Into Space 3 Ideas and imaginative offerings for a future sequel
Great Game, Greater Sequel
As far as distance-based (or in this case, altitude-based) titles go, the Into Space series has so far delivered what can comfortably be referred to as some supremely superior gameplay. Into Space 2 is the latest title in which you attempt to live up to the same astronaut-aspirations as the first, and boy does it make for a good ride. The general aesthetics of the game are as smooth and imaginative as you are likely to see in a flash game, with various textures and models resulting in a game with barely any rough edges visible whatsoever. Similar quality and care is seen in the gameplay, with the game being based on an innovative vertical launch system, offering a ton of variables like helpful items and challenging hindrances; the game also allows you a catalogue of upgrades and a series of extra missions that provide a little distraction from the main launch arena. To claim the title to be flawless would be to spin a web of deceit, however, and should ‘Into Space 3’ ever pop out of the ground like a mischievous mole surfacing for a spot of sunlight, then here are a few ideas pertaining to features that would make this sequel eat the previous sequel’s liver with some fava beans and you know the rest.
That’s right, you’ve just seen bastardisation of the words upgrade and greed, and it should be immediately clear as to what I’m referring to: in true sequel style, we need a figurative explosion in the number of upgrades that were available in the previous game. That isn’t to say that Into Space 2’s offering of augmentations and spaceship improvements aren’t ample, but we’re dealing with a sequel here, where less isn’t necessarily more. Different upgrades in greater quantity and of increasing ridiculousness would be welcome on the scale seen in the superb flappy launch game Learn 2 Fly. How about a light-speed engine or warp-drive-like device? This wouldn’t be practical between Earth and Mars, of course, but we’ll get to that, and in the next paragraph, no less!
Intergalactic, Planetary; Repeat Inversely
All this talk of a warp drive with not enough space to use it! The obvious solution would be to tweak the storyline so that next time we get to travel to more distant reaches of space. Why stop at our humble galaxy? I’d like to see the Milky Way as a dot in the spaceship equivalent of a rear-view mirror. We could travel further afield using dedicated black holes (which are already a space-dwelling feature when you reach space in Into Space 2) and have multiple planets to shoot for. Come to think of it, Mars seems like a pretty unadventurous target considering the sheer size of the ever-expanding universe.
Into Space has always had boost gates that appear occasionally as you ascend to the heavens. Designed to give you a cumulative boost (that is, going through simultaneous gates in succession increases your speed over time as opposed to an instant super-boost), they hover in mid-air, inviting you to try and squeeze into the relatively small gap while travelling at high speed. The problem is that the manoeuvring and handling of the craft in Into Space 2 is so delicate that even the slightest tap on the boost gates sends you into a catastrophic tailspin, which is one of the most frustrating things in the world considering that they are supposed to be designed as an aid to your journey. Into Space 3 cannot continue as before with this one: change is needed to either the handling of the craft or the width of the gates.
One last shortcoming that can make for quite a bit of tediousness during the gameplay is concerned with the handling of the spacecraft itself. As a result of closely mimicking the physics of thrusters and boosters, the spacecraft’s handling is relatively unresponsive, making it extremely difficult to pull off some of the precise manoeuvring that is required to succeed in some of the additional missions, even after applying all of the more advanced boosters that you unlock later in the game. Perhaps the developers could take a look under the hood and tweak the mechanics of the craft to make the missions more achievable and the sluggish movement of the craft more responsive in away other 'aim for space' launch titles like the dolphin olympics; this would at least make some of the more difficult missions less frustrating to play.