A downloadable game for Windows

Welcome Commander to Countdown To Earth, the Space Game where passage of time is the main rival!

You are awaken in an unfamiliar location in Space by your ship's virtual assistant, Alex. He informs you that you have been sleeping for hours, and he barely managed to save the ship from crashing into an unknown planet.  You must now return to your loved ones in earth.

It isn't that easy though. You see, at this part of space big objects exist, with gravitational forces than can cause distortions in spacetime. This means that by getting close to them, time passes faster for the people on earth than it does for you. The same thing is observed when driving your ship, because it is capable of reaching speeds close to that of light. 

Fortunately, the phenomenon of "Gravity Assistance" can speed boost your spaceship when exiting the orbit of a planet. Your goal is to travel to earth, without causing such a big distortion that your returning becomes meaningless. Balancing speed with time is crucial. Will you make it home, Commander?

Note: Each time you play the game, you are randomly assigned one of the random spawn points on the map, as well as one of the 4 available original soundtracks. Make sure to play the game a lot of times! Surprises are always there.


Controls:

Mouse to set movement direction.

Left click to increase speed.

Right click to decrease speed.

ESC to open pause menu.

ENTER to continue dialog.


Made by a group of friends from Greece for the Extra Credits Game Jam #5.

Programming: George Tsakonas

Art: John Miaris

Music & SFX: George Soulantikas (TWEL)


Install instructions

Extract the contents of the .zip file attached below, open the extracted folder and double click "CountdownToEarth.exe".

Warning: If you don't hear any sound, try adding the game to the 'Do Not Disturb" list of your antivirus.

Download

Download
CountdownToEarth.zip 33 MB

Comments

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Overall I had fun with this game. It works beautifully. Some of the background graphics need a little work in making them blend in, but that's pretty much expected in a game jam.

The game is a lot of fun when you're going full speed, dodging planets and bouncing from one gravity well to another, so I'm a little disappointed to lose time for it. If I had one piece of advice for the next game, it would be don't punish players for making use of your best mechanics. 

I think what it needs is a reason to play fast and dangerous. Right now, you can just go slow, avoid everything easily, and get home safe and sound, but that's not fun. With a little tweaking this one could be great. You should be proud of it.

Hello! First of all thank you for your great review. The initial idea was that the challenge of achieving a balanced run would provide enough fun to overcome any negatives that come with it. Judging from the reviews we got though, it seems that we should have probably made the time decrease to only occur cause of gravitation pull from large objects, as well as maybe the actual passage of time. Anyway, I am glad you had fun with our game!

Hey Geotsak (and team), I just finished your game and really enjoyed it! I love the tricky balance of keeping an eye on your time gauge, scanning the minimap for incoming obstacles, and carefully weaving around planets to keep one boost chaining into another.

Regarding the art style, nice work all around. There's a good variety of planets and obstacles to keep things interesting as you play and replay the game. I also like the variety of dangerous objects like orbiting moons and black holes.

The music and sound effects compliment the frenzied and fun gameplay nicely. Very well done.

In terms of gameplay improvements, one thing I didn't grasp right away was what speed I should be traveling at. I did a few "perfect" runs at 100%, 75%, 50%, and I couldn't make it back to Earth in time even when getting every possible boost. When I dropped down to about 25% speed on my next few runs, I was eventually able to get back to Earth safely.

Overall, this is a really solid jam game and a fun mechanic that hopefully you will expand on later. Very cool stuff!


Thank you for the game!

I really liked the presentation style and level of polish, and also how well game mechanics are explained. Music especially was of the highest quality! I was amazed to realize that music changes from one retry to the other, and that you probably have more then one music track for the main game mode. This is very impressive, considering how people (me included) often postpone music production to the last moment and go with the bare minimum. Cudos for the great work!

I found balancing acceleration/deceleration thrilling and exciting, since it provoked interesting dynamic when you oscillate between careful skirting and bursts of high speed action. But the decision to make time decrease faster as you increase speed felt questionable to me. This really discouraged taking high risks with high speed and instead encouraged slow and meticulous movement (I've completed the game twice: once on high speed with very little time left, and other time on very slow speed with more then 2/3 time left at the end). I think making time decrease slower as you increase speed would have make the skirting/action dynamic really shine.