The Calm Of A Dying Sun: Solar Flux

By Adam Smith on September 30th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

It’s hard to believe, but there are parts of space that aren’t full of gigantic ships firing lasers at one another, or heavily armoured marine boarding parties burning gibbering monsters to a crisp. I know it sounds improbable but it’s true. Considering the sheer size of the place – the landlord, Ian Space, pays a king’s ransom in bedroom tax – it shouldn’t be surprising that quiet areas exist, although they do make up less than 1% of the total. Solar Flux is found in one of the calm regions, even though it is about the death of a thousand suns. You can see the salvation of those suns and hear some gentle music below.

Lovely. Solar Flux was originally released on iPad and the PC version will be the new HD release, complete with extra bits and bobs. Here’s a look at the Hyperion Galaxy.

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9 Comments »

  1. Freud says:

    Repair suns? Liberal propaganda!

  2. aeonofdiscord says:

    Solar Flux! Played a bit of this at Dare in August; good to see it on PC.

  3. pupsikaso says:

    Ok, I really don’t want to pick on this particular game because it looks so pretty, but this prettiness is the whole point. I understand how these games sell on touch devices like tablets. You tap on things and you see pretty lights and colours and maybe sounds. That sells on tablets, I get it.

    What I don’t get is how this would sell on the PC? Where is the “game” in this? The challenge? Is this a puzzle game? If so, what is the puzzle, I don’t see anything here. Is this a game requiring reaction and hand-eye-coordination skill? I don’t see that either. Is there a story to be engrossed in? Not that either.

    I don’t see a “game” here at all. What I see is a “toy”. A toy you poke to produce delightful sounds and lights. Toys like these sell well on tablets, but unfortunately on the PC they have a long history of doing particularly not well.

    • LTK says:

      Um, no. Whatever objections people usually have against games that should somehow disqualify them from being games don’t even apply here. You have an objective, you have a fail state, you have a progressive learning curve through various challenges, and numerous mechanics that allow you to overcome those challenges. It’s like you didn’t even watch the trailers.

    • DrollRemark says:

      From the dev’s site:

      Try to get the best scores by using as little fuel as possible leveraging the gravitational pull of interstellar objects such as planets, moons and asteroids. Preserve your heat shields by cooling down in the shadows and be careful of stray meteors.

      Sounds to me like it’s a puzzle game. I kind of guessed that from the videos, but maybe it wasn’t immediately obvious.

    • fco says:

      I havenĀ“t played this game, but it reminds me a lot of a WiiWare game called Orbient. And if it’s anything like it, let me say it can get really challenging

      http://youtu.be/OUaJBA3mB8w

  4. LTK says:

    I think this might be inspired by Osmos. Collecting little blobs of mass and shooting them into a really big blob of mass is certainly something that you could do in Osmos as well. In the levels where you had a cloud of blobs orbiting a large attractor, you could absorb a lot of mass from the cloud and fire it into the attractor, which would eventually become massive enough to collapse the whole system. That was fun!

    It looks like this game tasks you with doing the opposite: preventing systems from collapsing by manipulating the energy of the star. It looks really good. I loved Osmos so I’m definitely interested in this.

  5. rendermat says:

    I bought the game on IPad and I can say SOLARFLUX is definately a real game, not just eye candy. Moreover it is a hard game if you try to complete the levels with two stars achievement. For three stars you really have to find the most intelligent solution and then be precise enough with your input to make the perfect moves. Think of it as being similar to playing golf or pool with planets and black holes: strategy matters but also skill. The game has a very nice scientific feel with gravity and orbits you have to use to save fuel and soloar eruptions you can surf on. The differnt levels have very specific challanges such as saving fuel (for three stars achievement you will nearly have to do without thrust at all), being fast (damn fast) or not losing shield energy (that means milimeter precision).
    To sum it up: I love the game. It is something you can play half an hour before sleeping with the IPad on your pillow (and then forget to sleep). However I think SolarFlux is best played on the IPad. The controls are optimized for touch in a way that makes it difficult not to see other inputs as a drawback. The game also feels slightly casual (not easy though). It’s just that you’d rather play it in between instead of sitting on your PC. The game misses the long breath that comes with story and long level immersion.
    So: love it and would definately support it on Greenlight or whatever. But if I had an IPad I would definately buy it for that device.

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