Posts Tagged ‘Extrasolar’

The Bleeding Edges: Extrasolar

The Bleeding Edges is a series of articles on alternative reality gaming – games that blur the line between reality and fiction, smudge the edges of the frame and let the game bleed over into your real life.

When I reviewed The Temporal Invasion last week, I lamented that it fell short of the reality-augmenting pleasure* that I’d found in 2003’s In Memoriam, and wished there were more games that could blur reality and fantasy in such interesting ways. People told me about some. I’ve been playing them. And goodness me, if I’m not rather enjoying playing Extrasolar [official site].

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Rover’s Return: Extra Extrasolar

Browser-based planetary exploration/photography/conspiracy/ARG oddity Extrasolar was a smart idea that offered beautiful rendered ‘photos’ of an alien world as you remotely steered a rover across it, but it was eventually laid low by repetition (and amateur dramatics). I said so here, and as we all know things written in the past are irrefutable. While it did enough clever stuff to keep me very much interested in what it might attempt for its planned second ‘season’, I didn’t anticipate it taking to Kickstarter in order to continue its ambitions.
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Wot I Think: Extrasolar

Extrasolar is a browser-based game about controlling a lunar rover as it explores the surface of an island on a far-off planet, poring over the photographs it returns, and inadvertently uncovering a conspiracy as you do. It’s out now, and while paid upgrades are available it can very be much played for free – as such the below is a discussion of the experience, not the value proposition.

For the last fortnight or so, I’ve been playing a game for approximately three minutes every hour. (I’d like to say ‘apart from at night’, but thanks to my living on a noisy street and having a baby in the next room, that would be a barefaced lie.) I didn’t do much, myself, though the small amount of clicking and reading at my end did result in a remote-controlled rover travelling vast distances across another world, light years away from our own. So, in a way, I did a great deal.
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Explore Strange New Worlds, Get Weird Emails: Extrasolar

So, a clever thing happened before I’d even started playing the game which has me on Spoiler Protection Alert, and thus rather ill-placed to say useful things about Extrasolar. Added to that is that this planetary exploration game itself plays in real-time, which means I need to wait several hours for my interstellar rover to trek across miles of alien terrain before I can usefully report back on the unfolding adventure. Which does, of course, mean I’ve spent far too much of today starting a timer in a browser window, desperate to see what’s going to happen when it reaches zero.

Extrasolar is free, though optional paid upgrades are available. You should sign up while you wait for me to file a longer report. Though I do believe there are limited spaces. Perhaps you’ll find a way to get in anyway.
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We’ll Go Some More A-Roving: Extrasolar

The Nevada Desert
A potentially habitable planet has been discovered outside our solar system and, right now, the eXoplanetary Research Institute is looking for volunteers to explore the surface. You’d be controlling a rover and gathering data on the planet and its inhabitants, whether flora or fauna. Sound good? That’s the premise of the new game from Lazy 8 Studios, makers of Cogs. It’s called Extrasolar and it’s nigh on impossible to figure out how it’ll play at the moment since the marketing takes the form of a fictional website for a fictional company. We’re promised a narrative experience and it sounds like players will work together to unveil the planet’s mysteries over time. The website is a good read and there’s at least a polite nod toward actual space science history. Hopefully that will carry through to the game. Trailer/recruitment video below.

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