If at first you don’t succeed, you probably shouldn’t have strapped so many jet engines to a plank of wood.
Fortunately, half of the fun of Main Assembly, a creative sandbox game from Bad Yolk Games that sees you build your own vehicles, is going absolutely loopy with your constructions. Learning what happens when you build an aeroplane with no wheels or creating something straight out of an arachnophobe’s nightmare is the real draw of the game.
Sure, there’s a tutorial to ease you into this build-em-up as well as multiple challenges, but I spent the bulk of my time just messing about in sandbox mode. And I don’t regret it one bit.
It’s not just that Main Assembly gives you an insane number of parts to play with, from the aforementioned jet engines through to all manner of sensors. Less LEGO, more Meccano, Main Assembly lets you can tweak and warp every aspect of your creation’s frame.
Yes, you’re probably going to see a lot of jet-powered dick-cars once Main Assembly gets out of closed beta, but being able to warp, bend and extrude all manner of components means that only your imagination is the limit. The resulting vehicle was less than aerodynamic, but I was grinning like an idiot when I turned my vehicle’s boring square chassis into a pair of giant bunny ears.
No matter how clunky your vehicle might look, leaping into the cockpit and taking it for a spin (or a drag) is a real joy. Whether you’re roaring across a flat plain, ping-ponging about an underground cave or scraping across the floor because you decided to make your aeroplane out the heaviest material Main Assembly has to offer, you’re going to be having a great time.
No doubt there’ll be a top tier of creators who can create beautiful, futuristic vehicles that traverse the skies seamlessly, but I doubt I’ll be amongst their number. It hardly matters though; if you ask me, it’s the creations that go wrong that end up being the most entertaining here.
What is intriguing is how flexible Main Assembly’s programming language is. By default you drive the vehicles yourself; there’s also a multiplayer mode where you can go head-to-head with other creators. But, messing around with the various sensors you can slap on your vehicle, I got to wondering whether or not I could create a truly autonomous vehicle; one that would roam around a racetrack without my intervention. More so than making a giant spinning wheel, I’d like to be able to sit back and watch my creation roam. I’m not there yet, but I can see Main Assembly turning into a real time-sink.
Main Assembly is currently in closed beta and will be entering early access on Steam in early April.