Planetbase (2015, Madrugaworks)

Planetbase is slightly different from the others – you’re in spaaaace! It’s a race to build a base in space before you run out of oxygen and supplies, at least for the first few days (surviving a day is actually an achievement).

Like Theme Hospital, you don’t really place walls – you place rooms directly. There’s no way to change a room type once it’s built, you just tear the whole thing down and replace it with something new.

Planetbase has basically three types of structures: outdoor structures (like solar panels), simple enclosed structures with no furniture (like airlocks and oxygen generators), and lastly configurable enclosed structures that have placeable furniture (like the canteen and dorm). The first two aren’t of that much interest to me, being quite simple, so let’s look at the last one.

Here’s the starting view:

When you click the button in the top left, the menu is replaced with a new menu, with interior and exterior rooms.

Clicking on interior rooms yields a new list of rooms, some of which are not available yet.

You then place a room on the landscape, and your humans and robots build it. You also have to manage connections between each building – either the walkable “tubes” or just a power cable.

After construction, the initial empty canteen looks like this:

There are a few options in the top left. The middle option lets you edit the room, placing items inside.

You can see a number of different items available – food dispenser, tables, a drinking fountain, a tv, and a plant. (also, if you haven’t noticed, this game really likes its mystery meat menus – at least the tooltips are decent!)

Shimmering holograms until the goods arrive:

Some welding… (always with the welding!)

And we’re done!

Notice how similar the end goals are to Theme Hospital (build and outfit a room), but without as much handholding? You place your room, set up a “door” (connection), and buy objects, but you’re never forced into doing any of those things…which is good and bad. More on this later.

Continue to Pt.5: Dwarf Fortress

Or Back to Pt.3: Rimworld