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Have You Played… Space Haven?

For even astronauts must poo.

It’s the science fiction fan’s equivalent of “what’s the deal with airline food” to point out that nobody on Star Trek ever seems to take a dump, but it’s still an observation worth making, from time to time. Space is an offensively difficult place for humans to live, after all - if we want to survive there, there’s a dizzying number of biological needs we have to cater to. And that includes wee and poo. As unheroic as toilets might seem, it’s chilling to think how grim a space habitat would become, and how quickly, without them. I salute Space Haven, then - an early access “colony sim” in a similar vein to Rimworld - for making bogs mandatory, aboard whichever ship you choose to construct with your crew of deep space oafs.

The inclusion of toilets in the game, in fact, is a pretty good illustration of just how granular a simulation it is. To build a spaceship on which to go out looting derelicts (for this is the meat of the game), you will need to piece it together tile by tile from scratch. Starting with just a dismal metal box in the void, you expand your vessel little by little as you acquire resources, beginning by building out the hull, and finishing with the placement of lights, wiring, air support, vegetable plots - and loos.

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I must admit, however, that this makes the game fiddly as hell to play. If I’m honest, it hasn’t quite reached the stage where the low-key brainglow of having created a little functioning settlement quiteoutweighs the amount of bungling around in the UI necessary to make it happen. As such, I’ve bounced off Space Haven a couple of times, and I’ll probably bounce off it again while it’s in early access.

But one day, I know, when its balance shifts to producing more fun than it consumes, I will stick to Space Haven like a poorly-flushed turd sticks to the hull of the International Space Station. It’s right up my street in terms of theme and format, and it’s got a very specific sort of mid-1990s look to it, which falls into the very slim category of retro aesthetics that I actively enjoy. Definitely one to have a go with, if you’re into colony sims, or if you just like pissing into the fathomless gulf between the stars.

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