Next Space Rebels is an amateur rocketry simulation that also focuses on reclaiming the internet.

For years, I had a model rocket kit in my childhood bedroom. The rocket body was a simple cardboard tube with a couple of fins on it, and it came with more solid-fuel “engines” than I could utilize in the two launches I actually brought the kit to. In retrospect, it’s a good thing I didn’t have access to a game like Next Space Rebels, since I may have attempted gluing spray paint cans to anything that may maybe explode. What could possibly go wrong?

At first sight, Next Space Rebels appears to be a game inspired by the early stages of the Kerbal Space Program: that fun time of experimental rocketry in which you strap an engine onto a precarious stack of rubbish and see how far it gets off the launch pad. But it’s not quite that, as seen by the clip, which premiered at the PC Gaming Show on Sunday. Next Space Rebels isn’t your typical sim.

It has a backstory, and the developers were given the grant to tell it in the Netherlands in 2019. “The game portrays the narrative of the mythical hacking organization Next Space Rebels, who call on a worldwide community to construct and launch rockets themselves in order to establish an independent internet with their own satellites,” according to the grant website. “In this way, the project is an active statement on the democratization of space and the situation of the Internet today.”

Yes, you’ll be making silly rockets and attaching teddy bears to them because space is yours, dude, but there are FMV story sections that give the game structure. The PC Gaming Show teaser for Next Space Rebels left me with a lot of questions, but that’s good because it’s coming out unexpectedly soon, in autumn 2021.

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