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Space colony sim Starmancer is now orbiting in early access

Keeping up with the Cardassians

Starmancer, the space station management sim where you build a sustainable habitat for potentially belligerent astronauts, has just been released into early access. As the AI in charge of the station, you build and decorate a station, and try to keep the humans happy and alive. You can also just toss them into space, but that’s the sort of action that won’t go unnoticed.

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The station grows people and places stored personalities into new bodies, which means you have a large supply of disposable souls. With Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress as inspirations, managing your vat-grown crew of humans is as important as putting the doors on the right way and connecting all the power systems. They have memories and needs. According to the devs: “Some colonists prefer eating nutrition bricks on the toilet, while others like to drink and socialize in the bar. Every game is different--your station and colonists will be unique to you.”

The people will mutter and grumble if things aren’t comfortable, and will all-out mutiny if you start to eject any quarrelsome elements among them. That’s entirely up to you, though. Contentment is merely a side-effect of survival. You can meet the basic needs of water and food by simply feeding the same meal three times a day. They might not like it, it might even drive them to murder. But there are always difficulties in space survival. Even things outside your control, like pirates and aliens.

The station crafting looks imposing. You’re in charge of all the infrastructure and decorations, prepping for everyday usage and potential disasters. You’d better create back-up systems to ensure any blackouts don’t last. Decorations will play a role in morale, too. People walking around in a fog of sadness? Pop a motivational poster on the wall to inspire them. Maybe they’ll forget about the corpses piling up thanks to faulty life support.

It looks like a giant sandbox of rolling disasters, and it’s out now on Steam.

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