April 15, 2014 8:30 AM | Anthony Swinnich
The mission was simple enough. Rescue five space bunnies using our spherical ship and return to the portal to move on. How hard could it be, especially with the help of a friend? Turns out, those who don't communicate while playing Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime don't deserve to move on. But if the PAX East preview build proved anything, it's that the game is still a lot of fun, even if you don't exactly win.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a pretty odd duck, so I'll try to explain the gameplay base. You and a crew member are in a ship and need to navigate the vast expanse of open space to rescue space bunnies. The problem is the ship has seven incredibly important stations that the two crew members will need to man.
Managing your time at each of the ship's seats, especially in the face of danger, is the key for success. You'll be under duress from all sorts of intergalactic threats that want nothing more than to fire missiles at you until you explode. Do you man the forcefield station to deflect incoming attacks, or do you take the wheel and hightail it out of there? What about your friend -- perhaps they should take a seat at one of the turrets and try to eradicate the threat. But who will man the other side of the ship where even more enemies are coming your way fast? It's a pretty frantic set up, but it's a lot of fun.
Those who work together will do the best, but those who don't will likely be the most entertaining to watch. My friend and I were able to secure the five required bunnies to unlock our exit. Unfortunately we took too much damage doing so and exploded literally one inch away from the goal due to an errant rocket. I probably should have been a little more proactive with the turrets. He might tell you the same, or have a similar feeling about how he played. Either way, we failed (and had fun) as a team. And if we played again we'd know how to work together a little better than before.
Those who don't have a friend to play with in real life (as this is local co-op only) will be able to play alone with an AI-based partner, though I can't imagine the experience is quite as enjoyable this way. Yelling at a computer-controlled co-pilot for crashing into a planet likely doesn't have the same cathartic effect it does with a real life person. Besides, you might be thankful for a second set of hands once you run into one of the game's planned boss battles.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime will be available on Windows, Mac and Linux through Steam. Console versions are possible someday. Unfortunately the release date is still out there floating among the stars, unseen by human eyes. "When it's done" is the official word from Asteroid Base.