SpaceCab


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JohnBSpaceCab is an online flash game created and hosted by Sporkle. This tough little game has you piloting a round spacecab through dangerous terrain to rescue lost miners from aliens. Navigate through tight tunnels, uncover secret pathways, and scream/curse every single time you crash. It's a jolly romp in space, bring the kids!

Two things stand out about this game: difficulty and exploration. SpaceCab isn't completely linear, as you can unlock different paths as you quest for more miners. You might be a little wary about some narrow passages, but squeezing through them successfully is worth the adrenaline rush.
spacecab.gif
You control the cab with the arrow keys, rotating it left or right and firing your boosters with up. The physics are precise, and your cab can't take much punishment. In fact, the slightest touch with any object will send you to the scrap heap. You have a weapon that can take care of a few baddies, but the real challenge comes from piloting your cab through tunnels.

Analysis: SpaceCab is an homage to the younger days of video gaming where the Atari and Lunar Lander dominated our screens. One thing many seasoned gamers might not want to remember is the insane difficulty level of many of these retro games. Often you had to suffer through hours of repeated deaths in the first level just to get the hang of controlling your craft. SpaceCab feels just like that.

But sometimes the game is a little too difficult. Often it's downright frustrating. It took me some time before I could rescue the first miners. What happened immediately after that? I nicked the side of a wall and exploded. Needless to say I wasn't thrilled. But once I got used to the controls I could move around with confidence.

In the end, SpaceCab is a game you'll either be determined to master your first run through, or you'll play it off and on for a few weeks. Move all breakable objects out of arm's reach before you play.

Play SpaceCab

Click the link above to check out SpaceCab. Sporkle requires a free registration, or you can log in as a guest. There are several other funny/entertaining games there, so a quick registration isn't too painful.

Thanks to Rob for sending this our way!

8 Comments

Two things:

  1. The SpaceCab link goes to a seemingly-unrelated blog, not the actual game. Did you paste the wrong URL?

  2. Guest login doesn't work. It gives me a “Login Error”.

Reply

1. Left out a closing > up there. Thanks for the heads up.
2. Try logging in from the main page, then going to SpaceCab. If that doesn't work, there's always Bugmenot.

Reply

Actually, "Space Taxi" may have originally been a game for the Commodore 64. At least, I had a game of the same name and highly similar playing style back in the late '80s.

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Definitely influenced by Space Taxi on the C64. I thought of it immediately upon seeing the screenshot, and it's been >20 years since I played!

Reply

Yeah, I'd say it was highly inspirated by Space Taxi, too, which was released in 1983. That game became a C64-Classic because of its ever changing levels with different elements and implemented speech, i.e. the cab-customers would say "Hey, Taxi!" and "Thanks". I wouldn't have thought all these "small" game concepts would become so popular for internet and mobiles again twenty years later.

Reply

I'll admit though that Space Taxi on the 64 had a better feeling control system that was a little bit forgiving. This one seems to be much more precise in landings and such.

Reply

how do you play this full-screen?

Reply
TheMusicGirl November 8, 2009 10:00 PM

I've never played "Space Taxi" and never want to, after this game. It was so frustrating, I didn't have the patients to get the controls.

Reply

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