I'm as excited about Slipways as any game coming out this year. It's a pocket-sized 4X about building a network of planets, and each game is designed to be completed in under an hour. I loved its demo during the Steam festival, and the full game is out now.
Here's the announcement trailer:
At its core is an idea so simple that it's almost a puzzle game. Each planet wants a resource and produces a resource. By linking planets together via warp gates, you transport goods around, and must link up your planets in such a way that their populations remain happy. The trick is to lay out your network efficiently, since routes between planets can't overlap initially, and unhappy populations will eventually end your reign as galactic leader.
Around that core lies other systems, including science research, a council of aliens to satisfy, and more that elevate it from simple puzzle to rich strategy game. But it retains a simplicity that allows you to focus on important decisions and finish a game or two in a lunch break.
It also looks and sounds wonderful. Slipways began life as a PICO-8 prototype (still playable now), and the leap from simple pixel art to its gorgeous 3D and uber-polished UI is remarkable.
We'll have a review along of Slipways in due course (written by someone other than me, so who knows what they'll think). If you're already convinced, you can pick it up from Steam now for £14/€15.