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Starxium 20XX is a drive 'em up with interesting ideas and a lovely sun

Tron, but with a cool sun

It's appropriate that Starxium 20XX caught my eye with one of the best suns in videogames. Just look at that dappled opalescence, shining down on a Tron-style multiplayer driving game where special abilities are charged by doing cool stunts. I've played a little of a super-early prototype that you can nab for free, and it's every bit as soothing as it looks.

Well, almost. There's a disclaimer that's very keen to point out that this is a pre-alpha demo, "missing 95% of the features of the final game". Cars drift along in eery silence, against backdrops, ramps and tracks that are evidently placeholder. Apart from that sun. If they mess with the sun, I'm out.

It's still a pleasant place to spend a few minutes, and I've just been chilling in the "freeride" mode. The multiplayer was borked for me, but it involves hacking a train while punting rival racers away. It's "not a racing game", insist developers The Midnight Team - it's a capture point game "where the point is a moving convoy that runs at 200km/h in the middle of a big highway".

Automobilic acrobatics charge your special power, which might let you ram into other cars at speed or teleport your teammates. Which doesn't actually sound soothing at all, but is an interesting twist on traditional drive 'em ups. The dev's post on ModDB also mentions an upcoming battle royale mode, which sounds about as soothing as a bath in that sun I'm so enamoured with. It's cool and all - just really not the vibe I expected from the trailer.

There's no word on when Starxium will be finished, though you can wishlist it on Steam.

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