Roses are red; lovesick whale sharks are blue.
If I’ve learned anything in all my years on this Earth, it’s that there’s nothing quite like the love between a whale shark and a space dog. Seriously, it almost brings a tear to my eye. That’s why I’m so excited about Astro Shark, the next game from UNIT9, who brought us the addictive physics puzzler Nano Panda in 2011. And if the debut gameplay trailer is any indication, then Astro Shark looks to be just as fun, and just as adorable.
In the game, you play as a lovesick whale shark whose big heart takes him to the ends of the universe, in a desperate search to rescue his beloved Laika, a Russian space dog, who has been kidnapped by evil men and sent sailing into the stars. Talk about a long-distance relationship! The game’s early concept art shows a few of the new friends that Astro Shark will meet along the way, like a quirky little pug in an astronaut’s helmet, and an orange cat encased in a floating glass box with an electric keyboard.
Astro Shark will blend action and adventuring elements across a number of gorgeous hand-illustrated drawings, and the gameplay is comparative to Edmund McMillen’s early Flash game Aether of The Basement Collection, with an emphasis on using different objects to propel your character through space. You’ll swing your shark around planets and comets, outswim homing missiles, and destroy enemy spaceships and rockets. Because as if the thought of the vast black emptiness of space wasn’t terrifying enough, imagine a hormonally-imbalanced shark with gnashing teeth floating in your direction.
Little else is known about the game right now, like if there are any epic space bosses for our lovesick whale shark to battle, but the game’s Facebook page tells us that “Each level in Astro Shark will challenge you to master new game mechanics while constantly improving your rocket-evasion skills!” Luckily the wait won’t be too long, as Astro Shark will be flying to a galaxy near you on March 7th for iOS and Android platforms. Sigh, I’m a sucker for a good love story.