Euro-Boardgamey SF Logistical Roguelite Banished Vault Will Break Your Brain

There’s more info on this in the Indie Games Worth Knowing thread, but this is so good it deserves a thread of it’s own.

Without going into the who-shot-john of the story, you basically are controlling a Space Monastery (don’t ask) crewed by several Exiles and containing a number of smaller vessels. You move from system to system, and in each there are a number of planets, moons, and other space stuff. The goal in each is to accumulate and craft enough resources to make it to the next one within a finite number of turns so you can survive to the next system. The ultimate goal is to create a journal of your travels with four entries. To do that you have to find 4 Hallowed Worlds (actually 3 - there seems to always be one in your starting system) and build a Scriptorium on each.

The logistical nightmare stems from the fact that you have numerous resources (CO2, Water, Silicon, etc.) that not only have to be mined but are used for manufacturing buildings and other production facilities. Most important is fuel, as the amount of fuel needed for a round trip from the Monastery to another object in the system is dependent on the mass of your shuttle, the quality of your engine(s), and how much thrust is necessary to land. Fortunately there’s an in-game Space Slide Rule to help you calculate how much you’ll be needing,

You can also spend some of your time collecting Aritfacts, which provide Tech points, used to unlock better engines, etc., as well as getting perks for your crew. The least interesting part of the game are the Hazards, resolved by rolling a D6.

This is a punishing game. As others have pointed out, you HAVE to RTFM, and keep at least the reference section at your side. Fortunately it’s well written and pretty straight forward. Saving is strictly Ironman, and there is no Undo button. If you screw up royally, and I did when I went to process some Stasis (the stuff that keeps your crew alive between systems), discovered I had no CO2, and didn’t have time to harvest enough before time ran out, all you can do is restart the system from the beginning.

There is an odd design choice, in that difficulty options don’t unlock until after you’ve completed your first run. Also a leaderboard might be nice. The systems in each game are procedurally generated and randomized, but you go through them on rails. A branching pathway like Slay the Spire would be an improvement.

Other than those couple of niggles I would recommend it highly.

Is the manual available out of game? As a PDF I can alt-tab into?
Reading it in game is a pain. Plus it seems… fuzzy? As in the text is not clear/sharp?