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Co-op space disaster party game Catastronauts is out now

These are the voyages of the starship secondprize

Catastronauts's mash-up of FTL's stressful space combat and Overcooked's messy co-op is an inspired hybrid and a fit logical enough to satisfy even a Vulcan. Released today and made by Inertia Game Studios, it's a co-op party game for one to four people, ideally huddled around a TV and free to shout at each other. As a crew of expendable and all-too-fragile redshirts (and other colours, but whatever), you've got to keep your ship functioning as it braves stellar dangers, fights hostile aliens and generally lands you in all kinds of trouble. Below, the launch trailer.

I got to play a little bit of Catastronauts at Rezzed earlier this year, and it really does feel like scurrying around as one of the little crewmen in FTL, your tiny fragile body pummelled by incoming enemy fire as you try to extinguish flames, keep guns firing and airlocks shut. While I've not played either extensively enough to claim this definitively, Catastronauts felt a little faster and messier than Overcooked, with players needing to coordinate less, but look out for their own well-being a little more. Thankfully, buddies can clone you back to life if you get yourself (or a buddy) deaded.

Matt took a brief peek at the game at EGX for his animal round-up. Initially confused that it wasn't about Cat Astronauts, he came to the same conclusion; it's a neat little game - "Rad", even. Sadly, Catastronauts is local co-op only, but thankfully hooking a PC up to a TV is easier than it used to be thanks to the proliferation of gaming-spec laptops and devices like the Steam Link. Not ideal for everyone (especially those with full tower PCs in another room), but party games on PC are more portable than they used to be.

Catastronauts is out now on Steam, and costs £12.39/€13.29/$15.99.

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