Astronuts is a 2D Space exploration game made for the Rocketbeans Community Game Jam. The jam’s theme was “Traces of Nuts”.

The player controls a little squirrel and it’s “Death Nut”. They have to scavenge planets for “traces of nuts” so they can fuel their Death Nut and travel further. Players can use scanning and harvesting tools to extract nuts, and the squirrel’s laser cannon to defeat enemy space-birds!


For this game I really wanted to explore control and combat mechanics for a 2d space game. I had this idea in my head that it would be great to have different view ports and motion for ships of differing sizes. As a result, the small squirrel is a fast and nimble ship, that does little damage but is great for exploration and gathering of nearby planets. The big and clunky “Death Nut” has a greater view port, deals more damage and can produce more ships. But it is also slower and not fit to explore space in close vicinity.

Traces Of Nuts was a fun theme which we translated into the game quite literally. The squirrel finds traces of nuts on planets, then gathers them and finally brings them to its mothership to receive points and advance in levels.

The levels were designed in such a way that they required the player to use the squirrel to explore and gather, and leave their Death Nut behind and be vulnerable. If the player was swarmed by enemy hawks, he could use the Death Nut’s cannons to defend strongly while the squirrel would be more vulnerable to many enemies.

General Info

We created this game in a small team of 3 while taking care of the jam organisation (Read more about this jam here!), with me as a programmer and two artists that took turns on creating assets.

This game taught us a lot about overscoping in game jams, and even though we like the idea very much, it was ultimately not a good choice for a 48-hour jam. The exploration is fun, but lacks enough content to keep the player’s attention for a relevant amount of time and ultimately lacks a goal other than reaching the highest score without dying.

GameJolt page (download available)

Rocketbeans Community Game Jam (German)