Gazing dreamily at the end of the world

Protip: Pan the screen to the left and there's a nice vista of the sun.

Protip: Pan the screen to the left and there’s a nice vista of the Sun.

I won’t even pretend that this is a strategy game – but I was too charmed by Eve of Impact to not post about it.

Eve of Impact presents you with a god’s-eye-view of the Earth as it’s being besieged by asteroids. Your job is to direct missiles to intercept those asteroids, buying time for the evacuation of our homeworld. It’s basically Missile Command – a simple little time-waster that you’ve played a million times – but what a beautiful time-waster. The game is a one-man effort by Rik Schennink, and you can tell right away that the guy is a designer by trade. Eve of Impact’s UI is slick and elegant – one of those iOS games you’ll show to people that don’t even like games. The musical theme sounds like a melancholy excerpt from the score of Mass Effect.

You direct the missiles at your disposal with just a touch – you can try to blow up the asteroids with direct missile impacts, or use the detonations of your warheads to put enough English on the asteroids’ trajectories to fly harmlessly past. In Eve of Impact’s future, someone of great foresight has installed an Endor-style force field around the Earth, but it’s not too much help against the onslaught of asteroids. The shield won’t take more than a hit or two, and a direct hit on the unshielded planet brings you to a game over that is pyrotechnically beautiful whilst simultaneously kind of.. peaceful.

I know how perverse that sounds. The people of Earth are escaping on ships three or four thousand at a time. You aren’t playing very long before you realise that you aren’t going to rescue very many. Maybe it’s the music, or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve recently re-watched Wrath of Khan, but I very quickly resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t save everybody, and just sort of got into the spectacle of the whole thing. It’s the end of the world, but what a nice way to go.

Rik told me that his next project is an app but he hopes to do another game before long. Eve of Impact is available for a dollar.