Three words: Jetpack Space Penguins.

If there’s one thing I learned from all those years of elementary school science class, it’s that the universe is a pretty big place. Heck, I’ve never even left the United States before, so who am I to say what kinds of alien creatures are lurking around at the edge of our solar system? Edge of Space is an ambitious open-world sandbox game from HandyMan Studios that combines elements of exploration, crafting, building, and terraforming as players fight to survive in a strange and dangerous part of the universe.

Edge of Space

Edge of Space follows a team of ArkCo recruits, who wake from a cryogenic sleep to find their ship has crash-landed on a mysterious region that’s described by HandyMan Studios as a “Bermuda Triangle-like area in the depths of space.” Sounds pretty lonely, doesn’t it? Luckily, in addition to its main single-player experience, the game also features a fully supported multiplayer mode, where players can cooperate with their fellow ArkCo recruits to explore extraterrestrial hideaways and randomly generated caverns. And if you’re really feeling lonely out there, players can even collect a number of pets to adventure with by their side.

The visual art style of Edge of Space is very reminiscent of 2D crafting games like Terraria, with an emphasis on the whole madness of space concept that we saw in sci-fi games like Capsized. One of the most interesting features of Edge of Space is the game’s unique Power Input Output System (or PIOS), which enables players to design power grids of varying complexity to activate doorways and life support systems they find on the planet. Players will also make use of critical armor attachments, and wield a whole arsenal of cool space weapons, from lasers to snipers, with tons of customizable modifications for each.

Edge of Space

But hands down, I think I’m most excited for the dozens of bizarre creatures and epic boss fights that the ArkCo team will encounter. HandyMan Studios wasn’t kidding when they said this place was the “deepest, darkest, weirdest, and possibly most interesting part of the universe,” as players will battle everything from Laser Sharks, to Squid Pandas, and Jetpack Space Penguins. I don’t know the last time you got to see an elusive Squid Panda down at your local zoo, but something tells me those things aren’t exactly kid-friendly.

Edge of Space is currently slated for a spring 2013 release, and the developer has already promised continual post-launch updates to add more awesome (and certainly weird) new content in the weeks following the initial space date.