Zunus [official site] is the latest short game from Jonathan Whiting, he of BLOODWORM and Traal and Mussel and Sportsfriends and lots of other things. It was made for Ludum Dare and is about delivering calamari to your gran in space while dodging asteroids in a simple, 2D thrust-’em-up.
This really is simple: left arrow rotates left, right arrow rotates right, and holding both down simultaneously thrusts you forward. The complication is trying to make use of those controls in the slide-y vacuum of space in order to dodge obstacles, including pursuing ships who are trying to collide with you, and to successfully dock with the slowly rotating space stations. Those space stations killed me more than anything; timing your approach is tricky, but then the stations suddenly accelerate to spin at a tremendous speed in order to destroy asteroids on a collision course. It’s easy to get minced in the process, scrambling and scattering the lines of your wireframe ship.
Once docked with a space station, you use the same controls to decide whether to buy an item or not and then carry that item to another space station to sell it on for a higher price. Sometimes the item is calamari. Sometimes it’s for your gran. It is basically Elite Dangerous.
It’s only ten minutes long but I had a good time with it, especially due to the tone of the writing lending it a frontier, Cowboy Bebop-ish sorta feel. You can find a download for Windows and OSX over here.