You Can't Land

Reunite to celebrate 90's streetstyle

This arcade was one of our first self-initiated projects. An attempt to create an orbital atmosphere with a blockbuster feel and original soundtrack.

The challenge was to build a mobile game with a sense of quality and an extremely short development cycle.

The Idea

In a classical sense arcades are played to kill time and eventually beat the best score. Which makes it one of the most abused genres in mobile game development.

There is not much of a thinking involved for players but rather a plain excitement. The gameplay is usually addictive and focused on a single action only. The interactions are extremely simple and the learning curve is minimized.

There’s rarely an accent on a story. Instead arcades just go on endlessly. Getting harder and harder until it is impossible to bear. The player aims to beat the best score again and again. But thanks to randomly generated obstacles each attempt turns into a new challenge.

These aspects were summarized to just a few clear requirements:

  • simple level design
  • limited controls
  • rapidly increasing difficulty

The Process

At first we just wanted to remake one of the old concepts such as the 80s vendor machine racing. You just tap anywhere on the left or right side of the screen to avoid the obstacles.

First brainstorm ended up with a very traditional these days vision. Flat illustration with minimalistic levels, gradients and pastel colors. You know, every second free-to-play arcade in the store nowadays.

A very rough version of the engine and the mechanic seemed to be perfectly working when it became obvious that it wasn’t only about the visual style.

In fact there was a strong notion to NOT have any of the contemporary game attributes.

No purchases. No skins. No levels.

Just like the good old restricted arcades we all love. You start. You die. You do it again. Minimum variability with maximum thrill.

It was an attempt to transform its simplicity into some kind of a crazy and extreme one-in-a-lifetime situation. So we ran away from flat design and made things look similar to the real-life prototypes.

The Concept

The year is 2077. Humans have been blinded by their obsession to expand into space. Despite all warnings from the past, countless unsupervised space missions have polluted the Earth’s atmosphere to a point of no return.

As a player you take the role of an emergency response astronaut who will attempt to remotely land the valuable shuttle back to Earth.

There are millions of pieces of space debris currently orbiting the planet and we are unable to track most of the smaller pieces, which can cause a significant danger to our future satellite architecture and space missions.

There are measures being considered to battle this issue, however, the game shows a future where actions were only considered and never applied, underestimating the threat, as humans often do.

So in the most critical moment the vessel enters the massive cloud of high-pressure oxygen tanks and, well, you try to survive.

As players get closer to the surface they won’t have much time to enjoy the breathtaking visuals of our planet captured from orbit.

Soundtrack

Feel how the tension of your task increases as you sore through the atmosphere with our headphone ready music. Beware the pressure of the space void.

The home screen reminds of a control panel from which you can control your shuttle.

Ready for the store

The return of a classical and well familiar gameplay. Tap anywhere on the left or right side of the screen to either decelerate or accelerate your shuttle.

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