The Ice Caves of Europa may be dark frozen caverns deep beneath the moon’s surface but they’re not devoid of drama. In this new hybrid of drone simulator and story-driven adventure, your mining and exploratory expeditions of the titular caves are a backdrop for a larger narrative that touches on themes of identity and humanity.
As Verne, a AI-controlled Dragonfly drone, your mission starts in virtual training before reaching the frozen surface and subterran world of Europa, with a goal of collecting samples and searching for evidence of life. Navigation is your primary challenge here, as you manage two modes of flight, momentum and thrust to move through tight caverns and reposition without incurring damage or running into hazards while using your onboard tools like lasers.
However, while maneuvering and exploration are the central gameplay elements and objectives, what drive Ice Caves of Europa is a larger story revolving around a mysterious conspiracy and your Dragonfly’s own burgeoning AI interacting with the other AIs controlling drones and bases on Europa.
Ice Caves of Europa is available for $9.99 on Steam; for more details on the game and developer Io Normal, you can visit their site and Twitter page.