Alternate titles: Space Program Sim, Launching Game
Many countries have a Space program. These programs were often fraught with danger and excitement
. Not to mention dramatic failures
. This is a type of game meant to simulate a space program.
However, some of the laws of physics are discarded
in favor of Rule of Fun
, most commonly falling back to earth when out of gas despite being in orbit or within spitting distance of the moon, and Frictionless Reentry
, unless it's hyper-realistic.
There are two main types of this game, ones where the rocket is "Cold Launched"-that is, fired out of a catapult or cannon and the main engine fires later, or "Hot Launched", where it is launched from the ground by the main engine. Both types have Power Ups
and money floating about in the sky[[note]]again, unless it's hyper-realistic[[/note]], and various upgrades to buy for both ship and launcher (if applicable). These games are similar to vertical-scrolling Space Fighter Shoot'em Ups
, but without guns and you have more leeway in running into stuff
-dodging obstacles, nabbing goodies, et cetera.
Usually, the goal is the Moon, sometimes Mars if the game gets a sequel. Very rarely, the goal is simply Low Earth Orbit.
Some games have you acquire the scattered pieces of a downed ship in order to repair it, but while similar, they don't count because they don't involve
- A: building the ship from a crappy base model to a spaceworthy vessel by buying better modules
- B: piloting the ship in the hopes of reaching your goal.
- Meteor Launch A game about a south-seas island boy who finds a sad-looking meteorite and decides to send it back home.
- Rocket Santa, a tongue-in-cheek take on this where Santa Claus wants to give presents to Space Marines on the moon, so he straps on a Jet Pack and climbs into a circus cannon.
- Orbiter, the epitome of the genre in terms of realism.
- Hedgehog Launch  and its sequel, where a third-world country's "space program" consists of a hedgehog (the National Animal of the country, used because "they're hardy and plentiful, and will add a patriotic flavor to the program"), an MMU, and a slingshot, both of which you research upgrades for (Including booster rockets on the hedgehog, so it counts). By the second game, the UN has declared the country's airspace a no-fly zone, so to get around this they fire the hedgehog at trampolines installed down a mine shaft.
- Knightmare Tower , crosses this with a Beat 'em Up, in which a knight must brave an Evil Tower of Ominousness with no staircase in order to save seven princesses.
- Rocket 1.3 and 2, about a kid amping a toy rocket to decidedly unsafe levels, both times headed for Mars, the first time for shits and giggles, the second time to prove to his mum that aliens are real.
- Into Space 1 and 2, about an elderly scientist working for a Mega Corp. who believe the old man's rockets will make them obscene amounts of dough.
- Kerbal Space Program, in which one takes charge of, well, the planet Kerbal's Space Program.
- I Am Flying To The Moon