Every now and then, a title will pop up on our radar that is both unique and mesmerizing, as well as extremely imaginative in its concept. Capsule is such a game.
The radar reference above is actually a crucial and intended one. The entire story in Capsule unfolds while looking at a green radar/sonar screen that looks like it was lifted straight from a sci-fi movie from the 1960s or 1970s. Destinations and other spaceships only show up as blips, with nothing but your own imagination and the game’s excellent sound design to help you shape the story you’re in.
The basic premise is that you’re trapped in a small capsule, and trying to survive while finding out what’s going on in the area around you. Oxygen is limited, as is the amount of supplies that you have. This creates an element of time pressure and immersion, because suddenly it makes sense to just peer at your radar screen looking for answers.
These answers come as you visit outposts, fly by satellites and encounter other points of interest. The amount of immersion is further enhanced by the aforementioned sound design. Sparse and effective, Capsule’s sound design is aimed at giving you an auditory sense of the universe around you. Aside from the sounds and transmissions you pick up from outside your capsule, there is also the creaking of your own craft to worry about, as well as the labored breathing once you start running low on oxygen.
Capsule is a great example of experimental game design. It’s short – our playthrough was about 90 minutes long – but it can be picked up for a budget price. Normally under 5, it’s on sale in Steam for less than a dollar/euro now!