Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is an upcoming couch co-op by Asteroid Base in which you and a friend go on a mission to rescue space bunnies and restore balance to the galaxy. It’s incredibly bright, incredibly silly, and incredibly fun. I first tried it out at the EMP Museum’s Indie Game Revolution exhibit, but at PAX Prime this weekend I got to talk to the developers and try out a different level, this time with my partner David. (It seemed appropriate.)
David and I were sharing control of a 2-D, round, pink spaceship with a half a dozen control stations for things like the map, the helm, various weapons turrets, and the shield. We had to run around between the stations in order to successfully man our understaffed ship. I spent most of the demo at the helm because I wanted to keep us moving, rather than stay parked and attract more enemies. Occasionally, if we got surrounded, I would leap off and run to the shield or one of the weapons. David and I were talking non-stop during the demo to let the other know which part of the ship we were looking after.
“One [inspiration] was the game Artemis, a bridge simulator kind of like Star Trek,” said Jamie Tucker from Asteroid Base. “Everyone brings their own computer and that’s your station on the ship. So each person has a role. We wanted to put that into a self-contained, single screen…You have to figure out what’s going on and communicate with each other.
“It’s also like that scene from Star Wars where Luke and Han are running to the turrets and shooting TIE fighters.”
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime was created by a three-person team and has been in production for three years. This is Asteroid Base’s first big game, and they are (understandably) really excited for the game’s release one week from today.
This is one of those rare games where the team is 100% cooperative, and not competitive at all. I asked Jamie if he thought it would work well for two players who might not be evenly matched in skill, and he said that as long as one player was able to take the lead or do the heavy lifting, that it would be very easy for the beginner to stay parked at a single station and still be useful. Whether the pairing is parent and child or two lovers, this game has something to offer. There’s even a casual mode, if the frenetic explosions of color are a bit too overwhelming.
Lovers also comes with a single-player mode in which you play with an A.I. dog or cat, but that sounds like a lot less fun to me. My favorite part of playing was communicating with David while we steered our lumbering pink bubble through dangerous asteroid chunks.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is best played on controllers, but two players can share a keyboard if need be. The game is coming out for Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux on September 9.