Evasive Space Preview: Evading Things …. In Space

Over the last few months Nintendo’s WiiWare service has become a bit of a dumping ground for a large amount of sub par games that I’m amazed that people are willing to spend their money on. There’s hardly been even a diamond in the rough since “Tetris Party” was released. However, WiiWare’s future is not all bad. When a solid developer has a chance to really sink their teeth into creating a bite-sized game, something wonderful can happen. Such is the case with the upcoming game “Evasive Space,” which is being developed by High Voltage (yes, the same High Voltage that’s working on “The Conduit”), and released by Yukes in January. They’ve created a fun little title that’s sure to frustrate the hell out of anyone willing to give it a chance … in a good way.

“Evasive Space” isn’t a deep game by any means, but it does have a bit of a story attached to it. You play as Konki who is on a quest to defeat the evil Dr. Dark Matter and save the universe by collecting the stolen Constellation Stones. Once all the Constellation Stones are collected, light will return to the universe. That’s about it. Shallow story, and awesomely named evil villains aside, “Evasive Space” is more about the gameplay and overall persistence than anything else.

You control Konki’s ship, as she flies around the galaxy, collecting cosmic spheres, and spacemen. The game plays like an updated version “Asteroids” would, if it was released for the Wii. You point your controller at the screen in the direction you want your ship to fly, and then pull the trigger (B button) to deploy your thrusters (read: go), and that’s about it. There’s no offense to worry about in this game, it’s all about precision. As you play you can collect energy cells and diodes that you use to trigger ship upgrades like increased shields and speed that will really help you along the way.

Evasive Space

It it were still 1984, “Evasive Space” would fit in perfectly at your local arcade, right along side “Mr. Do,” and “Frogger.” Each of the game’s levels have a very arcadey feel to them. There are three different kinds of boards spread out over the game’s 4 acts - totaling 20 different levels. There are three main layouts that each of the levels have - mazes, rotating, and wide open - and each has their own unique style of gameplay and goals.

In the maze levels, you need to make it to the end, avoiding the obstacles, and collecting the Constellation Stone within the time limit. The other two types of levels, rotating and wide open, both have similar goals, where you need to collect X number of items before time runs out, but the settings are vastly different. The rotating levels force you to navigate asteroid belts around a planet, whereas the wide-open levels put you in open space and you need to avoid the flying space debris as you collect spacemen. In other words, the gameplay feels like three unique arcade games mashed together, they just all happen to use the same control scheme.

As a nice added bonus, “Evasive Space” offers 4-player local multiplayer, creating a hectic on-screen battle for you and three of your friends. It also includes online leader boards so you can see if your speed run through level 4 is the fastest in the world.

When “Evasive Space” drops this January, you really should give it a shot, especially if you’re looking for a nice little addiction to get you through the cold winter months. Don’t let this game get overlooked as just more WiiWare shovelware, because it’s not. It’s one of those games that pushes you right to the brink of success, and then defeats you, only to increase your drive and desire to destroy it. In short, it’ll have you saying, “Just one more try,” or “I’ll get this next one,” and “This is the last time,” over and over in some kind of twisted satisfying frustration. However, that’s basically how you make a great game.

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