Playing like a space-age Oregon Trail, Spatial Flux aims to deliver a text-based adventure with high-quality backgrounds and pixel-based sprites for a retro feel in a modern game. The game will be released on Mac, Linux, PC, and several mobile platforms. The project is a collaboration between several different studios, although the project is being led and produced by Face2Palm Studios. Fortesounds LTD is in charge of the soundtrack and sound design, while Buko Studios will be responsible for the game’s graphics. The game is also a part of the Kicking it Forward project, which means a portion of their profit will be given to other Kickstarter projects. But, what what makes this game stand out from the other hundred games on Kickstarter? It will have hundreds, if not thousands, of events to play out and interact with.
The plot of Spatial Flux is simple—the world was destroyed by a combination of natural disasters, aliens, extraterrestrial warfare, and human stupidity. The only hope for saving the human race and finding a new home in the heavens lies across the universe and through torrents of special flux. Along the way, you’re caught by several events that will jeopardize your ship and crewmates. The game features a karma system that will cause your crewmates to either give their lives for you or plan a mutiny. Either way, it’s game over if you command your ship into disaster.
As far as their presentation goes, Spatial Flux is definitely a work in progress. If the resume of Buko Studios is anything to go by, the game will have outstanding style once it’s completed…but for now, it remains visually lackluster. The ship sprites are very stoic, and beyond moving in a straight line, they have no movement in them whatsoever. For a so-called modern game utilizing pixel art, the movement of sprites is very important. Hopefully they will incorporate this in their final product so that their game appears alive, and at a greater caliber than an old 90s shooter game. The backgrounds and effects could be flashier, but seeing as the graphics are ultimately for a text-based rogue-like, and not a bullet hell game, I suppose they suffice. The music is also very typical and has no obvious character. Hopefully better funding will fix all of these aspects.
The game has a lot of potential in a generation where many younger gamers have forgotten or simply don’t know about Oregon Trail. Seeing where the ship ends up will be quite exciting, especially since the difficulty of this game is ramped up with an auto save feature and only one save slot. There will be an opportunity to switch ships and both improve and damage them. Once again, there are hundreds (if not, thousands) of events planned, so even with multiple play-throughs, it would be difficult to have repeat events. The number of events will likely depend on the amount of funding that the game gets—they are currently resting at £737 out of a £2000 goal (which is pretty small for a game with that many events). If you are interested in Spatial Flux and would like to support the game, be sure to donate to its Kickstarter campaign as the month winds down!