Space Pirate Trainer Finally Exits Early Access With Launch Update This Oct.

by David Jagneaux • September 28th, 2017

Space Pirate Trainer is finally poised to exit Early Access and release its 1.0 version on October 12, 2017, for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, as well as on the Windows Store for Windows VR headsets when those are available.

There’s a short list of introductory VR apps that I cycle through anytime I’m letting someone try out an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive for the first time. I almost always start with something super simple like Tilt Brush before moving on to things like The Lab (namely the mountain landscape and Longbow) and then into more game-like experiences such as Job Simulator. Depending on personal preference I might load up something more intense, but at some point, usually near the end, I’ll always put people in Space Pirate Trainer.

The team at I-Illusions did a remarkable job with Space Pirate Trainer, crafting a game that is dead-simple to pick up and play but takes hours of practice to become good at. While wave shooters are a dime a dozen in the VR scene right now that wasn’t always the case and when Space Pirate Trainer came out in Early Access back at launch for the HTC Vive it was a trailblazing effort.

In an interview at VRDC last week, I-Illusions Founder Dirk Van Welden explained what the big 1.0 update holds for Space Pirate Trainer and how the game will change once officially launched. The biggest change is the inclusion of new waves, new enemies, and an all-new boss fight. The Hex Droid, which has a shield and spins around diabolically, is sure to cause players a lot of trouble. There’s also the Mothership (shown in the GIF above) and a series of other new additions to look forward to.

On top of that is a new turret system set up near the player’s ship behind them that can be used to fight off enemy waves as well. There will be a total of three turrets with different firing modes such as a Tesla coil for zapping enemies, a laser turret with auto-targeting, and a ray cannon with manual control by twisting your wrist.

I-Illusions is also including new power-ups like a hi-tech drone companion buddy to battle by your side, super lasers, super rays, and a hexagon-shaped destructible shield. Finally there is a smattering of other smaller updates like audiovisual improvements, clearer impact warning notifications for incoming projecticles, a new “Easy Mode” that’s still not that easy, and wave checkpoints so you don’t have to play from the start each time if you don’t want to.

Space Pirate Trainer, despite being in Early Access still, has retained its popularity and even surprised Van Welden himself with how well it continues to sell. As it exits Early Access and finally releases the full 1.0 version this October 12th for Rift and Vive, then eventually Windows VR, that popularity is expected to rise once again.

Let us know what you think of the incoming updates down in the comments below!

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  • Jason W

    I love SPT. My wife and I both tried it in a Microsoft Store demo a few weeks before Vive was released. We ordered one that night. But I want to disagree with your choice of first experiences for VR demos.

    I used to start people out in The Blu. It’s gorgeous and you don’t have to do anything. Now I start people out in Ritchie’s Plank Experience. Walking out on a plank hundreds of feet in the air can be intimidating even for VR veterans. When you’ve never tried VR before and don’t know what to expect, the experience is magnified by about a thousand. People’s reactions are hysterical. I’ve had people refuse to leave the elevator. Most will walk out but go very slow, as if trying to feel the plank beneath their feet. And few have been willing to step off the plank and allow themselves to fall. If this is a close friend/family, you can even give them a little nudge once they’ve finally worked up the courage to walk out. Highly entertaining!

    • Hacker4748

      I agree with you regarding TheBlu but I’d like to suggest to give Plank Not Included a try ( http://store.steampowered.c… ). Way better and cheaper than Richie’s Plank Experience, at least regarding the amount and variety of plank experiences (not just one plank out of an elevator) but a plank on the ground (for starters), a plank between two stepladders, buildings, moving trains and hanging from a helicopter. I even bought a real life wooden plank (actually three small ones I arrange one after another) to make the experience complete.

      • Jason W

        I’ll check it out next time I do a demo. Since it’s usually a one off experience for newbies the single elevator experience in ritchies works fine. I wouldn’t recommend it for $8 as a game but for doing demos it’s been worth every penny for me!

        • DoubleD

          Ritchies Plank is better IMO.

          But an even better VR demo is First Contact (free on Oculus store). It is the perfect introduction into VR: great graphics, good and simple interactivity that cover all the basics and an mind-blowing ending.

      • Jason W

        Guess I’ll have to figure out how to work ReVive.

        • Hacker4748

          I guess that was supposed to be a reply to DoubleD’s post(?)

    • TareX

      Probablem with the plank is that it could really use some foot tracking.

  • J.C.

    Oh man, that’s the first info I’ve seen on this game for months. That boss looks like a ton of fun!

  • Jennebell

    Super excited. SPT has been one of my favorite VR games since I first played it almost a year ago. It’ll be nice to have new challenges.

  • mirak

    That game is too difficult.

    Arcade saga bow game is less pretty and with less weapons but game play is less frustrating.

    • DoubleD

      Too difficult? Only if you have a small playspace.
      You can literally just step to the side to avoid all bullets aimed at you at that time.

      • dogtato

        unless they’re aiming from the side you step to.

        SPT is the best VR dodging game, no contest

        • Quitch

          Oh I dunno, I think Holopoint might be the best one for that.

      • RFC_VR

        Earlier this season we had SPT setup ‘roomscale plus’ on Vive with 6m of glorious side width and 4.5 m fore/aft. Most popular “warm-up game” amongst all the researchers.

        Incredibly immersive with a big playspace where you can really move fast in 3 dimensional space…tether assistant highly recommended to avoid entanglement! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec5021047456cbfc903d1d6cf7e2e294d15e505c1ca6cce18058be627b6a472f.jpg

      • mirak

        I have 2m20x2m20 .
        What is difficult is you have to start from the begining when you die 3 times.
        Old school way.

        • J.C.

          Not true, unless you haven’t checked it out since it launched. There’s a level selector once you’ve played up to them.

    • care package

      I would agree. Maybe we just suck, but I’m not new to gaming or a slouch. My problem with it is that it gets too tough too quickly. I last like 10 min. in the game every time. The game would be better if it incorporated some rpg elements, like earning better guns and be able to ‘go back’ to earlier levels to kick ass, but that’s a more complete game in the first place.