In another level, I continuously switch between late fall and the depths of midwinter, controlling the old man as he crosses rivers and lakes. Ice floes can only be used as platforms in the extreme cold, but if he fails to jump back to the warmer season at every opportunity, he freezes to death. He is brave, but vulnerable.
Special items come rapidly, through many different means. I am gifted a boombox early in the game that I can turn on to force my enemies to groove to the tunes. Each item offers genuine strategic options while maintaining the general sense of goofiness and surprise.
I encounter other space explorers of my own kind. They are bizarre, likable clue-givers who provide moments of comic relief. I perpetrate no violence in this game. I am never required to fire a laser gun or grapple with enemies. (How few are the games, set in space, that absent themselves from combat.) Yet, the worlds I visit can be hostile, releasing their secrets with the greatest reluctance.
I hope the next Assassin’s Creed gives me as much joy as this one.