Even amidst the rise of 3D graphics and a level of fidelity that lets you see every pore in a character’s face, the 2D platformer has endured as one of the most popular and accessible genres today. That’s in large part thanks to its versatility, as you can use that 2D skeleton to create anything from a horror game, to a Metroidvania, to–as the case may be–a space-based co-op crafting and exploration game.
Throw a few of your best buddies into the mix, and untold hours of adventure await. Built using a custom in-house engine, Astronimo is the charming new puzzle-crafting platformer from Coatsink (who’ve previously published dog-dog puzzler PHOGS! and worked as development partner on legendary party game Gang Beasts).
You and up to three of your friends are humble employees of Hypergiant Inc, who find themselves stranded when their vessel crash-lands on a planet. It’s not the end of the world though, because it’s during the times of hardest tribulation that the greatest bonding experiences are forged!
With your fellow castaways, you must work together and merge your creative and logical minds if you’re to find your way back to your home vessel. Don’t worry though, this isn’t some gruelling survival experience where you get hungry, tired, and deprived of oxygen, forcing you to tear the canisters off your friends’ backs to survive. Instead, Astronimo leans into the playful side of you and your friends trying to get yourself out of a sticky situation.
Gather resources, create contraptions, and get creative as you try to build a shuttle to blast yourselves back out into space. Not everything is hard work in Astronimo though. Goof around with your friends using various emotes and animations, play as a dog, and bounce around to some sweet beats as you figure out the lay of the planet and come up with crazy-creative contraptions to harness the power of space travel. Who knows? Maybe that planet you find yourself on will start to feel like home, and you’ll decide to settle there with your friends instead of heading back out into space. It really is up to you.
It doesn’t all end once you leave that first planet either. As Astronimo embarks on its Early Access voyage, two more planets will join that initial one, eventually giving you a veritable solar system of diverse space rocks to explore. With almost no loading times, your exploration of this slice of the cosmos will be pretty much seamless, which is really what everyone wants from a space game.
Just as critical to the game’s mission as the main campaign is the Community Moon, which is essentially a level editor that takes the brakes off your building ventures. There will also be a Garage Mode, serving as a kind of workshop in which you can tinker and invent to your heart’s content, helping you craft the perfect world without limitations. In the vein of classic creation engines like LittleBigPlanet, Astronimo will be looking to harness the creativity of its community, letting you share your inventions on Steam Workshop with your fellow cosmonauts.
Astronimo enters Steam Early Access later this year, but if you’re already itching to jump into your space suit, you and your friends can also apply for the Technical Beta, which is live right now and runs until February 27. Prospective players are already heading into the game’s communities on Discord and Twitter, so why not join them, and count yourself among the early pioneers on this vibrant new space venture.