Imagine a sort of No Man’s Sky in which the protagonist is a real estate agent. Assume that the latter is also an entrepreneur and a building constructor at the same time, as well as – why not – an indebted astronaut. Add a subtle echo of the funny humor in style Pikminand you will have a first picture of the experience proposed by Space for Sale. Are you intrigued, but also a little confused? No problem. Start donning your spacesuit as we update you on the coordinates of your mission.
Among the games announced at the THQ Nordic Showcase, Space for Sale is the new creation of Mirage Game Studios. A team based in Sweden, the latter is best known for being the birthplace of the acclaimed Little Big Workshop, crazy management that places players at the helm of a magical factory. This time, the bar is raised: in the role of a minute astronaut we will not have to produce drones or electric guitars, but to satisfy the real estate dreams of a demanding clientele scattered in every known galaxy. Published by THQ Nordic, Space for Sale we were shown in action in preview: this is what we discovered!
Damn galactic debts
The awe of the vast and unexplored universe now seems to have vanished in the world of Space for Saleto the point that some particularly eccentric individuals would like to take up residence on a distant planet. Yet, the offer of comfortable accommodation on celestial bodies lost among the galaxies does not seem to be so wide. An unexplored market, in which there are ample earning opportunities, which the management ofEmpyre he has no intention of letting go.
The precise nature of this financial and industrial giant is not yet completely clear to us, but the focal point is basically only one: we owe him some money. A lot, a lot of money. Our minute protagonist has in fact contracted a debt with the Empyre, for what – rather ironically – seems to have been the purchase of a house on the planet Hellscape 5. To repay our mortgage, we ended up working for the same. company, which has well thought out to entrust us with build real estate on the most bizarre planets that populate deep space.
This, at least, is what we intuit from a brief chat between the protagonist of Space for Sale and his supervisor. On the occasion of the first success as an astronaut / real estate agent, the official is in fact ready to congratulate us, informing us that the stipulation of the sale has paid off our debt by as much as 0.003%. In short, the road ahead is still very long, but our little alter-ego is not afraid of anything. At least until, on a strange planet, he ends up stumbling upon a mysterious spaceship, animated by an unknown technology. Inside there is space for only one passenger, of which, however, there is no trace at the place of discovery. What is behind the troubling discovery?
To accompany us on this unusual journey, Space for Sale promises to offer light and light-hearted tones, which at first glance reminded us of the delightful space adventures of Captain Olimar (to find out more, you can find our special on the history of the Pikmin series), between bizarre creatures and shots of light-hearted scene.
The hard life of the astronaut …
With the aim of satisfying his customers, the little astronaut prepares to face a procedurally generated universe. Having reached a new planet, our task will be to acquire as much information as possible
on the ecosystem that surrounds us. By collecting units of a new material, for example, we will learn about its main characteristics, which will then be providentially noted on a practical Codex. On the compendium, we will also be able to keep track of the life forms sighted on the celestial body. To identify the latter, we will be able to resort to a practical scanner, which however we will have to use wisely. Not all creatures that lurk in the galaxy are in fact peaceful, and being attacked by some sort of exotic giant frog may not be the most dignified end for our unusual hero.
From what we have been able to observe, in Space for Sale there is no combat system. If attacked by hostile life forms, the protagonist in fact limits himself to flee, without trying to resist and face the danger. It is not to be excluded that with the progress of the adventure it is possible to unlock weapons of various kinds, but for the moment we cannot give it for sure. In any case, we will have to pay attention to preserve our health, because a few hits seem to be more than enough to knock us out.
Despite being unarmed, the space explorer has several gadgets and tools to rely on. In addition to the already mentioned scannerfor example, it is possible to exploit a kind of jackhammer to extract minerals from the rocks that populate the surface. Other resources, such as the scales of strange animals or intergalactic fruit, will not require any procedure to be collected. In other cases, it will be necessary on the contrary sharpen your wits in order to achieve the goal. In a specific mission, for example, the protagonist had to attract the attention of an aggressive amphibian, with the aim of involving him in a chase. By leading the animal near an explosive shrub, the astronaut was able to trigger the explosion of the plant and finally collect its coveted and rare nucleus.
… and the real estate agent
Once we have accumulated enough resources, we can take care of our main task, that is build homes to offer to customers. However, in order for the structures to be interesting in the eyes of potential buyers, we will have to worry about some preliminary operations. The first step, apparently, is to install a futuristic mailbox. Starting from the latter, a barrier will be generated that will identify the boundaries of the plot of land on which we can build the property.
Depending on the needs of our customers and our skills, we will be able to shape more or less luxurious housing structures, in a ranking structured in five classes. However, even the houses of lesser rank will have to meet some essential requirements, such as the availability of an energy source. In the gameplay sequences that we were able to view, the little astronaut was, for example, building a generator on the surface of a volcanic planet. Once placed on top of a crater, the implantation began produce electricity. Thanks to the use of structures similar to light poles, it was then possible to connect the generator to our plot of land, so as to power the main house. Different sized houses will obviously have variable energy needs.
But the eye also wants its part, and that is why in Space for Sale we will have to worry about making our property attractive also from an aesthetic point of view. To do this, we will be able to add at least bizarre features, including aeolian vuvuzela and means of transport that we could define as propulsion seats. If our work is able to win the interest of a customer, then we can finally proceed with the sale of the lotto be carried out in real time through the aforementioned post office box.
From what we have been able to observe in the reveal trailer of Space for Sale, the procedural system for generating the environments developed by the development team seems to be able to give life to somewhat diverse planets, among volcanic landscapes, luxuriant alien vegetation and desolating deserts. At this stage, however, it is still not possible to understand how much the variation of the settings will go to influence the dynamics of building construction. On the other hand, the possibility of giving life to an operational base on every planet. More and more complex, the latter will be able to host refineries, research centers and more. The appeal does not even seem to miss NPC to interact with during the adventure.
In closing, we cannot fail to mention the concluding sequence proposed by the announcement trailer of Space for Salewhich seems to suggest the presence of a multiplayer sector. But to find out more, we fear that we will have to wait a little longer!
Space for Sale: A space adventure with a debt-ridden astronaut