. db1331 says:

    A little off topic, but did anyone see the movie Moon with Sam Rockwell? I caught it the other day, thought it was brilliant.

    • The Tupper says:

      Yeah it’s a wee gem that film. Lovely old-school miniature effects as well (a particular fascination of mine since the days of Gerry Anderson’s Space:1999).

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Oh, yes. That’s a splendid movie to watch.

    • westyfield says:

      Moon is pretty much my favourite film. Get and see it, everyone!

    • squareking says:

      Wonderful soundtrack by the aforementioned Clint Mansell, too.

    • Urthman says:

      The same director did the recent movie Source Code, the very best review of which was this:

      “That’s no Moon.”

  13. fhfghf says:

    Happy 2012 new year,Merry Christmas ,Christmas top gift
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  14. roryok says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to the moon and am hoping Lord British to live there with him one day

    There to be a fair few missing from that sentence, and am adam to fix it one day.