The 1960s was the era of “camp.” Cheesy, overdramatic, visually enticing above the surface, with not much below. When someone mentions the 1960s and space in the same sentence, I instantly think of Barbarella, the 1968 cult film starring a sometimes-very-nude Jane Fonda. Barbarella is at once campy and ridiculous, but intoxicating in its style—you can’t look away. The 1960s space romp heightened the standard for B-movies after it, even if the movie itself was hardly good by other standards.
embeds the 1960s’ inherently groovy vibe
Cosmic Trip, a new virtual reality game out today on the Oculus Rift (with Touch support) and HTC Vive, doesn’t quite channel the bodacious ways of Fonda’s Barbarella, but embeds the 1960s’ inherently groovy vibe. In Cosmic Trip, the player collects resources, builds a cosmobot army for their own wielding, and fortifies their bases. Aliens may attack, but it’s up to the player to ensure that they’re ready to handle what’s coming for them.
Cosmic Trip borrows its core gameplay from a genre not often seen yet in the leagues of VR games. It’s essentially a Real Time Strategy (RTS), something more akin to Starcraft, than say Minecraft (another resource management game). Cosmic Trip is all about planning your course of action in a smart way, and allocating your harvested goods as you see fit. It requires real strategic approach, not lackadaisically shooting guns without a second thought.
The game finds its stylistic inspiration rooted in a 1960s vision of space. Maybe not of the aforementioned Barbarella, but in the similarly muted colors and kitschy stylings that dominated that era. Cosmic Trip feels retro-futuristic, as if someone from the 1960s dreamed up their idea as to what a space-bound adventure might look like, right down the peculiarly rounded “cosmobots” the player can wield against alien forces.