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Impossible arena shooter Spaceflux has my head in a spin

Maps within maps within maps.

I've seen a lotta shooters in my time, but five seconds into Spaceflux's early access trailer and my brain's already turned to soup. Not content to use recursive geometry for puzzles, Calin Ardelean's fractal shooter takes these non-euclidean spaces and asks you to play a round of Quake in their infinite hallways. Out today on Steam Early Access, I just hope it's not as stomach-churning as that sounds.

Oh, and there's a gun that fires sofas at people. All things considered, I reckon that's one of the more mundane parts of this outrageous installation.

Spaceflux actually showed up on these pages in a Screenshot Saturday Sundays post back in August. The antithesis of the closed corridors that make up most arena shooter maps, Ardelean's maps are impossible nightmares - folding in on themselves, wrapping around their own edges as the ground falls into the sky.

So far, so Maquette. But this is a shooter, I suppose, and some concessions have been made to stop you losing your opponents in infinity. You'll always appear at every level of recursion at once, meaning enemies can sneak up on you from any instance of the map - whether it's on top of, beside, or inside the plane you're currently viewing.

More wrenches have been thrown in to make the affair even harder to track, mind. Maps are fully destructable (and constructable?), gravity can be changed at any minute, and while I hate the trailer's "meme weapon" phrase, there is certainly a joy in hurling pineapples at someone until they burst, Superhot style. I do love the style of it all, too, building impossible deathmatches out of a sort of neon plasticine.

Spaceflux hit Steam early access today, and can be picked up for £11.39/€12.49/$14.99. Before launch, Ardelean hopes to add simple shooter features like 16-player free-for-all and a fourth dimension. Normal stuff.

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Natalie Clayton


Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes