Frantic sci-fi caper Heat Signature is out now

Throwing a fifteenth wrench in the works

The things-go-bad genre has received another bumbling anti-hero today with Heat Signature [official site]. It’s the top-down, spaceship-hijacking, prisoner-capturing, soldier-assassinating, star system-liberating game from Gunpoint creators Suspicious Developments. I’ve only played a couple of hours but in that time I’ve come a cropper in some terrible ways. Yesterday, I threw a handgun at a man’s head. It bounced right off, and only seemed to make him more angry.

Other unfortunate mishaps include the time I teleported into a different room to escape some guards, only to be confronted by a second gang of guards, who shot and wounded me. The good news is that my teleporter was the “Visitor” model, which teleports you straight back where you came from after a couple of seconds. The bad news is that the first bunch of guards were still there. This means that the first set of armed personel on board this spacecraft were subjected to the following experience:

A strange woman has run into the room. An intruder!

She looks panicked but – oh no!

She has suddenly evaporated in a whisp of light.

This is incredible, she is simply gon–


Oh, there she is. And now she is bleeding for some reason.

Well. Let’s put her in the airlock and throw her off the ship.

I can tell there are going to be a lot of ridiculous tiny tales like this. It’s the whole point of the game. One of my first missions almost ended in disaster after the ship I’d boarded suddenly came under attack by another vessel, or perhaps a space station. I’d just stolen a piece of expensive kit when the missiles started landing. Now, I needed an escape plan. Here’s a GIF of me slowly realising that I can use my “long range swapper” device to swap places with a dead guard. “I’m so clever!” I think, as I walk the final few metres to the escape pod. Then a missile demolishes the wall next to me and sucks me into space.

The beauty here is that I survived by remotely driving my pod to collect me – one of the first things you learn to do. So technically, I completed the mission, just in a really silly way. I like that.

Anyway, I’ll have a more solid review soon. It’s on Steam for £9.89/€13.49/$13.49 and for the first couple weeks there is a ship in-game carrying a special gun that shoots, uh, everything. Yup.

Disclosure: Tom Francis, the main man behind the game, is a friend of basically everyone at RPS. But not me. I don’t do friends.


  1. Viral Frog says:

    I have been waiting for this game for so long! Cannot wait to give it a go.

  2. Ginsoakedboy21 says:

    I think I’ve watched every development video of this game that Tom has put out (and that’s a lot) so it’s a joy to see it finally released into the world.

    (Brendan’s disclaimer cracked me up as well.)

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Sounds interesting, but are all stations/ships designed like that screenshot? Just identically-sized squares linked by corridors?

  4. PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

    Huzzah! Bought. Next; play.

  5. Morph says:

    Well I lost 2 characters in my first 2 minutes of play… I am very bad at whatever sot of game this is.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Nah, that sounds about right for starting out. It helps if you go through the full tutorial, then do a few more extra practice missions in the simulator before actually going out into the galaxy.

  6. clockworkrat says:

    This has been on my “shut up and take my money” list for a long time. Now he has my money!

  7. Jjgddyuikbvff says:

    I think that header image is now outdated, the visuals appear to have been tweaked on release!

    • Darloth says:

      Glitcher ships still look a lot like that to me.

      I think Foundry has the nicest internal look, but each faction has a different scheme. They’re all still on the grid, but sometimes you get much larger rooms.

  8. thischarmingman says:

    I’ve been thinking about this game from time to time, since I first saw it here on RPS, thinking I must not forget this. Luckily you reminded me today!

  9. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Hotline Miami: In Space, Starring Inspector Jacques Clouseau.

  10. Shinard says:

    I’ll wait for the WIT, but I can’t imagine I won’t be picking this up. Love the idea, loved Gunpoint and loved Tom Francis’ articles on game design. So, yeah. Hurry up with the WIT so I can buy it already!

  11. Bullfrog says:

    Just did a few missions and it’s as fun as I am bad, which is very.

  12. Urthman says:

    The launch trailer might have the best first sentence of any game trailer ever.

  13. Frank says:

    Woo, got the everything gun before finishing my first mission! Now I can go back to check out the rest of the game at my leisure.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I played for about 45 minutes last night and didn’t find it. That’s the first time I’ve had to game in about a month, so a bit worried I won’t know. Though, I’ve just watched Tom’s update video saying you should see it every 30 seconds or so, so maybe I’ll manage to squeeze in another go and have a better look.

      • Frank says:

        In case you didn’t catch it in Tom’s video, the ship blinks. Good luck!

        • benkc says:

          OH! Thank you thank you thank you, I spent 94 minutes playing last night and never encountered it, but I had no idea I was supposed to seek out those blinky ships. I was only boarding ships I had missions for.

        • benkc says:

          And, found it! Thanks again. :)

      • MisterGee says:

        If it helps, you have to fly around zoomed in enough to see other ships passing.

        You can also hold ‘f’ when flying to speed up time.

  14. Zorgulon says:

    Picked this up last night. Having fun, but I think I’m being too cautious – I fled my first Hard mission at the first sign of an alarm. Maybe I’ll buy one of those crazy teleporters and get some chaos going.

    I’d been following this a while and was impressed by the gameplay development, but boy is the art style and music wonderful too.

  15. Jay Load says:

    Gunpoint was amazing fun. This also looks amazing fun. *presses button to add to ALL the wishlists*

  16. automatic says:

    I was inclined to buy this game when I saw it on steam but after watching a few gameplays I think it tends to get boring quick. Although it’s a tactical game, there’s too much info available on the ships you infiltrate. Right off the bat you have access to the whole ship map with objectives, loot and real time enemy locations. I think this game would be much more interesting if you had to scout the ship as you go with different equipment for it (maybe even a handheld Heat Signature detector), something like Invisible Inc. or Duskers. Devs could implement stuff like hacking or paying for information on ship layout, guard types and whatnot. Idk. Maybe a realistic mode with these features so ppl have more replay value. Although there’s a lot of item variety already the way the base game works now I think it’s kinda meh.

    • MisterGee says:

      I think you may find it will surprise you when playing. It’s not about knowing what’s there, it’s about freezing time and figuring out HOW to complete the mission.

      It’s about shooting at the window of a space ship, pausing before the bullet hits the window and then swapping places with a fully armoured and shielded guard, so when the window breaks THEY get sucked out and die.

      It may still not be for you, but it’s not the game you are describing. All of that stuff would stop it being what it’s supposed to be – which is a think on your feet puzzler

      It also nails the “just one more try” which has me totally hooked

      • automatic says:

        I get it is an action oriented game but these things you’re describing: pausing or slowing down the game, trying to figure stuff out, using resources creatively in your favor… those are elements of tactical games. From what I’ve seen so far it seems like a smart Hotline Miami. Since I enjoy tactics much more than action, for me it’s a less tactical, fast paced Duskers.

  17. Phasma Felis says:

    So, does just buying it before the deadline make the Everything Gun available to find in my game? Or do I need to play and find it in-game before the two weeks are up?

    • Zorgulon says:

      The latter. The special ship is supposed to spawn reasonably frequently, and is equivalent to a moderate difficulty mission, I think.

      But the Everything Gun seems like more of a daft bonus feature than anything you actually need to have in your arsenal.