SPACEPLAN, I always wanted you to go, into SPACEPLAN! Intergalactic drive. Ah, just a nod to one hit wonder band Babylon Zoo their with its song Spaceman.
You had to be around in 1995 to get that.
But you don’t need to be in 1995 to play Jake Hollands’ SPACEPLAN, which is a unique and itsy-bitsy incremental clicker game. Yeah, read on to find out what that’s all about.
SPACEPLAN is Minimalist (and it has spuds)
The game is by Jake Hollands, an indie developer based in Sheffield of England (as opposed to Sheffield on Jupiter).
SPACEPLAN is part of the clicker genre (or incremental games), where players perform really basic actions to participate.
Kind of like text adventure games, but this one has a banging soundtrack and nods to physics and The Martian’s obsession with spuds.
The experience is summarised on the official site like this:
“Use manual clicks and the passage of time to create and launch potato-based devices and probes from your nondescript satellite orbiting a mysterious planet.
Unlock the mysteries of the galaxy or just kill some time in what the astrophysics community is calling the ‘best narrative sci-fi clicker game of all times’.”
Basically, you’re deep in space and orbiting a mysterious red planet (no, it’s not Mars).
For reasons unexplained at first, you must repair sonar panels, make potatoes, and create spudnik satellites to generate watts.
You do that by clicking a button, although watts also generate automatically the more your resource management grows.
One of the points of games like this is to walk away and leave it running in the background. This works well for SPACEPLAN, as you can wait for your total watts to shoot up and spend the energy and useful items.
At its best, SPACEPLAN is a most relaxing and engaging experience.
The graphics, as minimalist as they are, have a beautiful simplicity to them. And that’s complemented massively by the chillout soundtrack from American composer Logan Gabriel.
And as your spudnik probes orbit the planet, you’re really taken in by it all.
The story developers as you play, with a type of apocalyptic scenario developing involving some of Stephen Hawking’s concepts, plus the Sun going supernova (due to potatoes).
It’s a strange game, no doubts. Basically, it’s the space version of Minesweeper.
SPACEPLAN has an addictive charm to it. And if you only ever play one clicker game in your life, this is the one to pick.
It costs £2 (about $3) and is available on Steam, Android, and iOS. We can highly recommend it.
SPACEPLAN’s Banging Soundtrack!
Tunes! One of the key makers of SPACEPLAN as something of a mini-indie game classic is that fantabulous soundtrack.
Seriously, you wouldn’t expect something quite as brilliant here.
We’re glad Hollands commissioned Logan Gabriel to do the work, though, as this is stellar (or, should that be, interstellar) stuff!
It’s kind of a banging mixture of relaxing and ethereal numbers, merged alongside dance beats (like with the above Launch, our favourite from the game).
Bearing in mind this is a game where you, essentially, have to leave it be once you’ve setup your basic watt generation tactics.
Whilst your watts churn ever onward, you’ve got pelting numbers to keep you engaged and tuning in. Funky stuff? Yes.