Affordable Space Adventures (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By Adam Riley 29.09.2014

Review for Affordable Space Adventures (Hands-On) on Wii U

One of the best games on Wii U eShop without a doubt is the stunning Knytt Underground that kept the Cubed3 team glued to its GamePad over Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014. It was one of those titles that simply would not let go, and now Nifflas is back with a new eShop release by the name of Affordable Space Adventures, which was talked about in Cubed3's exclusive interview earlier this year. EGX 2014 was an opportunity to finally go hands-on with the intriguing project…

This is a collaborative project, bringing together the creative mind of Nifflas' Games and the console know-how of Knapnok Games (the team that brought Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party to Wii U eShop). From the off, rather like Knytt Underground to some extent, there is really no clue as to what is going on! Shocking, but true. This is about perseverance. The demo started off with a rickety old ship trundling along large, dark expanses, with a small beam of light pouring forth from the front of the craft. Floating along almost became tedious enough to walk away from the pod and try something else, but thankfully a little bit of coaxing from the lady at the booth meant the fruit of the game could eventually be sampled and enjoyed.

This is all about working gradually through space, fixing the terribly cheap ship that has been purchased, whilst completing various missions without being detected - and ultimately destroyed - by the numerous deadly threats all around. Patience is required, and plenty of concentration, but there is a great title waiting for those that give it the time it deserves.

Screenshot for Affordable Space Adventures (Hands-On) on Wii U

As play went on, engine thrust could be tweaked for extra speed, but levels had to be checked so overheating did not occur. A scanning ability came into play to disable some bots, whilst it was also possible to find out what status the ship needed to be in to get past others (reduce speed and engine heat, or even electrical output, for instance). Increasing the ship's mass - at the expense of forwards thrusting power - was required to sink underwater, gradually reducing the mass effect and turning thrust back on the carefully navigate the depths. Another element was the stabiliser that allowed for safer manoeuvring of the rundown craft. When first playing through, it felt like the game was broken due to its early state, with a ship that felt awful in terms of handling. However, once the stabilisers were enabled, suddenly everything became incredibly smooth and the clever nature of the gameplay was actually revealed. Stabilising the ship, sticking on the scanner, turning up the engine thrust…all of these are great and make everything seem so wonderful, yet cause problems for the rust bucket being controlled. Therefore, a balance of them all, as well as usage of a laser blaster when required, must be worked out at the appropriate times to suit the correct situations.

The play session ended due to sheer frustration, sadly, since standing for long periods hunched slightly whilst playing at a demo pod is not ideal for a game where high levels of concentration are required. Staying low to avoid lightning bolts, tagging bots with the scanner to disable them, even triggering various switches and then firing off the laser beam at certain angles to open new pathways - they were all feasible, flicking levels around using the GamePad and then looking back at the TV monitor quickly before anything untowards happened. Delicately navigating between parallel lasers whilst having to turn the engine thrust down and stabilisers almost to the 'off' setting so as to not disturb nearby enemies, but bringing back 'wobbly ship'…well, that was one that needed a proper sit down and plenty of patience!

Screenshot for Affordable Space Adventures (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

Whilst sounding frustrating towards the end, Affordable Space Adventures actually picks up where Knytt Underground left off, bringing gamers a highly in-depth title that requires plenty of time and patience to truly appreciate - preferably in a quiet environment rather than the busy EGX show floor. Nifflas' Games and Knapnok have a potential smash hit on their hands here, and its release cannot come soon enough.

Developer

Nifflas' Games

Publisher

KnapNok

Genre

Action

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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