Captain Astronaut Unites Monkey Island… StarCraft?

“Golly jee,” I said to myself when I first came across Captain Astronaut’s Last Hurrah, “those sure are some pretty video picture portraits graph-o-grams. I sure would like to–” AND STOP. Did I then say, a) “point-and-click adventure through it,” b) “do some rad kickflips over its majestic creatures,” or c) “play a StarCraft-inspired RTS on top of it with… is that jelly? I can’t tell if… what?” Well, I said b), but the reality of the game is c). The mixture is a bit strange, but it’s certainly novel and perhaps promising?

I can’t really see exactly where StarCraft enters the picture, though I imagine it’s somewhere in the line-drawing/defense mechanic. Here’s what the developers are saying for now:

“Captain Astronaut’s Last Hurrah is a bittersweet story about an injured child’s trek across a beautifully painted alien world. His survival depends on the ability to wield swarms of sparks in fast paced, strategic battles against the world itself.”

“It’s a point-and-click adventure with real-time strategy action instead of puzzles.¬†Inspired by terrifying 1980’s children’s movies, it’s like playing the love child of Starcraft and Monkey Island while watching The NeverEnding Story.”

It certainly looks interesting, if rather minimal once push comes to colorful bubble battle. I would very much like to play it, and play it I shall, you know, eventually. Captain Astronaut – whose parents¬†really didn’t want him leaving the family business – will be out sometime in 2014.


  1. Bull0 says:

    We’re so wedded to the “new game is X meets Y!” comparison now that we’re happy making it even while admitting in the article that it’s really tenuous and we aren’t totally committed to it

    • The Random One says:

      The devs said it themselves!

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      It’s long been the most popular way to open a pitch to a prospective publisher/investor. First compare your game to one or two commercial hits (It’s like Monkey Island meets Starcraft) then follow up with your unique selling point (the monkeys have 4 heads this time, and the space marines are pacifists who shoot rainbows) All that’s left to do then is drink cocktails.

      • Bull0 says:

        In all honesty nothing turns me off a game faster than its’ creators describing it as X meets Y. Because usually X and Y are good things, and it’s like, oh yeah, I’ll go play those

        • Stardog says:

          Stop being an annoying artsy fartsy person. It’s a perfectly legit way to communicate what your game is about.

          • ThTa says:

            Yeah, it tends to be a far more accurate descriptor than genre, and generally gives a pretty good idea of a developer’s values and direction. The only real problems are when its a false comparison (or when their comparison is drawn from something different than what you’d imagine) or when the quality isn’t -nearly- up to the standards the games they compare to have set. (Though these standards are lowered as the comparison becomes more common/generic.)

            Incidentally, this seems like a pretty clear case of a false comparison. It looks like they just named some vaguely similar, but wildly popular games to get more attention.

          • RobF says:

            Yeah, it probably helps if you can look at the game and see anything remotely like the things they’re describing.

          • gwathdring says:


            I dunno … if Starcraft and Monkey Island and The Never Ending Story were all merged together into some kind of genetic slurry, I’m not sure what came out would be anything particularly similar to any of those three elements; whether or not it’s a good way to pitch the game, you’re going to have a hard time suggesting it’s *inaccurate.*

          • RobF says:

            Oh yeah but the point of marketing is of course to get a very clear message across of what you’re doing and that’s when making comparisons like this falls on flat on its arse.

            As an aside, Fish Listening To Radio by the same folks is absolutely lovely and well worth checking out if anyone has XBLIG access.

          • Bull0 says:

            Well, you might find me annoying, but I’m not saying this for the sake of it – I really find “our game is X meets Y!” a buzz kill, and if that’s how your pitch starts, I’m not playing your game 9 times out of 10. Just my opinion – sorry for upsetting you by expressing it, I guess.

        • Jools says:

          That’s great and all, except most people are going to tune out if your elevator pitch is more than a line or two. That really only leaves you with two options:

          1) Never build games that wander outside of established genres and, if you absolutely must, make them so simple that you can describe their core concept in a couple of seconds. Or,
          2) Compare your game to the closest well-known games that you can think of, because it at least gives you some common ground for further discussion with your audience.

          Most people go with option 2, because option 1 is pretty awful.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            There’s also option 3) live a monastic existence, never seek funding, never seek to make money from the game, call the game Dwarf Fortress ;)

            But for the rest of us, X meets Y is the way to go… And cocktails. Can’t buy too many of those on a monk’s salary.

        • gwathdring says:

          Oh dear. Why? Why by the nine divines would you restrict your ability to compare and describe things so arbitrarily? Christ! Next you’re going to tell me you won’t describe colors in a combinatoric sense either but rather only by hexadecimal color code.

          Cease your affront against language and let us use it properly and in peace.

          • Bull0 says:

            I’m restricting my ability to describe things by saying that I think going for “our game is X meets Y!” is weak and ineffective? Aren’t I suggesting we *expand* our descriptive efforts and talk about what our game is? Quite aside from the fact that lately the “our game is X meets Y!” descriptions have been crap, and don’t really describe what the game is at all – which as Nathan points out is the case here. Still you’re saying it’s legitimate and useful? You’re crazy. And you’re calling me the language criminal too. Priceless.

    • AlwaysRight says:

      X is like Y on Z!

      (Edit: I’m not implying RPS are “lazy journalist scum” I just take any opportunity I can to post this clip)

      • Bull0 says:

        Yeah this is what I always think of but I wasn’t going for lazy journalism, I was going for “don’t shoot yourselves in the foot by marketing your game this way, because it’s rubbish”.

  2. ArtyFishal says:

    They must be playing a different Starcraft than I am… and a different Monkey Island.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      My reaction too… I wonder what drugs they were on when they played those games.

    • RobF says:

      And watched a different Neverending Story too.

    • iseemonkeys says:

      They were on drugs trying get inspiration and they tried loading starcraft but forgot the password, tried monkey island and could not remember where the cd was. So they turned on netflix to watch films and played World of Goo till they blacked out. Then they remember a brief dream involving world of Goo, but they thought it was inspired by the two other games. That what i got from the description.

  3. Talesdreamer says:

    Remembers me a bit of Knights in Nightmare, an hellish DS/PSP vita strategic game where you guide a spark, trying to give orders to your troops while dodging bullets.
    It’s basically Touhou + Final Fantasy tactics, if we want another “X meets Y” comparison.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    Despise Starcraft and its self evaluated priorities.

    I guess I despise this game too, phew.

  5. Shadowcat says:

    My bowling ball!! What have you done to my bowling ball!?? OH MY GOD!

  6. Text_Fish says:

    Counter-Strike is my favourite point and click adventure. It took me so long to solve the puzzle where you have to point at a head and click it off. OH! And that bit in Nuke where you click the door to push it open? Ingenius.

    Also, my mother in law’s dog makes six dollars an hour on her computer. She used to be unemployed but now she isn’t!! So that’s cool.

  7. Stardreamer says:

    I thought it was more the bastard offspring of Thief and Space Giraffe.

  8. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “This next song is somewhere between Nana Mouskouri and Megadeth.”

    Actually, it looks like a less sticky World of Goo to me.

  9. DantronLesotho says:

    I played this at the Boston FIG; it’s quite unique and it was fun. Very polished. I will be interested to play it when it comes out.