Substream offers rhythmic, looped space aerial combat; is now on Kickstarter


Space has looped in on itself. This could have been a maddening nightmare of minutia: if it happened to me, now, it would result in an unending recursion of empty coffee cups and foam Darwinians. Luckily, in Substream, there are guns, morphing environments and weird, alien spacecraft. It's an on-rails aerial shooter, (like Starfox, or Rez,) but instead of one ship against many, the space-loop causes infinite copies to co-operate in a rhythmic battle across a variety of levels.

Don't worry, there's a trailer to shows how this works.

Your enemies loop, too. It means that, while the repeat dangers can look overwhelming, in practice you only need to focus on a narrow segment of the approaching ships.

Having played the first few levels, what makes Substream stand out is the way the environments react to the music. The controls and shooting are perhaps a little too slow in the early preview build, and my early impressions weren't altogether favourable. Then the first level's backing track kicked up a notch, and the environment and enemies came to life. It was a much better indication of the game's potential, even if there's clearly a lot still to be done.

For more, head to Substream's Kickstarter page; where developer Ben Bradley is hoping to raise £9,000.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.