Little Space Duo provides a fresh new take on the platforming puzzler, but may prove a little too difficult for some.
Rod Stewart and Tina Turner once taught us that It Takes Two, and Little Space Duo definitely backs up their theory. With a little help from her robotic friend Sunny, Lucy must traverse the decks of an intergalactic spacecraft, dodging cargo bots which want to store her away as luggage.
A rather unique platforming puzzler, Little Space Duo features clever level design and ideas in abundance, but ultimately suffers from coming on a little strong too early into play.
While riding her bike home one evening, Lucy spots something strange in the woods and decides to check it out. Falling unconscious, she awakes to find that an alien spaceship has accidentally taken her on board for specimen research.
Fortunately for Lucy, a small hovering android – which she decides to call Sunny due to his Sun-like appearance – is all too aware of the mistake, and offers to help her escape the vessel. To do so, the pair must make their way across the entire ship and reboot the on-board computer. The path is not so simple, however, with machines to deactivate, elevators to ride and cargo robots that will grab Lucy on sight.
Using Lucy and Sunny in tandem is essential, as each can perform a specific set of actions the other cannot. While Lucy can move lifts and turn off machines, Sunny must hover to areas Lucy can’t reach and open doors. The two characters can also be linked and controlled together, allowing Lucy to grab hold of Sunny and float to lower floors.
The puzzles prove to be incredibly deep, with a lot of initial thought and planning needed for each level. Cargo bots move at different speeds and must be dodged accordingly – on later levels, you’ll even be tactically sending them off on elevator rides to different floors, creating space for you to roam. Little Space Duo contains many ‘ahh!’ moments, where the clever ideas suddenly all fall into place in your head.
Yet while the concept and execution are solid, the game suffers from being much too challenging early on. There are 40 levels in total to play through, and even by level ten I was already scratching my head furiously. This is not an experience for the faint-hearted – Little Space Duo is difficult stuff, and you’d be forgiven for using a walkthrough to help you out.
To make it all a little easier, there are a number of save points at intervals, allowing you to continue from a halfway point if Lucy is grabbed by the robots. Special skill points are awarded to players who don’t use these saves, leading to a boosted score. As the majority of the puzzles feature precision timed moves, however, it’s recommended that you utilize these save points, as a single wrong move could mean repeating the entire level all over again.
Apart from the regular levels, every so often Lucy and Sunny must jump into a hover-car and make their way, from a top-down perspective, through cargo bays full of robots that will detain your ship if they catch sight. Each follows a set path, and the key to victory is watching their movements then stealthily moving around them. These levels are great fun, putting your concentration and patience skills to the test.
Hidden away in the options menu, there is also a two-player game mode. Two players can take separate control of Lucy and Sunny and enjoy the single player story together. Working out the puzzles with another person is definitely a lot more fun than doing it on your lonesome.
Little Space Duo is a very clever puzzler – so clever, in fact, that it may be just a little too challenging for the average casual gamer. If you’re not sure whether Lucy and Sunny’s adventure is for you, it’s at least worth checking out the five level demo.