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Like Lunar Lander Likes? You'll Like This
December 21, 2009 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Space Ace is the best Flash game I have played in a long time.

It's a Lunar Lander-like collect-the-dots-before-they-do duelling game with some cute maps and some evil ones. I found it pretty hard at the beginning but it's intensely addictive once you get the hang of manouvering the ship. The vaguely retro vector graphics are pretty but simple and it runs smoothly even on an older machine like mine.

There is no AI - instead you duel with random people from the internet. There's a ranking system, but no talk option, which just intensifies the pure gameplay vibe of the thing. Do not attempt to play this game if you have stuff to do.

Found via this onlinegames.com post previously.
posted by motty (76 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not to be confused with Space Ace.
posted by hippybear at 1:50 PM on December 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is too addictive.
posted by OrangeSoda at 1:51 PM on December 21, 2009


I think they could have picked a better name for the game.

But I like the premise. Take the mechanic of Lunar Lander and add a bit more level design. This is what I've been doing with Flash games recently.
posted by autodidact at 1:51 PM on December 21, 2009


Is there any technical reason why the real Space Ace couldn't be ported to Flash?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 1:57 PM on December 21, 2009


Needs the "UppityPigeonSucksAtThis" tag.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2009


My ship just spins uncontrollably the second I hit the propulsion.
posted by tkchrist at 2:05 PM on December 21, 2009


And by "ship" I mean...
posted by tkchrist at 2:06 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's good but it lacks the lunar lander fuel management aspect which added significant tension and suspense to the game.
posted by Kattullus at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there any technical reason why the real Space Ace couldn't be ported to Flash?

No technical reason, but there are problems of feasibility. The game would be quite large because of the video files, though since the game is fairly linear the client could download upcoming potential scenes in the background instead of downloading the whole thing at once. For comparison, Space Ace on the iPhone/iPod Touch is 243MB. Either way it would be a huge bandwidth bill for whoever hosted it.
posted by jedicus at 2:08 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


The controls mirror my "Spaces" swapping key combo.
posted by medium format at 2:17 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


It gets a ton easier when you figure out that you are supposed to hit the little round things, not carefully steer around them.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:22 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is a good game if you like terrible games.
posted by dopamine at 2:25 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a good game if you like being terrible at games.
posted by LordSludge at 2:27 PM on December 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


Gah, it takes way too long to restart after a death.

I died a lot.
posted by utsutsu at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing of it is that the gameplay is all about whether or not you can manouver the ship better than the other player. Best pilot wins. That's why it's hard at the beginning.

It took a while (for me at least) to be able to manouver the thing at all. Then I clocked that if you keep mainly upright, use only really short bursts of thrust and try and take advantage of gravity you can crawl around the maps really slowly without crashing. This guarantees that you will beat anyone who is still crashing all the time more or less immediately, plus anyone who is also crawling but is slower than you are.

Soon you start meeting the people who have figured out the tricks to moving a bit faster (some a lot faster), and the people who include deliberately crashing in their strategy. And the real game begins.
posted by motty at 2:40 PM on December 21, 2009


lots of rage quit in the ranking mode... P)
posted by anthill at 2:42 PM on December 21, 2009


can i have that ten minutes back, 'cuz I'm never going to get any better at this...

has ANYONE got the last dot in the practice round?
posted by HuronBob at 2:43 PM on December 21, 2009


I actually kind of need this keyboard and can't afford to destroy it, so - this game is for playing at somebody else's house.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:44 PM on December 21, 2009


It's good but it lacks the lunar lander fuel management aspect which added significant tension and suspense to the game.

I was actually quite relieved to see that element left out.
posted by sourwookie at 2:47 PM on December 21, 2009


The uncontrollable spinning makes this all but unplayable, regardless of the fun factor.
posted by georg_cantor at 2:54 PM on December 21, 2009


I find, if I stop drinking for a few hours, the spinning goes away.
posted by hippybear at 2:56 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


motty: and the people who include deliberately crashing in their strategy.

I had a lot of fun seeing my little ship explode in a hailstorm of broken dreams, but who knew I had a strategy going! I must investigate this further.
posted by isnotchicago at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2009


For a while I sat there doing nothing, until I realized it's the command key instead of control for the mac. Then I was treated to quite the bizarre visual, as the required key commands are the same as what I have mapped for Spaces.

sigh
posted by davejay at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow you guys must suck at Lunar Lander!
posted by autodidact at 3:03 PM on December 21, 2009


Hate
posted by Burhanistan at 3:06 PM on December 21, 2009


I hate games where you drift into stuff.
posted by fire&wings at 3:07 PM on December 21, 2009


So dissappointed this isn't the Don Bluth Space Ace. :(
posted by cavalier at 3:25 PM on December 21, 2009


I amazed how decent I got at this in 15 minutes.
posted by yeti at 3:27 PM on December 21, 2009


Is there any way to start from another platform after you die? Sort of an "advance camp" thing?
posted by anthill at 3:33 PM on December 21, 2009


Currently ranked 383... I can predict a new addiction here.
posted by yeti at 3:41 PM on December 21, 2009


Ranked 131 - but am being consistently beat by <100ers.
posted by anthill at 3:44 PM on December 21, 2009


If you like this you might like this
posted by Splunge at 3:52 PM on December 21, 2009


Shouldn't this go in the still open thread?
posted by cjorgensen at 3:57 PM on December 21, 2009


At just about 80%, Lunar Lander is by far the one game that I have hated for the largest percentage of my life, and I'm no better at it now than I was at age seven.
posted by darksasami at 4:05 PM on December 21, 2009


Mine's locked into a permanent always-thrusting, always-spinning auto-destruct auto-pilot mode.

Always-thrusting always-spinning is also my stage name...
posted by five fresh fish at 4:17 PM on December 21, 2009


Nthing Spaces getting annoying.

Come to think of it, I don't even use Spaces. Everyone talks about how great multiple desktops are, particularly Linux users, and yet I never really internalized using it. Am I missing out?
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:17 PM on December 21, 2009


My God, I suck worse at this than most games.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:18 PM on December 21, 2009


It takes too long to reset when you die. Which I have been doing frequently. A simple small explosion would have sufficed.

Do not want
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 4:20 PM on December 21, 2009


Thrust on the Beeb was better.
posted by scruss at 4:29 PM on December 21, 2009


It takes too long to reset when you die

F2, guys.
posted by Trochanter at 4:31 PM on December 21, 2009


OK, I admit, playing against someone else is pretty great. Tense, but it actually makes me laugh a lot, too.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:50 PM on December 21, 2009


In practice mode I am up to almost a full second before I die.
If this is fun, I prefer work.
posted by cccorlew at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2009


Abandon practice mode. Practice mode is awful. Click 'ranking' and play against other people; it's actually fun.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:55 PM on December 21, 2009


After I die, half the time my ship goes into uncontrolled spins when I respawn.
posted by Kwine at 4:58 PM on December 21, 2009


This is like Gravitar except without all the fun shooting. Hey, we has a clone!
posted by The White Hat at 5:00 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh god i got into the 300s before i realized that i could feel my lifeforce being sucked away through my fingertips. why did you show me this thing? *blinks for the first time in 30 minutes*
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:20 PM on December 21, 2009


MetaFilter, always-thrusting, always-spinning auto-destruct auto-pilot mode.
posted by Splunge at 5:24 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone talks about how great multiple desktops are, particularly Linux users, and yet I never really internalized using it. Am I missing out?

Not if you use Exposé and command-tab efficiently (or better yet Quicksilver).
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 5:27 PM on December 21, 2009


There's them that love it and them what hates it. I hate it enough for the rest though.
posted by rahnefan at 5:29 PM on December 21, 2009


Dammit! Why did someone have to create yet another thing for me to suck at?
posted by The Potate at 5:36 PM on December 21, 2009


Great, now I have to go waste four hours playing Solar Jetman. Thanks a lot.
posted by Limiter at 5:38 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Love.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:56 PM on December 21, 2009


Things I would have included had I not posted in a big hurry to go back and play some more:

1 - You'll die a lot. The ship should be an elephant.

2 - A link to this excellent history of the original Lunar Lander.
posted by motty at 6:07 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Full screen.
posted by geekyguy at 7:10 PM on December 21, 2009


This is very good. And very addictive. And causes me way too much stress. (There is also the leaping about and yelling "ha ha, sucker!" at the other guy, which I am sure (s)he appreciates.)
posted by Lafe at 7:14 PM on December 21, 2009


Maybe I just suck, but something like 25 consecutive, nearly-immediate deaths, without even getting out of the little launching enclave, does not really mark this as a good game in my mind.
posted by anazgnos at 8:26 PM on December 21, 2009


Haven't played much, but initial notes:
- practice mode sucks
- you get a lot better very quickly
- oh my god why have you cursed me to play this for the rest of the day
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:52 PM on December 21, 2009


Also: vs matches can be surprisingly funny, especially when you're both going crazy trying to get one dot and just end up smashing you ship over and over.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:54 PM on December 21, 2009


Does anybody else have the problem that it halts up for a split second, which is usually enough to send me far enough out of position for me to crash and 'splode. Which is a shame because otherwise I enjoy it (though some fuel management would make it more interesting to me).
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 PM on December 21, 2009


I actually got BETTER at this game after drinking.
posted by pravit at 9:31 PM on December 21, 2009


sooo much explosioning...all me.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:17 PM on December 21, 2009


Nope, spinning pinwheel of death no matter what.

I'm going back to basketball.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:20 PM on December 21, 2009


The thing of it is that the gameplay is all about whether or not you can manouver the ship better than the other player. Best pilot wins. That's why it's hard at the beginning.

I'm not so sure. There is a lot of gamesmanship too. For example, on many levels it is better to follow your opponent and steal a dot or two off their row, then crash. Then when you restart you can pick your own row and clean it up, ending up ahead. I wouldn't call that best pilot, but it can be a winning strategy.

Anyway, it is clear why real spaceships have attitude jets facing every direction. Waiting while the ship rotates is bad design.
posted by Chuckles at 11:53 PM on December 21, 2009


Jesusfuckingxmas! I've been playing this for like six hours straight now and still I've only gotten like three of the little "o"s. Why does it arbitrarily decide to go all goofy-foot on me like every 4th-9th death? And I think when my opponent gets hit by my debris when I explode, he should die too. I mean, seriously. It's only physics. God I hate this game.

And furthermore, these grapes are too fucking sour!!!

If anyone needs me, I'll be in my spaceship. I'm the one ranked like 43,000
posted by The Potate at 12:07 AM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is great. I really wish I could talk to the other person. Even little canned messages or something. Because after me and that purple bastard spend ten minutes trying to get to that last dot down what looks like an intestine, I'd like to be able to acknowledge them. Also, did anyone else run into any emergent behaviors? In a couple duels, me and the other person would actually take turns trying to do the suicide run down the gullet. That game needs a text box so damn badly.
posted by Peztopiary at 12:19 AM on December 22, 2009


this game kind of sucks.
posted by yoHighness at 4:27 AM on December 22, 2009


I meant this game sucks donkey ass.
posted by yoHighness at 4:28 AM on December 22, 2009


Hmm, not bad. But I gave up when a match win brought me from rank #297 to #297... (he was half my rank and I won every point of the match and still no advance...?)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:07 AM on December 22, 2009


Wow you guys must suck at Lunar Lander!

No, Lunar Lander stopped being fun about 30 years ago. The matches would be much more fun if I could shoot.

I too liked Gravitar (Lunar Lander + Asteroids) better. Thanks, The White Hat!
posted by mrgrimm at 5:09 AM on December 22, 2009


There should be a little screaming sound right before the ship explodes.
posted by XMLicious at 6:58 AM on December 22, 2009


Now that it's stopped twitching I'm thoroughly hooked. I haven't lost a match yet but that last one was a nail biter.
posted by Kattullus at 1:30 PM on December 22, 2009


Childhood games of AUTS and KOPS (Both just like this game only you shoot the other person instead of collecting dots) against my brother allowed to quickly rise to sub-100 ranks. However, there are some properly fast guys at the very lowest ranks and I'm pretty much about as good as I will ever be at cave flying. I just don't have the reflexes for it.

Hmm, not bad. But I gave up when a match win brought me from rank #297 to #297... (he was half my rank and I won every point of the match and still no advance...?)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:07 AM on December 22


Since it's a ranking there were probably too many other people also rising in rank.
posted by Authorized User at 2:00 PM on December 22, 2009


A childhood obsession with the Amiga game Turbo rakketti helped me attain the ranking of 160 with little problem. Piloting rockets are very much like riding bikes it seems. It makes one wonder why astronauts are held in such high esteem.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 2:40 PM on December 22, 2009


I gave up when I went up against another pilot who was seemingly invincible to the spinning-spaceship-of-death-syndrome. The other pilot managed to execute the most amazing swoops and turns while I was still stuck plodding along, desperately trying to avoid spinning out of control yet again. The other pilot's skill took the fight right out of me.
posted by lekvar at 3:09 PM on December 22, 2009


Is it just me or did the gravity increase significantly since yesterday?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:42 PM on December 22, 2009


It doesn't seem that way to me, Pater Aletheias, but then I was glitching all over the place and disemboweling all over the place yesterday so how fast exactly I was falling to my death wasn't too much on my mind.

Of course now I'm facing opponents who're handing my ass to me left and right. I wish there were some identifiers so that I could build up nonsensical rivalries. I like nonsensical rivalries.
posted by Kattullus at 12:14 AM on December 23, 2009


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