REVIEW: Space Shuttle Project

While sims, mini-games, and other miscellany are Wanda’s domain, I couldn’t overlook Space Shuttle Project’s uniqueness. Don’t be fooled by the edutainment title and box art—it’s both novel and fun.

Basically, by playing mini-games, you control a space shuttle as it embarks on various missions. The 6 missions have an identical structure: load—launch—spacewalk—land.

Load: This phase features an elevator riding mini-game where you race against a clock, loading crew on the shuttle. Each mission, the challenge increases with a larger crew and more aggressive obstacles, and no margin for error.

Launch/Land: These two share various timed button presses and pattern memorization challenges. Additional steps are added per mission, but it’s all easy. Probably my favorite part—I find the routine relaxing, and love the animations and music.

Spacewalk: Here you’ll leave the shuttle to perform some task (launch satellites, repair bases, rescue astronauts, etc.), varying every mission. Most involve Frogger-like obstacle dodging, complicated by monitoring and refilling your oxygen tanks.

Individually, the phases are mundane, but the well-utilized NASA theme adds a lot. The excellent animations during launch/landing, along with atmospheric music and digitized speech, add immersion. And the mini-games are explained in appropriate space jargon. The sense of “being there” is prevalent.

Ultimately, Space Shuttle Project is simple, but unusual and enjoyable. If Wanda wasn’t too girly to appreciate the stark beauty of rocket launch, she’d like it too.


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