Space is fine, but it could do with more disco. The Wild Gentlemen agree, so they’re making RetroSpace, a colourful yet horror-filled immersive sim set on a city-sized, time-hopping spaceship from the 60’s. It’s got creepy bug men, creepier flower ladies, and drugs that can turn you into “a tentacle-armed, mind-controlling, shadow-lurking mutant”.
The Wild Gentlemen are the developers behind noir detective game Chicken Police, making this a pleasing pivot from grizzled chickens to grizzly chic ions.
The spaceship takes more than a few cues from Kirk’s Enterprise, and I’ll be amazed if there isn’t a Star Trek plot where their ship also gets sucked into a black hole that causes it to constantly swap between two time periods while filling the corridors with bug-eyed horrors. Thems the breaks, in space.
I’m always a little wary when games claim to be immersive sims, seeing as it’s much easier to deploy the term as a marketing buzzword than actually make a game that genuinely rewards a wide range of approaches. The Steam page claims “total avoidance” will be “as legit as a diversion, trap setting, or full-on balls-to-the-wall action”, and also mentions hacking and finding hidden routes. The trailer does show vents you can crawl around in, so that’s a solid start.
The shooting doesn’t look very satisfying, sadly, so I’ll be opting for the sneaky route. Hopefully that’ll be made more interesting by the Mutamods, which you can equip to grow tentacles or mind-control powers at the cost of “unexpected and irreversible side effects”. The Steam blurb also teases “a meaningful death/rebirth system with a unique twist”, presumably linked to the respawning clone degradation it mentions elsewhere.
RetroSpace has cropped up multiple times in Alice O’s Screenshot Saturday Monday roundups, though it only just got its name.
I used to be in charge of the music around here, so I’ll seize this chance to share The Imagined Village’s affectionate homage to old-school space silliness. If The Wild Gentlemen licence this I’ll buy RetroSpace no matter how naff the shooting is.
There’s no word on when RetroSpace will be out, beyond Steam’s “coming soon” tag.