Cruising across Mars in a sweet space-Cadillac while lightning strikes all around you can be wonderful in Naut, a free little walking simulator wot you do driving in. And then you slam into a rock which has suddenly risen out of the ground before you and your car flips and you’re sent tumbling then spend twenty seconds trying to right it again. That bit’s less great. But when you find a nice cruising groove, Naut can be awfully pleasant.
Naut plonks you down on Mars outside your little whitewashed house, in front of you a rad space-car in a garage. What you do from there is pretty much up to you. You can go for a walk, go visit neighbours who’ll say cryptic things (and often in French), or just see where your wheels take you. It also has split-screen co-op, so you can ride with pals or go off and do their own things. It’s very pretty and has a lovely space-soundtrack, and when night falls or a storm starts it gets awfully exciting. And then you crash into a rock or plant and flip and this is the bit that’s weird to me.
I played an earlier version of Naut last year, but it had a nasty bug where I’d need a minute of shoving and flipping to get the car out the garage. “THIS IS GREAT but also A MESS,” I probably screeched in the RPS tree house, “so I’ll post it if it’s ever fixed.” I was excited to see this updated release yesterday and discover that I can now get out the garage easily, only to find it has added obstacles popping up to flip me instead. Still, despite these frustrations, it’s certainly worth a go.
Naut is made by members of French collective Klondike. Looking at their site, I realise Klondikians have made a fair few games I liked or we posted about. Klondike members were behind musical walking simulator Porapora, ghost train Offline, space explorer Even the Stars, and Squid Squad, a tentacled FPS I meant to post about but found so very, very difficult to control. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on them in future.