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.