Monday morning is my time for calming soundscapes and otherworldly experience. The other world in this case is The Moon, the one you've been casting longing glances at for much of your life, thinking 'one day I will build a robot factory upon you, the moon, one day.' Today is not that day but Lunar Flight, which I've enthusiastically enthused about before, has since been released on Desura and Gamers Gate for £6.99. It's a lander simulation that seems simple at first but quickly becomes complex as you spin moon-ward, the last of your fuel burning away in an attempt to correct a course that ends in a crater of your own making. There's a launch trailer below.
Some handsome devil proclaims it to be a 'remarkably beautiful game', eh? I can only concur with such wisdom.
It really is though. with music the match of the visuals. It's a design that reminds me oddly of Uplink, being an excellent representation of what you would see in the situation simulated. Lonely and even eerie at times, the surface of the moon feels a long way from home, and it's the experience and depiction of place that is most impressive about Lunar Flight.
The missions themselves, which never cease to be generated by the bases, are a case of thrusting from point to point and they involve forward planning rather than twitchy adjustments. Don't get me wrong, I've spent a great deal of time twitchily adjusting but it's often ended in disaster. A successful pilot is one who plots his route and uses a degree of strategy in regards to fuel conservation, working out how to set a trajectory that requires the least amount of burn. When it all works, it's actually relaxing. When it doesn't, panic is your only companion.
My experiences with the beta were almost entirely positive, although with the rather obvious caveat that if you don't want to step into the moonboots of a lander pilot there isn't much else to do. No aliens to fight, no mysterious ruins to discover, just the graft of a career in lunar labour. Progress allows for upgrades, leaderboard bragging rights and a sense of calm satisfaction.
I had intended to spend more time on the moon with the full release but busy happened and I'm reaching the point where if I don't actually mention the release, I won't get around to it until Mars Flight has been released, simulating the historical construction of the first Mars robot factory.
Do you like the moon? Do you like patient and satisfying simulation? Do give this a go.