Indie Spotlight – Numachia
While there have been many space combat games released over the course of video game history, Tie Fighter has the distinction of being one of the last space combat games I really got wrapped up in. I’ve played a bunch of the Freespace and Wing Commander games, to be sure. But something always felt off about them. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Babylon 5, you know what I mean. Combat in space is nothing like combat in the skies. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why: gravity is not a factor in space. You’re not forced to keep moving forward simply because it’s the action keeping you in the sky. And yet, most space combat games, even Tie Fighter, insist on utilizing this flawed game mechanic because it’s something that’s very easy to overlook.
Well, there is finally a game that addresses this age old problem in space combat games. Numachia, an independent title being developed by a three-person team over at AureaSection, is a space combat game that splices elements of Descent’s 360-degree movement model into its combat. As you can see in the video above, you’re more than welcome to fly head first into a gigantic capitol ship and see if you last longer than 20 seconds. At the same time you have maneuvering thrusters that allow you to use the lack of gravity to your advantage, permitting you to strafe, backup, quick turn, and invert at will. The result is as enticing as it is dizzying.
Though a multiplay game at its core, the dev team has discussed the possibility of adding a single player campaign sometime after it’s initial release. As for when the game will light up your computer screens, the Numachia website lists late 2009 as their intended release window. However, it seems a little unlikely at this point with only a few weeks left in the year. They also mention that the core game will be free, but that certain parts of the game will be inaccessible until the user purchases a license for the game, which is only fair. The final price tag has not yet been announced.
And if you were wondering ‘what’s the deal with the name?’, the dev team has a simple answer for you: “Because it fits the game perfectly.”