Imagine how fun it would be to combine Elite Dangerous’ six degrees of freedom flight mechanics and Trackmania’s high-speed adrenalin rush racing gameplay and put them into a stylish Unity-driven world with a variety of environments to race ridiculously fast rocket ships. Now imagine exactly that has been done, and that you can make the imagined real right now. For free.
Fly Dangerous is being developed by Manchester based Stargoat Games (which, in its entirety, is really just Jay Faulkner (aka Jukibom), who describes the game as being “The unholy love child of Elite dangerous and Trackmania!”, and “A love letter to the Elite Dangerous racing community”.
After a year or so of regular Alpha releases through GitHub, the game has now gone into Steam Early Access and is available to download and play. (Visit Jukibom’s GitHub if you’d prefer to download a non-Steam, Linux, or OSX version of the game.)
Test your skill on the leaderboards with drift, careful boost control and 6dof flight model! Use Arcade mode or flight assists to keep your balance and work towards turning them off for the best times!
- 6 DOF (degrees of freedom)
- Nuanced Newtonian flight model
- Assisted and unassisted flight
- VR support
- Flight stick support
- Controller support
- Unlimited terrain to hoon around in
- Multiplayer for both hooning and racing
- Infinite free roam modes
- Party up with friends in the online multiplayer mode
The main game mode at the moment is Time Trial, and there is a variety of simple and complex tracks available to chase scores on. There’s also a Free Roam mode which generates an infinite terrain for you to fly around and just appreciate the flight controls. It’s a good balance of intense time-trial chasing and casual fun.
The flight model is the game’s main appeal. It shares all of the same traits as Elite, with momentum and lateral thrusters that fight your direction and physically pull the ship around corners, allowing you to really throw your weight around. The booster is not just used for speed, but also for faster vector correction, as your ships thrusters really struggle to counter the speed of the main drives, so using your throttle and boost carefully is a huge part of making tight corners and getting the faster times.
The game has a high skill ceiling and is very challenging in Advanced mode. Even more so when you start turning off the flight assists. But, as every sim racer knows, zero assists is always the fastest way through a course.
If you are new to 6DOF flight or simply want an easier “pick up and play” kind of experience, there is a decent alternative control scheme called Arcade mode. So, while the skill ceiling is very high, the skill floor is low enough that you could hand a complete novice the controls in Arcade mode and they’d be able to immediately make sense of it.
The initial Early Access release includes 14 Time Trial maps – more are planned when there's more concrete level geometry and finalised terrain. There’s also infinite terrain gen in Free Roam mode – as a technical preview with more diverse biome terrain and foliage planned. Multiplayer is also still at technical preview level - no competitive game modes yet, but they are planned.
On the Free Forever point, Jukibom explains:
Why is it free? What's the catch?
I get this a lot. The top and bottom of it is this is a game I want to play and it's become a fun community project which stopped us going mad during a global pandemic. With this being a competitive / community-focused game at heart, the niche-within-a-niche nature means that the less barriers to entry, the better it will be for everyone. Ways of supporting the project may be looked at later (e.g. ship liveries, patreon, whatever) but will never include paid competitive advantages or anything gross like that.