Many people who are born in the 90’s have a weird interest in the previous decade. Or at least in a certain way of representing the 80’s. Not with The Clash, Rush, Van Halen and Twisted Sister. But with bright neon colors and synth music. I know this aesthetic as vaporwave which is simple enough but the music that goes hand in hand with it goes by a few names. Synthwave, outrun, retrowave and futuresynth are the most well known ones off the top of my head.
In comes The Midnight Team and Starxium 20XX
A game very much inspired by the vaporwave/80’s aesthetic and sound, and obviously made by someone who’s into the style. Hugo Attal is the one man army behind this project. He has made everything for this game, from code to models and music. If that’s not impressive I don’t know what is.
So what is it about?
Starxium 20XX is a PC indie game that is currently on kickstarter. In it you control a car and your mission is to get near a train convoy in order to download data from it. What is the data and why you need to get it is not explained but it must be important because you’re not the only one trying to get to it.
Single player vs multiplayer
In single player mode, known as stuntman, you get 99 seconds to perform as many flips in the air as you can. Jumps shoot you very high in the air and you can use the same controls used to move the car in order to rotate it however you would like. Front flips, back flips, flippin’ side flips, everything is possible in this flippin’ world. In the multiplayer mode you team up with 3 other players to form a team and you compete against an enemy team of four. The team that manages to download the data first wins the round. This mode kind of reminds me of westerns where bandits on horseback rob a moving train and that is awesome. There is also an “Apocalypse” mode where the players have to stay in a constantly shrinking circle around the convoy. Like a battle royale but with cars and synth music instead.
Every good driver has to be a master behind the steering wheel. Or in this case behind the controller/keyboard & mouse. You use the arrow keys or WASD to control the car, shift to boost and Q to set cruise control. You can also hold the right mouse button to look around and the left mouse button to use your power.
Where the action is
The most interesting part of Starxium 20XX has to be the multiplayer mode. Using skills to jump over the convoy and bumping enemy players away from it sounds like a lot of fun. You can see how much more data you need to download in order to win by looking at the top of your car. There you will find a gauge that shows you just that and then if you look at the back of the car you will find another gauge that shows you how much charge you have. Charge is used for powers and for boost and it comes in very handy. You get charge back by doing the cool flips I previously mentioned.
With eight similar looking players constantly trying to be near the convoy you might lose track of who is who. Thankfully customization can help with that. Winning matches will give you equipment crates that are free to obtain and free to open. This system kind of reminds me of Bots Online… Anyway, in the crates you will find parts from 21 manufacturers, each representing a country. So far 18 of the 21 manufacturers are made and we hope to see the rest soon. Also there are skins.
I think that the music is something that I can’t help but mention because of how cool it is. The game’s Kickstarter page shows us 4 groovy synthwave tunes and promises a total of at least 12. If by some chance those 12 tracks are not enough for you, you can stop the game’s music and play some Lazerhawk, Kavinsky, Power Glove and Miami Night 1984 and they will fit perfectly.
If you are a fan of the style of the movie Drive, the game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon or any of the music artists I previously mentioned then you will love Starxium 20XX. It has great potential as a multiplayer game that focuses on team composition, builds and strategic plays. Or alternatively, a single player experience where you have a chill drive down a neon lit road with synth melodies playing while you watch the golden/pink sunset. Now that sounds like a good time. If you would like to try out the free demo of Starxium 20XX you can find it on their itch.io and on indiedb. Be sure to check out the game’s Kickstarter page and their Steam page and show your support.