by Joseph Leray
"MirrorMoon EP" is the newest project from Italian indie firms Santa Ragione and Bloody Monkey. At its most basic, "MirrorMoon" is a space exploration game: from the Atari 2600-inspired cockpit of your rocket ship, you will explore new galaxies, lay claim to distant planets, and explore ancient ruins equipped with your low-poly gun-arm.
Even though the two games are totally different, "MirrorMoon"'s trailer actually reminds me of the original "Mass Effect." (Although, honestly, most things remind me of "Mass Effect.") One my favorite things about it was careening through the stars in the Mako, climbing to the top of some endlessly repeated mountain range textures only to find a purple sun rising through, say, a green sky.
"MirrorMoon"'s bright colors and minimalistic geometry create a similar affect -- the whole thing is just gorgeous and elegant and alien. With thousands upon thousands of star systems to explore, as promised by the developer, there seems to be plenty of exploration to do and breathtaking sights to take in.
There's also a multiplayer proponent, though I'm not sure exactly what it entails: the first player to discover a given planet will be able to name it, and Santa Ragione promise that "it will be possible to fully discover the mysteries of 'MirrorMoon EP' only while collaborating with other players."
Lest you fear I'm pulling the wool over your eyes, Santa Ragione was nominated for a Nuovo Award in the Independent Games Festival 2013, and that listing offers a few more tantalizing details: "MirrorMoon is about mystery, solitude and feeling lost, it's a metaphor of space. It challenges players through real-time juxtaposition of two 3D coordinate systems that partially coexist in the same game space."
That's a little too evolved for my lizard brain, but hopefully it all shakes out when you're actually in the midst of some desolate waste with an arm-cannon strapped on. You can pony up $8.99 for access to the game's beta, and when "MirrorMoon EP" is released September 4 on Windows and Mac, you'll be first in line for a Steam key.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter