Next Sunday is Cosmonautics Day, in homage to the first manned space flight made by Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12th, 1961. We are already warming up engines at Appszoom headquarters to celebrate the milestone.
Space exploration has inspired thousands of books, movies and, of course, videogames. All of us, galaxy nerds and sci-fi geeks alike, feel in our element talking about space stuff. Light years, black holes and aliens! Concepts that brings us closer to the original dream of mankind: to go where no one has gone before.
We cannot physically put you into a spaceship, destination Mars (it seems Mars One can't either). But we can quench your thirst for space videogames with this fantastic, human-curated compilation of top-notch titles.
At the overlap of space adventure puzzle and artistic exploratory fantasy you'll find Breach Entertainment's Shardlands. A master piece which guarantees an intense gaming experience.
Shardlands puts you in the shoes of an intrepid space cadet lost in space whose only way to go back home is collecting ancient keys scattered around alien galaxies. It perfectly combines a stunning scenery, an engaging gameplay and a bitter soundtrack. Such level of greatness that you will forget you are playing on a mobile device.
Sci-fi and beauty brought together for your delightment.
Add to a bowl: an ounce of micromanagement gaming, sprinkle in a pinch of Star Trek and Stargate goodness, and pour in a good glug of action and retro pixel art in equal parts. Stir it all up. Et voilà! Fresh-baked Star Command ready to serve.
Unless you have a problem with paying the three bucks it costs (no lite version available), you'll sit on the team captain chair and must control all the aspects of a space caption: from crew hiring and leveling, starship design, xeno-diplomacy, battles and scientific tree harvesting.
Mi-Clos Studio's Out There is actually a gamebook, a mobile interpretation of a space-theme choose-your-adventure. The final goal is to survive in outer space as long as you can, which is something you only will be able to achieve by making the right choices. Manage your ship and its upgrades, gather hints to decrypt alien languages and explore and probe planets you come by.
Don't think it will be as easy as failing a few times to discover the right path to take: some in-game elements are randomly generated which guarantees unique gaming experiences each time you try. The artwork is outstanding, the music intriguing and the controls mobile-native.
But of course, beards. Beards in space. Because, why not?
Qwiboo's Beyond Gravity is the most casual option of the list. A physics-based platformer puzzle that requires fast-reflexes to bound a lumberjack-spaceman from planet to planet. You'll be using planet's gravitational force and the magic power of your beard to jump from one planet to the next, collecting screws and cogs to rebuild a spaceship that will bring you back home.
Beyond Gravity has high replayability value thanks to dynamically generated levels, simple yet daring physics and well-crafted graphics. Oh, and a beard long enough to reach the minimum hipster standards.
All Appszoom editors agreed: A Star Wars videogame must be included in this compilation. Period.
That being said, Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Tiny Death is one of the titles we've enjoyed the most. A brilliant management game in which what has to be managed is the... Death Star! With such a premise is difficult to put up any resistance. If, in addition, you add Tiny Tower's saga addictive gameplay and beautifully pixelated Star Wars characters, then you have enough reasons to stop what you are doing and get it installed on your device.
If you are sensible to anything that oversteps Star Wars's lore, have ready your best poker faces. Star Wars: Tiny Death is as disrespectful as hilarious.