Dabe Alan

You’ll never die alone: The neon-soaked panic of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

You’ll never die alone: The neon-soaked panic of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is an overwhelming game. You grab a friend for local co-op, run around the inside of the ship, and take control of the various stations to rescue the good guys and fight off the bad guys. It sounds easier than it is in practice.

“It’s a space ship simulator-slash-love tester. You’re in a space ship, it’s grossly understaffed,” Asteroid Base’s Jamie Tucker told the Report as we watched two players work out the game at PAX Prime. “Each level will be a constellation, you play through various solar systems in that constellation, and then you fight that constellation itself.”

The ship itself is almost like a mini level of a platformer. You have to deal with ladders, tight passages, and jumps to get to each station. If you want to steer, you have to get to the wheel. One station allows you to control the small, moving shield that protects a small portion of the ship. There are four turrets on the outside of the ship, with a station for each. You need to figure out what you need to do, and which stations to control, and in what order, to get that done.

“Your role is based on what station you’ve sat down at, the wheel is at the center, with the turrets and the shield around the ship,” Tucker explained. “The yellow one is the ‘holy F’ button, you press that one and it fires the super laser.”

It’s a ship designed for a larger crew, but that’s part of the fun: You feel like you’re just barely keeping things together, running from one station to the next. You have to yell out what you’re doing, where you’re going, and what needs to be done next. You can only survive by cooperating.

“The idea came out of a discussion about Artemis, and thinking how cool it would be to make a game out of that frantic scene in Star Wars where Han and Luke are climbing ladders and shooting TIE fighters in the Falcon,” the game's site states. “After developing a prototype at the game jam, we've been working on the game in full production mode since June 2012.”

The game's graphics also add to the charm. Everything is brightly colored and, while the designs are simplistic, everything on screen is easy to understand. It feels like being lost in a world of neon, and when the constellations come to life and begin attacking your ship it's certainly something to see.

The game is coming to the PC first, and Steam has already granted Asteroid Base a slot on the service due to being selected by the Indie Games Festival. “We’re also trying to pursue consoles right now, we’ve had discussions with various consoles that you may have heard of.”

“We’re trying to still figure out game balance, and then the next thing that comes is content. We have the basic game play loop down,” Tucker said. They’re looking at multiplayer, but taking this one thing at a time.

“I think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew anyway,” Tucker said, watching the current game play out. The two “lovers” on the couch win the battle, and the crowd cheers.