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'Space Crew' wants you to defend Earth against aliens (and you can try it free right now)

The new sci-fi strategy game "Space Crew" wants you to explore the galaxy while fighting off an alien threat. What's more, it's a sequel to the popular World War II game "Bomber Crew."

An early version of "Space Crew," by Curve Digital and Runner Duck, is available (albeit briefly) as a free demo on Steam through June 22. The game is billed as a successor to 2017's "Bomber Crew," but set in space rather than on an Earth-based battlefield. The full release for "Space Crew" is expected this fall for PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

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The developers took their inspiration from numerous space-themed movies when creating their own new universe that "Space Crew" gamers will explore. Some challenges gamers will encounter include alien boardings, running out of oxygen, fires aboard their spaceships, system failures and the risk of crewmembers getting blown into space. The game's goal is to emphasize teamwork to overcome adversity, even when negative things happen.

"We at Runner Duck have always been huge fans of sci-fi movies like 'Alien', 'Star Trek', 'Interstellar', and 'Star Wars', said Dave Wingrove, Runner Duck co-founder, in a statement. "We had so much fun crafting 'Bomber Crew', we just couldn't wait to explore all the possibilities a far future setting would offer. Recruiting your crew for typical space sci-fi positions and then sending them out on missions into the perilous depths of space is an ideal theme for the 'Crew' series."

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.