Planet Express Simulator: Cosmo-Nautica

By Adam Smith on March 1st, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Cosmo-Nautica is Elite by way of The Sims. No, scratch that. Apart from having toilet and food needs, the crew of my vessel have more in common with Redshirt’s sci-fi caricatures than Maxis’ consumer-dolls. I’ve had a brief dabble with an early build of the Stuttgart-built indie game, and it’s exactly what the ‘Elite meets life sim’ beermat description suggests. The player’s ship is a rustbucket the size of a large townhouse and various rooms can be bolted onto its empty compartments. Living quarters, vending machines, cargo bays, weapons, engines…toilets. At present, there’s not much to do beyond trading basic commodities, but ground missions and enhanced combat are due before release. Take a look.

That didn’t really help, did it?

From the little I’ve played, Cosmo-Nautica appears to have a solid enough foundation. There are choices to be made in the placement of facilities on the ship. Positioning affects the crew’s happiness and damage control during combat, so there’s a little of FTL mixed into the broth along with the rest.

Hopefully there will be plenty to do. When trading involves clicking on planets within a procedurally generated galaxy, buying cargo and then clicking somewhere else to sell it – well, that’s not particularly engaging. There will be pirate attacks every now and then – pirates are a given – but there are hints of yet another space game in the mix as well. The goal in Cosmo-Nautica isn’t to amass a fortune but to advance science, by collecting research points. That reminds me of Infinite Space, a personal favourite with a long-awaited sequel in development.

If Cosmo-Nautica has enough weird and wonderful encounters in the vastness of its space, the apparent simplicity of the trading, crew management and combat could be a sturdy enough foundation to build on. I shall be watching.

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23 Comments »

  1. Maxheadroom says:

    Initially made the think of the ancient C64 gem Sci-5 Trading Company, so if it’s like that I’m in.

  2. Stardreamer says:

    Wow, space really is the go-to theme these days! High-five, anyone??

  3. SuicideKing says:

    So many space games, yet Volition is nowhere to be seen with FreeSpace 3. :(

    (I know, licensing issues, bla bla bla…but where there’s a will, there’s a way)

    • vodka and cookies says:

      Almost all the people responsible for the Freespace games left Volition many years ago or have retired from the industry. Essentially it would be an entirely different game studio making the game if it were ever to happen which it wont.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Nooooo most of them are still there. I sat and compared the list one day last year.

  4. bill says:

    Red Dwarf Sim with more girls arses?

  5. Totally heterosexual says:

    Butt nautica: A space booty adventure

  6. Cinek says:

    Pre-alpha? Seriously? And already whole hype and PR shit is building up?

    What next? Pre-concept-art? Or even better: Pre-idea stage. Just show who will be making game and start gathering money to something that might or might not become a game at some unspecified time in future.

    • drewdupe says:

      Yeah it sucks that all these people come at me with cool ideas and I just have to open my wallet and give them all my money… Said no one, ever.

    • Williz says:

      You say that but the whole people working on it one worked for double fine way too well for broken age…

  7. sinister agent says:

    This sounds like the kind of thing I’d hoped FTL would be. “Managing a crew while zapping about the galaxy” has never been done properly before, and really should.

  8. Williz says:

    Honestly this sounds like my jam. Looking forward to it now, cheers!

  9. Hypnotron says:

    Looks interesting. Is it 3D like The Sims or 2D like FTL?

  10. Putzo says:

    I guess the blueish and red ship design is a nod to Battleship Yamato. Nice.

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  12. CutieKnucklePie says:

    CG girls perking up their butts: the game? Man I hope the representation ends up being better than in the promo image.