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Frantic sci-fi caper Heat Signature is out now

Space japes

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.

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