NASA releases a game, simulates life on the Moon

If you’ve ever wanted to head to outer space without leaving your chair, you’re in luck. NASA’s ‘Moonbase Alpha’ for the PC will let you do just that.

The new title – the first of two the space administration plans to release – is based off of the Unreal Engine 3 used in games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Mirror’s Edge, and upcoming titles Gears of War 3 and Mass Effect 3.

While most of those titles involve some element of violence, Moonbase Alpha does away with all of that and lets you see what it would be like to create a base of operations on the Moon. Gamers can step into the boots of an astronaut by themselves or jump into multiplayer with maps supporting up to six players.

If you were hoping to sit down and play this on your Xbox 360 or PS3, think again. Right now, Moonbase Alpha is a PC only affair available free from the Steam network.

Moonbase Alpha

The second title coming from NASA (but not yet released) is ‘Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond’ and will be a massively multiplayer online game designed to incorporate aspects of engineering, maths, science, and technology into a fun environment. Think of it as World of Warcraft except in space and without the mythological creatures.