Author Topic: Moonbase Alpha... by NASA... for you  (Read 2006 times)

Offline Starfox

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Moonbase Alpha... by NASA... for you
« on: February 22, 2011, 12:51:32 PM »
Completely missed this one but NASA developed a game. Well a simulation more like. Moonbase Alpha is primarily designed for multiplayer but you can try one map in single player that normally can be won alone.

The premise is fairly simple, NASA built a base on the moon but one day while you were outside performing exploration, a meteor struck the oxygen production equipment. You have 25 minutes to restore oxygen for your friends stuck in the base because this is all that is left within the reserves of your own suit. Fixing the equipment is done with what NASA think should equip a moon base in the future. You have a rover to go *relatively* fast from point A to point B robots to access area where you can't work yourself because of leaking equipment and a range of tools and spare parts.

My best time in single player: 20 minutes 32 seconds after 3 unsuccessful attempts. The main purpose of this game though is to be educational and to teach you how astronauts work. You have to set your tasks priorities in a correct order if you don't want to bust the whole thing, know exactly what you are going to do before doing it and be on the look out for unexpected events. The game changes the damage parameters each time you restart so do not even count entering a game exactly knowing what to do.

On the programming side Moonbase Alpha would benefit from more development has it is at time a little sluggish; I'm talking about the graphics of course, not the fact that your character move really slowly which is accurate. Graphics sometimes stutter for no apparent reason -- it's not like if the game could receive an award for the most outstanding graphics (on a system able to run Crysis in high the sluggishness if mildly  amusing even more when you know that the game is using the Unreal Engine) and does not feature any kind of control customization (controls are the typical WASD scheme and if you don't like it well, you'll have to go mess with the config files -- nothing too hard though). But on the good side the program is free as it is considered educational materiel published by an administration.

Free tip of mine: aside the rover on the moon the only real way to go fast is hopping like a bunny. Don't be surprised if you don't and that you fail. This is something I learned during my playthroughs, no way I could have achieved under 25 minutes if I didn't hopped everywhere.

At any rate, if you are thirsty for a little change in your gaming pace, go to the Moonbase Alpha website or the NASA page.

Note: STEAM is required to download and use this game.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 12:59:04 PM by Starfox »

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein