A downloadable game for Windows

== About the Game ==

Dark Space is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up inspired by retro games from the genre. All of the game's sprites were drawn with a limited four-color palette.

Warning! The Dark Space Scourges, a band of insidious, interdimensional indecents, are causing havoc and unrest across the Dark Space! Take control of the scorpion-like alien Schkitaska as you fly through a dangerous assortment of stages, each one presenting its own unique hazards, on your mission to apprehend the Dark Space Scourges and restore order.

Schkitaska has the power to generate orbitals after defeating enough enemies; these friendly followers will allow Schkitaska to temporarily mutate and gain new attacks. Up to two orbitals can be equipped at one time, and their powers will combine to produce devastating abilities! Experiment with all of the possible combinations and find the best orbitals for every situation.

== Features ==

  • Many interesting characters and environments to encounter!
  • 28 unique weapon combinations to discover, use, and unlock!
  • Four initial stages to tackle in any order you please!
  • Two additional and extra-difficult stages for skilled players!
  • Two difficulty modes with separate level designs and gameplay differences!
  • A shop system which provides health and weapon upgrades!
  • Secret challenges which unlock character information when completed!

== Controls ==

-- General Controls --
  • F1, F2, F3, F4 keys: Adjust window size between 1x, 2x, 3x, or 4x resolution
  • F5 key: Adjust window size to best-fit resolution
-- Menu Controls --
  • Arrow keys: Navigate menu options
  • Z key / Y key / W key: Select the current menu option
  • X key: Return to the previous menu
-- Cinematic Controls --
  • Z key / Y key / W key: Advance to the next frame
-- Game Controls --
  • Arrow keys: Move
  • Z key / Y key / W key: Fire or activate the current weapon
  • X key: Equip the new orbital circling around you
  • A key / Q key: Discard the oldest equipped orbital
  • Enter key: Pause the game
  • Escape key: Return to the title screen (while paused)

== Development Status ==

Current version: 4.1.3 (Volume and performance mini-update)

Development on this project has been completed. However, many screens and levels in the game still lack music. Since this project is so old and I consider it to be pretty janky by my current standards, I would say that a "Dark Space 2" is more likely than this project receiving an audio overhaul at this point.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars
Made withGameMaker: Studio
Tags2D, 8-Bit, Aliens, Black and White, GameMaker, Retro, Shoot 'Em Up, Side Scroller
Average sessionAbout an hour


dark_space_4.1.3.zip 6 MB
dark_space_4.1.3 (VSync Enabled).zip 6 MB

Development log

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Hunk space, more like

"Whoa, are you still playin' this thing?"

There is a chance that the copy of the game in the first download will run at an unchecked framerate (speeding up the gameplay and making it pretty unplayable).

The second download (with VSync enabled) should function normally for everyone, so if you find issues with the first download or simply don't know if it's working properly, take this one.


Looks awesome!


Heya, it's Kait. Is this the most updated version?


Yeah, this is currently the most updated version of the game. The soundtrack is still underway, but I'll make an update whenever that's ready.


I like the art style and the shooting mecanism! Did you make it from raw code?

I'm glad you like them! I enjoy working with the limitations of small color palettes. The game is built in GameMaker Studio 1.4, which handles the low-level implementation, but aside from that, I did all of the programming work myself with the built-in programming language, GML.


This game is amazing, can't wait for the soundtrack release.
I just wish the devs didn't nerf the snowflakes. The meta was fine.

Our fine balancing team is dedicated to keeping snowflakes at the bottom of the weapon tier list.


i finally got around to trying this! this is clearly a very polished and tight knit experience. the level design really reminds me of those classic arcade shoot em ups, but the aesthetics and gameplay are very much their own. a lot of fun; great work!

Thanks! It's been a lot of fun to work on this project, and I'm glad you enjoy it. The little perfectionist inside me spent lots of time searching for bugs and adjusting little details to try and create my dream experience. Even still, I think the game is pretty mean in some places with tricky enemy formations and sudden boss attacks; I'm learning what I can from this project and will strive for a better difficulty balance in my upcoming games.

I'll be pushing out one last update for this game sometime in the future, as an original soundtrack and a potential sound effect overhaul are currently in the works. I'm really looking forward to adding the music and having a full video game experience!

nice! ill be looking forward to it, and i'll continue playing this version on occasion to see if i can spot any particularly rude areas

game is nice, but it's still missing beetles w/ .38s (?)

Where's my modding community at?!

game is now playable on linux as of wine 4.0

That's nice! I shouldn't need to go through the trouble of making and testing a Linux port of the game, then.

Have you seen the mythical fifth stage yet?

only in my dreams, together with the otuga buffs.

There is a secret cheat code hidden somewhere in the menus if you are not a bad enough dude to save the Dark Space with double Otuga.


cool and good "eck"



I like this game, I need to do another gameplay for this 

(1 edit)

EDIT: I didn't notice that this was an older video; I thought you had made a new video of an old version of Dark Space. My bad!
Thank you for making another gameplay video for my game! There will be a little more for you to see if you download the current version (a title screen illustration and an introductory cutscene, among other changes). I'm also working on a large update that will add lots of new content and fix a few issues present in the current version, so you can look forward to that in the future, too!

Ah I still have that build, I  did not do the video yet because you said some music was still being added but I can use the current build if you like.

You're free to play the current version of the game. I was planning on adding music eventually, but I have yet to receive anything from the composer who wants to do the music. It's very likely that the future update I'm currently developing still won't include any music, and I have no idea when (or if) Dark Space will eventually have music.



I got pass the Hate Face.

Nice! Thanks for making another video!


hey this is pretty good



finally got around to this! 


keeping track of what powerups you have and especially what combinations of powerups do what is totally obtuse. maybe a descriptive name for each combination would be better instead of the names of the critters that're following you. each of the powerup creatures is also not so different in design to be immediately recognizable, which is a problem.

the powerup system in general is a bit difficult to grasp. if i get it correctly, by picking up enough dropped energy from defeated enemies, you receive a different kind of follower/critter/powerup that can be then combined with another one? and you lose them on taking damage? the rules here weren't evident and that left me confused.


the controls are smooth and responsive, and i never felt like i got hit when i shouldn't have. you can easily tell when you've hit enemies.

there's a distinct and bizarre atmosphere here, contributed to by the graphics, unique character designs, and nomenclature. comparing it to anything is a disservice but frankly i was reminded of the darker bits of the earlier kirby games, especially the smooth, bubbly backgrounds.

the levels are quite distinct from one another, which helps it from becoming samey, and are really interesting to boot. combine with the limited palette, fluid animations, and focused art style and the game is easy on the eyes and distinct.

overall, you've got a great and polished experience here. keep up the good work!


Hey, thanks for trying my game out! I'm really glad you enjoyed playing it.

The way the weapon system works is that you can have up to two orbitals following you at the same time. There's a hidden counter that increments as you defeat enemies, eventually causing an orbital to appear. Your newest orbital is written first, and your oldest orbital is written second; whenever you pick up a third orbital or lose an orbital, the older one is the one to disappear (which is why I opted to show orbital names instead of a single weapon name in the bottom-left). You'll lose an orbital if you take three hits in succession while having the same orbital combination throughout (on Hard difficulty, you'll lose an orbital in one hit if you're holding two).

You raise some very good points, though, and I can now see how confusing the orbital system can be to new players. I've been considering adding a short tutorial stage where the core mechanics of the game are explained, and this shows me that it would be a welcome addition.