NS Review – Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U)


“JOURNEY 2”

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

Two pyjama clad twenty-somethings continue JOURNEY 2 of a yet to be released Wii U exclusive whilst sprawled across their folded away sofa bed.

PILOT

(peering at the telly)

I’m still not moving. Have you even turned the engine on?

ENGINEER

(face deep within the Wii U GamePad)

Err… Oh, sorry!

The living room’s speakers recreate the CHUGGING SPLURT of an igniting fuel engine.

PILOT

Derp.

ENGINEER

Okay. Thrust is up, scanner on.

The telly shows a Small Craft™ aiming a beam of light at a floating entity.

PILOT

Scanning.

ENGINEER

Right this thing hates both sound, heat AND electricity.

PILOT

Switch engine and use the antigravity?

ENGINEER

Plan. Turning the decelerator completely off. Thrust maxed.

Ready?

PILOT

If you’re ready to cut the engine off then yes.

The team gather themselves monetarily.

PILOT

Ready.
(pause)
NOW!

The Engineer presses the corresponding electric engine power switch. The two of them both gawp at the telly with baited breath as the Small Craft™ drifts past the obstacle. However with unexpected momentum it follows on a direct course to something ultimately uninviting.

PILOT

YOU LEFT THE STICKY LANDING GEAR ON!!!

The small craft SUCTIONS to a halt. The Engineer’s fingers flail in desperation across the Wii U GamePad.

PILOT

WHAT YOU DOIN’!!!

The Pilot and Engineer GASP in unison which is followed by a JARRINGLY ABRUPT EXPLOSION!

FADE OUT.

This short script “JOURNEY 2” was brought to you by a typical couch co-op moment made possible by KnapNok Games and Nicklas Nygren’s latest title.

 

ASA - Ingame_03

Close encounters of a judgmental kind.

 

Come now would-be Wii U tourists and suspend your disbelief with me for one moment. Imagine a future where distant planet exploration could be classed as a crackin’ day out Gromit. That archaic theme park call to arms no longer being the minimum wage thrill seekers’ first choice. Nah, let’s make it a Uexplore day everybody! First one there gets the front seat in the Small Craft™!!!

The name of the game here is to pilot a consumer friendly spaceship across the mostly uncharted planet of Spectaculon. The label of Affordable Space Adventures presents one a kin to the humorous pluckiness of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But what you’re actually getting inside the tin is an unnerving side to side planetary trek with a stark Sci-Fi soundscape and much murkier visuals.

Up to two other of your nearest and dearest can take part too, and before you even think of booting up this game solo please reconsider the superior fun (trust me) that can be had with either a Pilot (2 player), or Navigator & Science Officer (3 player) on board. Aah, my old dwindling chum couch co-op, how I have always loved your company.

 

ASA - WiiUGamepad

“Push me, and then just touch me, till I can get my satisfaction.”

 

Sounds easy doesn’t it, piloting a craft. Think again. This game’s shtick is about giving you a vast array of periodically introduced cockpit functions which hinder the ease of just being able to analogue stick your way from A to B, and that’s even before we start thinking of Spectaculon’s hostile natives. The game revolves around mini puzzles of “how do we reach the correct criteria to navigate past this particular bit unscathed” (please see short script “JOURNEY 2” above).

Affordable Space Adventures has a wonderful habit of ramping the tension as you orchestrate those said attempts. The GamePad will be making a ruckus with BPM increasing blips and sporadic danger dials as your craft comes under any form of excess stress. You’ll be yelling at your co-op partner(s) to act faster, whilst they will be bellowing at you to actually use the gyro correctly so they can squeeze through that gap in a just-in-time-cinematic finale. There will be an aftermath of smiles regardless, and it’s the moments like these the game works folks, really, really works.

I recommend all to belly flop directly into the deep end whilst clutching the hand of a significant another, or willingly naive companion. Basically play it on the Technical difficulty with no less than an Engineer and Pilot combo. Then expletives of failure and ecstasy of success can be cherished together!

 

ASA - Screenshot-03

Cue Nelly’s chart toppin’ tune!

 

On the back of the box a linear journey piloted across 38 concise levels doesn’t exactly sound earth shuddering. However, the development team have masterfully trumped this by crafting gameplay which offers lip gnashingly proactive couch teamwork, supporting quite frankly some of the best in-game GamePad functionally I have wrestled with since Nintendo Land. Now that, would-be Wii U tourists, is a journey hands thrusters down worth donating a handful of your precious earth hours to!

Affordable Space Adventures is out this week on Thursday (09/04/15) worldwide as a Nintendo eShop exclusive for Wii U. This Nintendo Scene Impression wouldn’t have been possible without a press copy kindly provided courtesy of KnapNok Games.

 

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