Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime unveiled a new trailer at E3 today, joining Twitch during the second day of its E3 streaming coverage. Jamie Tucker, co-founder of Asteroid Base, came on the show to show off a game devoted to relationships, multitasking, and the power of love.
Two players are aboard a spherical spaceship clearly designed for a much larger crew. The ship has four turret cannons, one in each of the cardinal directions, a spinning super laser, a swiveling shield, and a navigation console. Players have to work as a team to operate all of these stations as they work their way through levels.
The levels themselves are bizarre and eye-catching. Neon colors and cartoony art styles are everywhere, as are a heart motif and deliberate cuteness. “We created this whole mood board of all these different influences, beginning with soviet-era matchboxes,” Tucker said. “After that we looked at Chris Ware, Scott Benson, for influence... We wanted to focus on the neon colors that we were borrowing from places like Powerpuff girls. It's something that won't turn people off, it will instantly attract people to the game.”
Lovers looks like a multitasking, communication, and teamwork nightmare. Playing with an actual lover may lead to a swift and dramatic breakup: Tucker observes that any breakdown in communication will most likely lead to instant failure. “It becomes a relationship simulator, where you have to work through your problems,” he laughs.
The video culminated with a battle against Ursa Major brought to life as an angry neon bear wearing an 80s-era sweatband. The silliness of the motif contrasts strongly with the brutal, hectic nature of the game.
For players not into establishing meaningful relationships, there is a solo mode. The second player is replaced by a dog companion (yes, there are also cat companions) who will autonomously control whatever station you send it to.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime still has a lot of work to do on building out its later levels and content, but the fundamental mechanics look to be tense and fun. The game previously won an award at PAX 10 as one of the show's outstanding games.
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