Moonbase Alpha Launches Today
The first part of NASA’s space MMOG, Astronaut: Moon, Mars And Beyond will be launched today on Steam for free.
Moonbase Alpha has been created by Virtual Heroes, the team responsible for America’s Army, and sets out to provide a “persistent, synthetic environment supporting education as a laboratory, a massive visualization tool and collaborative workspace while simultaneously drawing users into a challenging, game-play immersion”. In short, learning through play.
Peril is environmental only, drawing parallels with games such as SOS: The Final Escape; but this is a tool for education, so threats are based on real science. In Moonbase Alpha, you are tasked with restoring critical systems and oxygen flow, after a nearby meteor strike cripples a solar array and life support equipment. There are several solutions to the problem, and players are scored on the time it takes them to do so, the fastest teams occupying the top of the leaderboards.
Timelines for the full Astronaut: Moon, Mars And Beyond MMOG will run as far as 2035, but for now this is probably the closest you’ll get to a moon landing in your lifetime. We took a detailed look at the game in November last year, at which point Moonbase Alpha was scheduled for a January release date.