Space station sim Stable Orbit is out today

This space station agreed to be interview under condition of anonymity, so we have obscured its front side

You can be a judicious and talented overseer of a realistic space station in Stable Orbit [official site]. Or you can accidentally jettison the food module into space and watch helplessly as the astronauts starve to death hundreds of kilometres from everything they have ever known and loved. I took the latter option when I played the orbital management sim earlier this year, but you might be a more intelligent station manager. I’m telling you all this because it’s out today, free from the terrible gravity of early access.

It looks gorgeous, space does, and the game focuses on the realism of the station and wonderful vistas of the rotating earth. It was light on features and a bit too rigid for my liking when I tried it last, but developers Codalyn have since added a sandbox mode, disasters such as meteorite impacts and airlock failures, as well as poop management. Super.

My most vivid memory of managing my own station, the Floppy Floater, and its follow-up habitat was viewing the status of the astronauts on board. These included: “sleeping”, “thirsty”, “marooned” and “unemployed”. I was often short of both money and oxygen, and I’d like to think that one of these was more important than the other, but I am not sure.

You can kill your own cosmic scientists for £9.99/$14.99 on Green Man Gaming, Humble or Steam.


  1. HamTake says:

    I’m wondering to those who already played this, if this game gives you the same satisfaction of setting up a space station in Kerbal Space Program.

    • DoubleG says:

      I’ve only played a little but for me this was a lot more stressful than Kerbal Space Program. The fun with KSP was in having a lot of freedom in designing the space station and figuring out how to get it into orbit, with very little consequence if I fucked up or tried something too audacious.

      This game is about management, with the creative side of things limited by a small number of available parts and a brutal economy. There’s a specific build order that you need to follow, which you discover after several short playthroughs where you starve your astronauts, asphyxiate them, or drown them in their own shit. Mission control will happily let your crew die if they fail to do enough science to pay the Space Rent.

      To be fair there’s a sandbox mode but I haven’t tried it.