NASA's Moonbase Alpha Available Free On Steam

moonbaseMy high school guidance counselor’s list of careers did not include “lunar base maintenance technician.”

But just in case you’d like to know what that’s like, Moonbase Alpha for PC puts players in the role of the “first-person explorer,” whose job it is to make repairs to said fictional moon base after it’s struck by a meteor, apparently preparing gamers (or children) for future vocations in blue-spacesuit-collar facilities management. It’s available now, for free, on Steam.

Unlike terrestrial maintenance jobs, this one takes on a particular significance: fail and everyone in the base suffocates to death. In single-player mode or with LAN or Internet multiplayer, players have to use “proper and optimal available relocation of resources” like rovers and robots(!) to make sure numerous nameless digital moon denizens don’t curse the EVA repair guys with their final agonizing, choked breaths. Also, there are leaderboards.

Moonbase Alpha is built on the Unreal 3 Engine, but unlike numerous other Unreal 3 Engine games involving space, there will be no mindless slaughter of aliens.

Still, learning about space and wandering around on an accurate rendering of the lunar surface with NASA-inspired technology is a cool prospect. Games without deadly aliens can be fun, too.

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