If you’re a Nintendo fan, you should pull out your calendar and put a big red circle around March 27th. This is the day the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop will officially close their doors. It’ll be your last chance to pick up digital copies of all your digital games, from classic Virtual Console games to first-party exclusives.
There’s no shortage of good games worth picking up before that deadline hits, though some of the systems’ best titles can be purchased on other platforms. But one game in particular finds itself in an awkward position: Space adventures at affordable prices. If you have a passing interest in the Wii U exclusive, you’ll have to act fast, because it’ll completely die out at the end of the month.
Space adventures at affordable prices It is an indie game created by Swedish developer Nicklas Nygren. Unlike many of the standalone games released on the Wii U, it was never ported to another platform. That’s because it’s one of the rare games that actually dared to take advantage of the system’s two-screen premise. This makes it the best game of the platform’s era, as it’s a true showcase of how the Wii U gamepad creates innovative experiences.
As its name suggests, Space adventures at affordable prices It is about a Hungarian tourist who buys a cheap flight to the stars. Naturally, this goes off as you’d expect, and they’re stuck in space driving a rickety ship. On TV, the game plays like a standard 2D puzzle game where players have to navigate their ship around lasers, aliens, and more dangers.
However, the unique trick is that the Wii U gamepad acts as the ship’s control pad. Using the touch screen, players manage all of the ship’s functions on the go. Some are simple, like controlling the ship’s scanner or deploying the landing gear. Others are more complex, putting a unique systems management experience right in the middle of a puzzle game. Players have to keep track of meters such as heat and electricity, and tinker with their engines to ensure the ship is running smoothly at all times. It’s a tactile experience that really puts players in the cockpit without switching to a first-person view.
When it comes to Wii U games, Space adventures at affordable prices It is almost in a class of its own. It’s a rare game for a system that understood how transformative a second screen can be. Most games on the platform didn’t quite know what to do with a gamepad, throwing menus or maps at it. Even Nintendo seemed to abandon the idea by the end of the console’s life, and not use it at all. Space adventures at affordable prices Both highlighted how unique and underutilized it was. To this day, I haven’t enjoyed the system as much as dialing in a decelerator to keep my ship from catching fire.
Unfortunately, the wild creativity of this indie gem ends on a bittersweet note. Due to the fact that it was designed specifically for the Wii U, it has never been ported to another system. And how could it be? The entire experience hinges on an oddball tech gimmick that was a commercial failure for Nintendo. With no physical release to keep him alive, Space adventures at affordable prices eShop dies on March 27 – a devastating blow to video game preservation.
So consider this a bit of a PSA: If you want to give it a try, take your Wii U out of storage and blow the dust off ASAP. You only have a few weeks to play a stellar indie game that is about to be lost with time.
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