Space for Sale, space construction by THQ Nordic in preview

Is being a real estate agent in space your dream? Now you can be, thanks to Space for Sale, which recently premiered at the THQ Nordic Showcase.

The showcase of THQ Nordic it was undoubtedly substantial and the publisher managed to slip a myriad of trailers with discreet grace into the 45 minutes of the show. Among the many games presented, however, there were only four absolute novelties, and it was inevitable that among these it was Alone in the Dark that took most of the attention, given the importance of the brand involved. Yet, in the group of new arrivals, another title has captured our interest, thanks to its cartoonish look and the interesting underlying idea: we are talking about Space for Sale, a sort of weird management “city builder” where, however, they are not built. entire city centers, but the goal is to make alien planets habitable for customers from all over the galaxy.

At the reins of the project are the Mirage Game Studios – developers of the good Little Big Workshop – and from what we have seen there is the possibility of being in your hands a little gem full of humor. Here’s what they told us in Space for Sale preview.

Space, the last frontier of construction

Space for Sale: don't be fooled by the tranquility of the situation, dangers are around every corner.  Or any plant in this case

Space for Sale: don’t be fooled by the tranquility of the situation, dangers are around every corner. Or any plant in this case

There premise of Space for Sale is a classic: your alter ego has huge debts to pay off with an alien construction company and the only way to repay them is to throw a triple pike in all the most thankless jobs this has to offer. Considering that the aforementioned company works on a galactic scale, the best way to be useful is to make habitable planets normally full of dangers, taking a fair percentage of the lots of land sold.

Yes, in other words, Space for Sale is not the “usual” management system, precisely because its premise seems to guarantee continuous movements of the protagonist during the campaign. Your little man armed with a spacesuit and fantasy, in fact, should not stay too long on the various celestial bodies, since once satisfied the clientele it will be necessary to switch to other ecosystems. This greatly distinguishes the game from a city ​​builder or from a classic management system, due to the constantly changing situations, and also distances it from the previous work of the team, which was based on the continuous evolution of a small factory and on the constant increase in the level of challenge. Ah, apparently the environments will be generated in part procedurally, so each game will be an experience in itself.

The particular structure of the game does not mean, however, that there is no underlying complexity. The Mirages have specified that it is still a sandbox, where the recovery of resources and land management are essential. In addition, a growing difficulty should be guaranteed by the absurdity of the requests, due to the already underlined alien nature of the customers. If, in fact, most of the time you will only have to limit yourself to building functional homes, in other more bizarre cases you may have to meet needs that are nothing short of crazy, such as the construction of pools full of lava; we are seriously curious to see how far mission objectives will go, and how they will change according to the planet.

Builders, not warriors

Space for Sale: Lava-packed planets are a constant risk, but some customers like the heat

Space for Sale: Lava-packed planets are a constant risk, but some customers like the heat

The complexity does not seem to stop at the requests: we did not go into particular depth of the mechanics during the presentation, but it is clear that at the base of the game there is a fairly elaborate system of construction of the houses, with a lot of possibility to shape a energy network (and probably also water, if logic wants). That wasn’t enough, the facilities require materials to be placed, and this is where the collection comes into play, which emphasizes exploration a lot.

Each planet has Flora and fauna unique, and since they are alien plants and creatures there is no shortage of surprises; it is therefore not the case to approach without thoughts to everything in sight: large flowers could easily explode, and the behavior of the animals could be anything but peaceful.

Space for Sale: you are not a fighter, so to get the minerals on the shell of this strange beast you will have to use means

Space for Sale: you are not a fighter, so to get the minerals on the shell of this strange beast you will have to use “alternative” means

There fauna it is also central to the gameplay, since one’s alter ego is not a warrior and cannot actively fight against beasts that prove to be aggressive. Outside of the simple escape, therefore, it seems that in the title it is possible to make certain creatures harmless simply by exploiting the surrounding environment. An interesting example involved a kind of strange space crab with a great love for fruit: once fed on a sleep plant, ours went to sleep, allowing us to safely recover minerals from her shell. We suspect there will be many similar situations during the campaign.

Other goodies? Well, the simple storyline of Space for Sale seems not only related to your debts, but also to a strange “space corruption” called, in fact, Space Rot, which must be countered at all costs to make certain areas habitable. In addition, the game also offers a cooperative mode potentially very hilarious, although for the moment it is limited to just two players and the additional options it offers in terms of gameplay have not yet been analyzed in detail.

Colorful, full of humor, and conceptually very interesting, Space for Sale could be one of the best surprises presented during the THQ Nordic showcase. Of course, it is difficult to properly evaluate such a game from a short presentation, yet the foundations for an original title with the right depth seem to be all there.

CERTAINTIES

  • Original and potentially very varied concept
  • Very interesting two-person cooperative

DOUBTS

  • Effective depth of the systems still to be evaluated

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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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