We’ve been following along with the progress of The Day We Fought Space! from developer Tursiops Truncatus ever since it was first announced in early 2019, with the original hope that it would launch by the end of that year. Well, it didn’t quite make it in 2019 and then 2020 rolled around and… yeah, we all remember how that went. The bright side is that the developers have spent the last couple of years really polishing The Day We Fought Space! to a shine and tuning it to perfection, which means we all get an even more enjoyable experience now that it’s finally launched on iOS.
Wait… if you haven’t followed our previous coverage then you might be asking yourself what the heck The Day We Fought Space! is all about, so let’s back up a bit. This is a horizontal side-scrolling 2D shoot ’em up with one very big twist that sets it apart in a very saturated genre: It utilizes a full-blown physics system. That means that everything in the game, from the enemy ships and their debris to your weapons themselves, all have weight and inertia and thus can be used to cause destruction. In fact that’s kind of the main concept here: ping-ponging wreckage into oncoming ships and creating a whirlwind of chaos. Check it out for yourself in this brand new trailer.
The cool physics implementation is only part of the equation, as the sheer number of awesome weaponry in The Day We Fought Space! is where a large portion of the fun lies. This too utilizes physics and in addition to your traditional pew pew pew type weapons that fire projectiles, there’s a whole roster of awesome melee-based weapons that bring a whole new element to the game. There’s nothing quite like swinging a giant wrecking ball or array of buzzsaws around your ship and just obliterating anything in their path. Or you can combine the two, keeping a projectile weapon to blast away baddies from afar and equipping a melee weapon to take out anyone foolish enough to get close to your ship.
The options are truly staggering once you start unlocking different ship parts in The Day We Fought Space! There are different engine types, shields, ammo types, special abilities and so much more in addition to all the weapons. You can piece things together as you see fit, save multiple custom builds, and have something ready for pretty much any situation. There are also different ship skins and shapes to unlock, and once you really get going, the ship customization is almost a game in and of itself.
Finally, another factor that sets this one apart are the procedurally generated levels. It’s extremely common in the shoot ’em up genre to require players to memorize enemy placements and patterns or level layouts in order to be successful, but with random levels that’s just not possible so you’ll need to rely on your reflexes and adapt to every situation at hand. Just because it’s procedurally generated doesn’t mean there’s not some structure to the game though, and there’s even some storyline elements to follow along with and that jibes well with the game’s pulpy retro comic book aesthetic.
If I had to sum up The Day We Fought Space! in one word, it would be unique. There’s really nothing else quite like it, and it really is a total blast to put together different ship builds and see what sort of crazy destruction you can cause. Tursiops Truncatus have even coined their own term for this particular flavor of shooter: Wreck ’em up, and it’s a very fitting moniker. If you enjoy shooters and want something in quite a different flavor, The Day We Fought Space! is available exclusively on iOS right now for $3.99.