Nauticrawl jams you inside a weird alien vehicle that you don't know how to pilot and just lets you get on with figuring it out, or not figuring it out, dying and then trying a different approach. It's part sim, part roguelike and learning how to control your new vehicle is one big puzzle.
The vehicle, the innards of which you can see in the trailer above, is controlled using a complicated board of screens and levers and buttons begging to be pressed and pulled—the best kind of UI. It looks fantastic.
Learning how a ship works is one of the best parts of a space sim, so I'm delighted someone's gone and made a whole game about it. Creator Andrea Interguglielmi says it's the product of a childhood spent pretending to pilot submarines and robots, and years spent playing space sims and text adventures.
I'm reminded of Objects in Space, a space sim that plays more like a stealthy submarine game. Like Nauticrawl, it's a very tactile game where you experience the universe largely through little screens and radar readings.
Nauticrawl is due out on Steam on September 16.
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Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.