There's a host of sci-fi adventures on a collision course with Earth these days. The latest to appear on the telescope are Simon Mesnard's ASA: A Space Adventure and Stage 2 Studios' Lifeless Planet. (With more trailing just behind, so stay tuned!)
ASA: A Space Adventure
If the thought of a "Myst game in space" gets you drooling, then look no further than ASA: A Space Adventure. After completing repairs on an old satellite in the year 2057, an astronaut becomes mesmerized by a mysterious black cube that suddenly lurches in space, severing his security cable. Intent on catching the cube in spite of the dangers, his oxygen is almost gone when he finally snares it. There's no chance to return to his own craft, but the cube abruptly teleports him to an unknown spaceship, and now he'll need to find a way to escape and make his way home.
A one-man production from indie developer Simon Mesnard, ASA is based on the author's self-published novel The Tower in the Space (available only in French) and began life as a short film in 2011. Citing Riven as his favourite adventure, now Mesnard is adapting his creation to a slideshow-style game that promises 9 different environments to explore (6 on the main spaceship, 2 planets, 1 satellite) with 360° panoramic views.
Production on ASA is quite far along, and Mesnard hopes to launch the game this November. The game is currently part of Steam's Greenlight program, so players have the opportunity to vote for it if you'd like to see it released there.
Forsaking the black, cold silence of outer space for dry, dusty (if alien) land is Lifeless Planet, a sprawling 3D adventure with some light action elements.
Lifeless Planet squeezes players into the spacesuit of a volunteer astronaut on a one-way journey in search of a life-sustaining planet. As the title suggests, what he finds instead is a "barren and inhospitable" wasteland, and with his fellow astronauts now missing and his oxygen tank leaking, his situation is quickly becoming desperate.
As players begin to explore, they'll discover what appears to be an abandoned Soviet colony. The small town has its own streets, houses and farms, even a science laboratory and an "extensive network of electric power lines with an uncertain purpose." But it's all deserted now, and the scattered documents and audio logs detail a colonization effort that went very wrong. Could this all be just an elaborate hoax, or have you uncovered a "Cold War secret...twenty light-years from Earth?" And who is the mysterious woman that appears when a "strange and deadly phenomenon" threatens your survival?
Inspired by such diverse sci-fi games as ICO, The Dig, and Out of This World, Lifeless Planet promises to be "a mix of exploration, platforming, and puzzle solving." Assisting with item collection is a mobile robotic arm that lets you reach otherwise inaccessible objects, while a jetpack will help you navigate some of the planet's natural obstacles.
Successfully funded by Kickstarter nearly a year ago, Lifeless Planet will be published by Lace Mamba Global, and is currently on track for release at the end of this year or early in 2013.