Oxygen Not Included [official site] is a space colony management sim from Klei, the guys behind the excellent Invisible Inc. It’s been in alpha since February but now it’s launched on early access, and I’m intrigued.
It’s got the aesthetic of Don’t Starve, another Klei game, and involves building up a settlements beneath the surface of a distant planet and battling through the inevitable crises, whether that’s clouds of poisonous red gas in your base or a shortage of pepper bread. A lot of it is in the style of RimWorld, except it’s all side-on.
Now, before you decide whether you suit up and blast off, it’s worth reading Brendan’s alpha Premature Evaluation, in which his colonists were forced to wade through ankle-deep puddles of human urine. Here’s his account:
“Sadly, the mopping was doing little to stop the failure of the colony. All these crises culminated and Yellow Water soon descended into absolute piss carnage. Stress levels among the colonists sky-rocketed and a man called Grub began to vomit from the anxiety of living in such a stinking yellow hell. Snores O’Duggan, a man who slept apart from everyone else because he snored so loudly that it kept the others awake all night, began to destroy batteries throughout the colony in a blind rage, systematically disabling filters, air pumps, the distillery and the mush machine. Even in the dark and quiet nights, piss dripped down from the sleeping quarters, going from level to level before finally getting into the water supply.”
That sounds like great fun to me, in a gross sort of way. Overall, Brendan thought it had promise but lacked some of the drama and personality of Rimworld.
Since he gave it a go there’s been a few new features implemented, and the early access launch adds a beefed up agricultural system that makes farming a more central part of the game. Read about the changes in detail here.
For what it’s worth, the Steam reviews are looking good so far. If you fancy solving your own piss crisis it will set you back £18.99/22,99€/$24.99, and if you own any other Klei games you’ll get a 20% “loyalty discount”.
Here’s the trailer. What do you reckon?