Shackleton Crater takes turn-based strategy to an accurately mapped moon

Omri Petitte at

Shackleton Crater

Kickstarter games continue to profit from our collective nostalgia, but the funding platform also represents fairly fertile territory for experimental concepts, like a game that considers humanity's possible future among the stars. Shackleton Crater is a mixture of survival and turn-based strategy from former EA co-founder Joseph Ybarra and a small team. It covers a century of lunar exploration and colonization, drawing inspiration from some of Ybarra's earliest published works during EA's innocent 1980s beginnings.

The campaign asks for $700,000 in 29 days to fund the full game and its planned features, which include co-op multiplayer and a dynamic event system to throw in random scenarios for your budding lunar colony. Gameplay splits into four phases—survival, construction, exploration, and utopian—covering the enormous effort and resources needed to build up a thriving settlement on the moon. Ybarra says the phases work similarly to previous strategy games he worked on such as MULE, the first SimCity, and Seven Cities of Gold.

The Unity-powered terrain is created from data fed by NASA's lunar probes and altimeters, and the result is an allegedly accurate layout of dips, rises, and craters. It's a nice touch of science upon the greyscale landscape, but a fully modeled moon won't appear unless donors hit the $3 million mark, a hefty stretch goal for one of the game's more interesting features.

Shuttle over to Kickstarter for more info on Shackleton Crater's pledge tiers and design plan.