Last in Space is a minimalist strategy shooter game taking place in the final frontier, developed and coded for the TIC-80 fantasy computer. As the last survivor of the human species, you must travel across several dimensions to eradicate the hive (not us, we’re innocent) and prevent the hostile zorg from infesting too many planets! However, the hive is too strong and the zorg will quickly rush you, so you need to hop from planet to planet and build facilities to aid with your survival!
Developer: Darenn Keller
Released: 21 June 2022
Price: $2.50 – $10
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, Web
Available on: itch.io
Engine: TIC-80 fantasy computer
I’m really the last human in space?
You start Last in Space with nothing except your spaceship and its limited energy and oxygen, stranded in a randomly generated universe. Running out of energy disables your ship’s shield and massively reduces its speed, and its game over if you consume all available oxygen, so you must immediately collect minerals scattered all over space and find Earth and Mars-like planets to build greenhouses and power plants. These are only but two out of many building types to help you stave off the zorg invasion and to make matters worse, you can only build one of two available types per planet, so a lot of careful deliberation is required.
Acting quickly is of the essence, as the hive takes no time at all to infest a couple of planets, which in turn spawn slow spiters and fast kamikaze broods that will eventually swarm you and your bases with their superior numbers. You can only hold a severely limited stock of ammo, so you will also have to spend a lot of time and material building defense turrets, fighter stations, and ammo factories – all of which are pretty much required to hold off the enemies and slowly whittle down the hive’s great health. Due to the time factor and heavy resource management all on top of traveling from facility to facility, the zorgs will inevitably always have the edge, which makes for a tough challenge in later dimensions.
The game lets you choose from a bunch of ships, each with its pros and cons. For example, the Trainer does not need oxygen at the cost of earning you half the score, and the Fighter increases your damage five times and is very fast, but all facilities cost one more mineral compared to normal.
That makes me the light of humanity!
Last in Space is drawn entirely in pixel art – neither detailed nor intricate, but it doesn’t have to be, as it works pretty well for the game’s minimalist nature and gameplay. However, there’s no music to speak of; there are only sound effects for shooting bullets, collecting items, and the low oxygen warning – which while underwhelming, is perfectly understandable as the developer’s first indie game.
Despite Last in Space being challenging and overwhelming at times, it’s a great quick fix for that space survival and resource management itch that allows for multiple playstyles. You could fight the hive and the hordes of aliens on your own or focus on collecting resources and building fighter stations and turrets to do the fighting for you. You can’t go wrong with the game’s low price either!