Little Indie Games Worth Knowing About (Probably)

Let me make my quixotic pitch once again for anyone who discusses an Early Access game in a multi game thread to clearly disclose that it is Early Access. I consider it basic courtesy and don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Just label Early Access games as Early Access. Please.

I’m buying this as soon as it’s available, it looks great. I liked the author’s previous game, In Other Waters, but found it hard to recommend – looking forward to seeing their second outing.

It’s coming to Game Pass, too.

I think Citizen Sleeper will be on Game Pass.

Crazy talk.

Terraforming quick Retrospective

Terraformers recently released in EA. Like the demo it’s a solid, very board game inspired strategy game.

Right now very scenario focused with a timing mechanic (“Expectations”). You have to win a scenario before you run out of support (with expectations as an ever increasing demand). There are a couple of unlocks for buildings, leaders etc. The pacing is kind of odd, either you win “too early” or expectations just drown you.

The next two goals on the roadmap focus on researching technologies and a new endless mode. Once those two are implemented I would heartily recommend the game. The building and terraforming aspects are already good. Notably better and better paced than the gameplay the two Mars game examples below, while being more fluid and more versatile than the “Terraforming Mars” board game.

Since I was hungering for more I played two other Mars colonization games, both with severe drawbacks and the main mechanic being waiting at max game speed:

Surviving Mars: Still an awful game. Building stuff is more work than it’s worth. The colony builder aspects and especially the population management are weak and annoying. Terraforming is mediocre mechanically and not overly rewarding. Just a horrendous waste of time.

Per Aspera: Sandbox mode because the story/combat mode is crap. Basic gameplay somehow manages to be even worse than Surviving Mars. A hideous mess of tiny icons in a very weak building system with a poorly thought out logistics system on top.
The terraforming is more interesting and much more rewarding than in Surviving Mars however.

Not Mars related but rewarding terraforming on single maps, Terra Nil demo:
Reclaiming ecosystems with a tile management focus. Proper release of a small (Ludum Dare?) game.
The demo is basically that small game redone and improved on a technical level. The upcoming Steam release aims to add a lot of content and mechanics.

What’s a space colonization / builder that you’d recommend? I played through Surviving Mars once, but like you said there was a lot of waiting and figuring out the weird ways that the population behaved.

I liked Per Aspera and Aven Colony roughly as much as Surviving Mars (“pretty good”). Maybe Aven Colony is the best of the three, though I thought the setting was fairly bland. Also, is it a “space builder”? It’s on an alien planet, but there’s not a lot of doing stuff in space…

Is the best sci-fi builder Anno 2205 (he asks others in the thread)? It’s a near-future setting, and has you building on the moon and on a space station as well as several environments on earth, so it’s not totally “in space.” But it has that cool hard-sci-fi atmosphere and lots of managing your resources between locations on- and off-planet.

Probably a lot of folks would make a pitch for RimWorld. I still haven’t played it.

Folks at QT3 seem to like The Colonists, which I have not played though it whispers to me from my Wishlist

KatherineOfSky has many videos, she loves it

I rather enjoyed Space Colony, an old Firefly effort.

Anno 2205 is my favorite Anno game for casual playing. It gets rid of the transportation networks and replaces them with fun.

It also runs much snappier than Anno 1800.

OTOH, it has a weird cobbled DLC Space Station online thing that’s effectively broken hogging up notifications and the combat is like 1999 called and wants its RTS back. But, again, i guess that’s part of the charm for that casual experience.

It has a great diorama like quality, watching dogs in spacesuits on the moon and UN-style meritocratic families huddling near generators in the Arctic. There’s this nice positivity about the color schemes and presentation (despite the often slightly dirty-cyber-tech undertones of the missions and supply chain ingredients.)

Does KSP count?

I loved this and cannot wait for the full thing. Restoring nature and jettisoning all traces of us humans from each area was cathartic.

I really like Oxygen not Included. It’s generally future themed and the DLC is space travel focused.
It is more on the “colony builder” rather than “city builder” scale. It really excels mechanically and the ingame systems for various elements, physics and production chains are all very engaging. If you are into tinkering ONI’s systems are just phenomenally good and presented with a lot of charm.
For me personally this is the best colony builder by far.

For city builders I do think Anno 2205 is indeed the best. Despite a bunch of weak points (combat most notably, but luckily entirely optional) the move to hand designed maps with their individual quests and aspects is superior to the “random yet all the same” maps of other games (including most in the more recent Anno 1800).
An almost entirely flow based economy is also really great and I much prefer it over stockpile management. Losing small scale logistics and instead focusing on large scale map interactions is a big benefit for my gaming taste.

Rimworld is good but nowhere near as well done as ONI in mechanics, presentation, theme or depth of systems. Rimworld does have a large open world-ish aspect to it though that is relatively unique among games. Dwarf Fortress has it only as background for instance. In Rimworld you can actually move and interact with the world.
It also has a big library of well done and content rich mods.

For upcoming games there is IXION on Steam. Heavily inspired by Frostpunk but in a space setting. The demo made a good impression on me (no longer available though).

Casting a wider net both Factorio and especially Dyson Sphere Program are really good automation-building games with space elements (central in Dyson).

Planet crafter is pretty nifty. It is ea, and it is still kind of in the toy stage… but lots of potential…

15 posts were split to a new topic: Citizen Sleeper: Do tabletop RPGs dream of electric sheep?

I’ll always be there for you, even if Tom didn’t carry forward your Norabunga title.

Well these got a good snort laugh out of me on a Friday afternoon! :)

Here’s a good free game.

You punch things on a Shiren laid out dungeon and it’s strangely glitch free.
It’s really pleasant.