Over a year ago, I wrote several posts about Skyjacker, a new space sim game which was seeking funding through Kickstarter. It didn’t make it, but developers Digitilus didn’t give up. Instead, they kept crowdfunding open on their own website, and returned to Kickstarter with the Starship Constructor, a tool used to build ships for the game. Backers of the successful campaign got to play with the constructor and funds went towards continuing development on the main game. Now, Digitilus is back to Kickstarter with a final campaign to finish Skyjacker.

Unfortunately, the timing isn’t so great, with high-profile space sim games like Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous hogging the crowdfunding headlines. But I’m more excited about Skyjacker than I am about those games, and it’s not just because of my predilection for Russian things. Read on for some reasons why you might want to fund Skyjacker too.

First, Skyjacker has some really great art direction. Where many space games tend to look very cold, with dark metallic ships flying through the inky blackness of space, Skyjacker is a veritable explosion of color. Nebulas, gas clouds, and weapon fire fill the screen, while outlandish ships fly around everywhere. There are ten alien races in Skyjacker, each with their own distinct ship designs, and all of them look original. No boxy metal ships here; the various fleets are full of curvy, tentacled, or otherwise bizarre designs to match the equally bizarre creatures flying them. Then there’s the destruction tech. Every ship is constructed out of a plethora of tiny parts, and each can be blown off individually, then salvaged and used on one’s own ship. The game pits the player as a space pirate, ruthlessly raiding convoys and cobbling together a ship from the wreckage. This reminds me of Interstate ’76, which is a very good thing. But unlike that game, Skyjacker is apparently aiming for a more freeform approach, letting players grab missions from the Pirate Stock Market and fly them solo or in online co-op with friends. Even the premise is interesting: the main character is a caveman from Earth’s ice age, but is captured by aliens. The aliens soon learn that, unlike most of the other alien races, this human is not telepathic, which means he can hide himself from the authorities. So his life as a space pirate begins.

Basically it sounds like bright, colorful, raucous fun, which I think is just as important as the persistent worlds and economic models of certain other space sims in development right now. Digitilus have even provided a playable demo (really more of a tech demo) for those who are not yet convinced. The campaign still has a ways to go with 18 days left, and I’d really like to see it succeed, so take a look and see if it’s something you might want to back. You can vote for it on Steam Greenlight as well.

Hopefully I’ll see you in the crazy universe of Skyjacker sometime in the future!