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I had a strong, visceral reaction on the day that Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space. No disrespect to the talented engineers and physicists of SpaceX—the strides being made with reusable rockets are truly inspiring—but seeing a car be shot toward the sun as a publicity stunt made me worried about humanity's not-so-great qualities. If you're also worried about big money in space, then maybe Pixel Delusion's Kosmokrats will be up your alley.
To be clear, one look at Kosmokrats' trailer will tell you that it doesn't look like a super serious anti-capitalist critique. Rather, it seems like it'll be good for some laughs and present some challenging 2D puzzles. The killer synth music doesn't hurt either.
Kosmokrats' trappings present a breezy blend of brash Soviet propaganda, space-race kitsch, and '80s cheesiness, but the puzzle solving looks to be as silly as it is satisfying. The Soviet Space Force has assembled vessels and satellites out of blocky, modular units that are somewhat failure-prone. Your task is to fix the fleet up, using drones to push and pull parts around in zero-gravity. Some mechanics are simple, like matching color-coded sockets together, while others look like they'll make for brain-busting jigsaw puzzles of circuitry. Oh, and there are poor little cosmonauts floating around who you can, ahem, "accidentally" squish between spaceship chunks.
There'll also be an element of time pressure involved. Be too slow in repairing a ship and the pieces won't be able to maintain orbit, instead plummeting toward the planet's surface and burning up on atmospheric entry. Don't be careful enough, of course, and a satellite's nuclear reactor might crack, causing the whole thing to blow up.
Actually, upon seeing the reactor failure, it struck me that Kosmokrats is shaping up to be a wonderful companion to Blackbird Interactive's Hardspace: Shipbreaker. In the former, you're a proud Soviet countryman working to build up a communist space empire, while in the latter, you're a working-class schmuck who has to scrap busted commercial ships while trying not to get crushed or burnt to death in the process—at which point, in Hardspace's for-profit healthcare future, you'd be resurrected for another day on the job and stuck in a chasm of debt after the procedure.
Again, I think the major draws of both are the gameplay, not the ideologies in the mix. Looking at Kosmokrats, which is coming to PC later this year, is the hardest I've felt the "I want to play this on Switch" itch in a while. Just me, in bed, with earbuds on so I can listen to some Soviet synthwave while plugging together spaceship bits like Lego sets. That idea sounds good to me.
I'm pretty sure I'll hit up Kosmokrats when it comes out on PC regardless. It looks like Pixel Delusion is putting together something pretty neat here, but I also can't deny I'm biased—I'll play anything that reminds me of Tim Curry's truly unhinged line delivery from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. After seeing enthusiasm like that, how could you not want to blow this rock and leave the folks with Cybertrucks behind?