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Tootle around Techtonica's demo, an upcoming underground automate 'em up

Yes please to Satisfactory but underground

If 'Satisfactory but underground and with destructible terrain' sounds appealing, you might want to stop reading this and start downloading Techtonica's demo - then come back and finish reading this, so I still feel useful. It's a first-person factory-building game set in an alien cavern complex with pretty bioluminescent plants. I am excited to lose dozens or hundreds of hours to it when it launches on early access.

I played to the point in the demo where I knew I'd want to play more once the full thing comes out, or more realistically when it comes out on early access and I find I can't help myself. It's more chatty than Satisfactory, with a voice in your ear that talks you through how to set up drills and whatnot while also remarking on, say, a mysterious drill shaft you might find. I do like the creepy planet vibes, which Satisfactory hovers over but so far hasn't leaned into. The writing in this has already made me laugh out loud, too.

Developers Fire Hose Games say their Steam Early Access launch will include four player co-op, though they don't say when that launch might be. They do mention certain players from their closed alpha earlier this year have already played for hundreds of hours, which is a promising sign that it's nearly ready for the general public.

As much as I like Factorio, first-person factory-making is always going to trump a top-down view for me. I want to be in the midst of my creations, marvelling at how every smelter and assembler adds to my sprawling monstrosity.

You can grab the demo on Steam.

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