Free Lives, the South African developer best known for Broforce and more recently the VR title Gorn, has released a free game in the form of the prototype title Vital Signs.
“You are the last working medical droid on a space ship that is thrown into disarray when a mysterious explosion occurs. With the destruction of most of the ship’s systems, its human inhabitants float in a zero-gravity soup, deep in cryosleep. It’s your job to keep them safe and carry them to the few remaining escape pods. But something else seems to have gotten on board, and it stands between you and safety,” reads the official description of the game.
You can download Vital Signs for free from itch.io. It’s a small 32 megabyte zip folder, but just take note that Windows Defender will have a problem with you opening it the first time.
We had a try of the free download and the first thing you’ll notice is the gorgeous pixel art. Just the small segment available is quite nice to look at.
The playable medical droid can flay around and use a variety of tools to navigate the environment and rescue crew. The most basic tool is the Grabber, a rope that shoots out of the droid to latch onto objects. This can be used to manipulate most items in the game – opening grates, shifting crew around and even hurling items at high velocity at enemies.
That “mysterious explosion” mentioned above also brought some aliens on board and they want to kill your precious crew. Should you fail to subdue them with thrown objects they will take bites out of the people you’re trying to save. You can then use the Cauterizer to seal their wounds before they die.
The last two tools are a Sedative and a Scanner.
Vital Signs plays like a puzzle game where locked doors need to be opened by scanning the faces of the unconscious crew. Different crew members have difference clearance levels so you need to wrangle everyone up to get through all the doors and to the escape pods.