Autonauts is a sweet game about planetary colonisation. You’ll land on uninhabited worlds and begin to inhabit them by building what you need. But you don’t do it all by hand. The goal is to automate the process, creating and programming worker bots to process the raw materials into a self-sustaining world. As always, the route to colonisation starts with a pie recipe, and it’s one that requires more than just flour and jam.
The Great British Bake Off never had it this hard. As the announcement trailer shows, you can’t just make a pie. You need to cut and mill the flour and mix it with butter (from a cow you’ve milked). You also can’t just mix it together in the dirt, silly. You need to build a table, by programming your bots to harvest logs and… on and on it goes, as a whole building and cooking apparatus goes up in order to bake a pie. But, who knows, maybe it’ll be the best pie you’ve ever tasted.
What’s not shown all that well is how the bots are controlled. The programming is done with blocks that you build your instructions with, dragging and dropping things like “Move to”, “Take”, “Repeat”, “Use”, and more. All the instructions are customisable, enabling some detailed and repetitive actions to be built. The end is to keep the ever-growing colony of humans supplied with increasingly sophisticated automation.
One thing I like is that it’s not a game about punishing players. There are plenty of brutal colony-building games around, but Autonauts is designed to be relaxing. I appreciate that a lot. It’s out on October 17, says the Steam page.