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  • Start near a dense cluster of planets. Planet connection costs are your main early game expense.
  • Ruin - ocean - hive is the only good starting loop. Restart if you don't have one in your first few pings
  • Get Gold and Blue planets asap and whenver possible. These disproportionately boost revenue and happiness
  • Slip gates cost too much time and money to be worthwhile.
  • First lab around year 5, second science before year 10.


  • Drillbots, space folding
  • Geneseeds, Forgeworld conversion tech
  • +15% money, 2 month world colonization, hiveworld conversion (didn't use)
  • Extra months per year(didn't use), ascention (Only had time for 1)


  • Great game :)))))
  • ^ Seriously, lots of fun.
  • It's annoying trying to figure out if a satalite will reveal a planet right at its edge
  • As above, slipways are the most fun to use, but are too time/money expensive if you're going for high score.
  • The trade-tree is a bit too limited. There are usually only one or two possible routes given any set of planets, which takes out some of the strategy. More wildcard type planets like the ruin-worlds might help with this.

how do you play the game without slipways?


Great game. The only feature I really miss is an undo - just an option to take back the last, single click that does not supply new information. It would also be nice to somehow reduce the influence of luck on the starting position.

My scores really improved when I stopped relying heavily on slipgates and infratech.

Impressive scores! The undo feature *is* definitely going to be there in the PC version - like you guessed, only for moves where no hidden information was revealed.

Please, share more of your strategy!

I posted some tips as a new comment.


Could benefit from "Trading Outposts" or the like that you could purchase to extend the range of slipstreams.


You're in luck - the "slipgates" technology on the second tech level is exactly this. "Space folding" from the first level also gives you a bit more range, but is more limited.


This game is astonishingly awesome!  Once one figures out a few preliminaries, gameplay is intuitive and yet difficult to master.

Some development observations, if you're still interested:

  • I second (third?) the requests to be able to destroy and/or move objects created by the player.  In particular, I find it frustrating when I do my best to position a slipgate or other space station only to find out an intended slipway to it just nicks a planet or barely fails to reach.  Building a slipway simultaneously when placing a space station (e.g. by clicking the space station button and then clicking and dragging from a planet) would resolve some of this.
  • I've also run into the problem (faced by others here) where large networks of slipgates fail to work as expected.  As noted, resources are distributed over networks according to the sequence of slipway creation, and as a result, the first planets and stations connected to the network tend to be oversupplied while everything else is starved.  This might be fixed if planets stopped accepting new resources once they've reached "rich", though I suspect resource allocation may need to be more subtle than that.  It might also help to prioritize more recently added slipways, but keep existing resource allocations in place.  An alternative is to limit the viability of slipgate network creation, e.g. by limiting the maximum network size to 2 or 3 slipgates, etc.
  • Another related issue I've spotted is that sometimes when connecting two planets such that the first needs X to produce more Y and the second needs Y to produce more X, neither sees an increase in production.  This only occurs when the planets are already connected to other slipways consuming their existing production.  Having connected the planets to each other first avoids the paradox.  Otherwise, such a system needs to be kickstarted (i.e. one of the planets needs to get resources from somewhere else) before it can work as expected (and even then, any slipgate networks they're connected to must not have dibs on their additional output).
  • Some techs increase the output of existing colonies, which may be immediately useful to their existing slipway connections, but the available resources are not properly displayed as being consumed until the next month.
  • Lastly, building a station at the extreme right edge of the map can result in its menu always being rendered off the edge of the screen.  This could be fixed if stations were restricted to being built within the same bounds as planets can occur, or if menus always rendered on screen (nudging to left, etc., as needed).

Thanks again for making such a great game.  I can't wait to see the PC version.  Please support Linux if you can, but I understand if that's infeasible.


Thank you for the detailed feedback. It's always appreciated, especially since many of the points apply to the upcoming PC version as well.

I'm building the engine of the PC version with the possibility of doing "undos" built-in from the very start. I also think I came up with a good UI solution for the slipway routing that would let you just drag exports from slipway to slipway - but we'll see how it works in practice. The "kickstarting" is "works as intended", but maybe not "works like it should". Will think about it when coding the new economy engine. The last two are bugs, but they're pretty minor - and at this moment I'm really focused on getting the PC version off the ground, so they might be left unfixed for a while.

I'm planning to have Linux build. Unity supports it, so it's only a question of a little extra elbow grease to get it done.

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My only wish is that the viewing area could be much larger so I could see more at once.

Very interesting game, loving it!


edit: a couple other thoughts since playing a bit.

1. I can see why not letting trade routes cross makes sense - maybe a tech upgrade would allow for this?  I missed that there is a tech for this

2. It would be helpful if right-click would exit a menu; as it is, I must left-click to exit a menu and often find myself firing off unnecessary probes.  It would also be helpful if right-click would allow for canceling a probe / in general be used as "no i dont wanna do that no more".

3. Twice I have accidentally right-clicked outside of the game area, dragged to the right, and accidentally selected "Back".

4. Alternatively to #2/#3, perhaps instead left-click should be for drag-move, menus, and exiting menus, while right-click is the launching button; used only for launching the wormhole at the beginning, and probes throughout the game (and not stacked with any not-launching functions).

5. Again, this is a really great concept and I am thoroughly enjoying it :)


I love it and wait for a pc version :D


Hey I just got thre Linux version but it goes into fullscreen. I


I don't have a Linux box at hand to test with, but I'm just using the default PICO-8 binary export. I'll check it out tomorrow and see if I can help. In the meantime, Alt+Enter toggles fullscreen on all the other platforms, so maybe it'll help here as well?


Oh yeah you are right, it does. So few games that I have played in the last years actually support that function that I completely forgot about it. Cheers!


Two notes for developer and I would definitely buy this game. 

1. Need bigger view-port. It is very tiring to scroll through all planets with small view-port.

2. Need ability to unlink the planets (even if it takes another turns).

I really enjoy this game. And the turn limit makes it very replay-able.

I love it.


The PC version will definitely have a bigger viewport! :) This one is limited by PICO-8's capabilities.
The ability to take down slipways is also something often suggested by players, so I will definitely keep it in consideration for the PC version.


I'm looking forward to play the Linux version. :)

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This is a really fun, in-depth (and very addictive!) galactic empire game. I have been playing it for a few days now, and must say this PICO-8 version has way more depth to it than i first anticipated. Even when my score at the end of a 'run' is 6000+, I still feel like I havent seen a pretty big part of the Slipways universe, which is a good thing for me.

Can't wait to see the full PC game!


Really enjoying this game, just purchased it after having been playing it in the browser for a few hours the past couple of days. There are 2 things at the moment which I think could improve it  for me personally, the ability to unlink slipways at some point and being able to zoom out and get a better overall picture, or have a map you can open. Another feature that would be great would be preset maps so that it's not so random, having a defined goal or missions goals per level could be good too. You've probably already thought of all this but just thought i'd give my thoughts. I really enjoy the passive style of the game and the addition of military would probably ruin for me. Perhaps being able to choose a passive mode would be good too.


The only opther point I would add is longer play times, it always feels like the game is over too quickly. Maybe extended maps with open ended games (game ends when you reach a goal rather than time limit) so you can explore further would be cool too.

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Getting pretty addicted to this despite what I said above, been filling a lot of my spare time between work etc. Getting some nice results for tech and happiness but I still feel like the end result is quite dependant on pure luck. Sometimes you just can't do anything with the planets you're given... Much like real life I suppose. :)


"the ability to unlink slipways" 

I'm not sure about this. It would change the gameplay a lot.


It would change the gameplay in later game yes, but that's the point, it would be a late-game purchase so you can choose to buy it and clean up and mistakes you made early-game.

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I love this game, and the strategy is very fun. I've started developing a clone for android with vector graphics, and was wondering if you'd mind me putting such a thing on the internet when it's done (Giving you credit, of course!) I would change the controls, maybe the way the research works, and make the universe much bigger in both space and time.

Edit: I'll be honest, I was expecting this to be a simple enough thing to work on android, but I'm coming across framerate issues with the engine I'm using. I might still do this, but it's going to be a while.


I'll buy this on Android

Kinda reminded me of Ur-Quan Masters and Master of Orion.

Pretty neat game.

How do you use the Slip-gates?


Drop a gate anywhere, then connect slipways to it. All planets connected to a gate work as if they were connected ditectly.

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The only criticism I have is that the win-state is ambiguous.   I think defining the goal better would benefit this game a lot.  That being said, I want this on a mobile platform and i'm willing to kiss any productivity goodbye once that's a thing. 


Y tho.

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It was a bug in the trade system, thanks for reporting it! I think I found it and fixed it, so this shouldn't happen anymore.


Oh, okay then. But still, that was one of my best runs. T_T


I've clocked 8 hours so far, and damn do I love it.  I really enjoy your plans for the HD Version as well, what with the militaristic aspects, and the campaign mode. only real suggestion I'd have would be to add the ability to destroy slipways, slipgates, and the other space-station type buildables. (Science pods, food processers, and trade hubs etc.)


Being able to tear down slipways is probably going a feature of one of the low-level techs in the HD edition - turns out, tunnels through timespace are not so easy to stop once they get going ;) 


I'm definitely going to get the full version in a week once I finish my pc, can't wait to see what it holds!


Theres something about this game that's kept me coming back again and again. I'm amazed you managed to squeeze three of the X's into such a tiny engine, and I'm excited to see where this goes - especially the PC version. Good work!


The game is so awesome, I love it a lot! Cant wait for the HD version. Tho, I really miss the full screen button. I know, that mouse doesn't work with default pico-8 plate, but someone on BBS made a plate that works really well. 


There is a fullscreen button now - thanks for pointing me in the right direction :)


This game is fantastic! I only wish that there was more time allotted per playthrough. Sometimes I get to a really nice point in my empire right as the game ends. Or am I missing some strategy? Nevertheless, I love your game!


I love your game!


I just wanted to say that I am amazed by the artwork in this game.  So much richness and detail, everything looks unique (except Jungle/Xeno) that I was really truly shocked that you had drawn everything with only a 16 color palette!

I am still trying to master the optimal paths of developing my sector, but I've had a blast even in my struggles.

What does the difficulty level change?  Does it just increase the chance of star systems turning up empty?


No, the odds of dud signatures do not change. The biggest difference between levels is the income from trade. The only planet-related change is that on lower levels the odds are titlted a bit in your favor when generating starting planet types.


please, please, please: let me maximize the window. zoom it in if you can't let me see more at once


There is now a fullscreen button in the bottom-right corner, should help - though it only zooms in, as PICO-8 only does 128x128 pixels.

The cake game needs fullscreen!


Well that is a fail. -__- Where the hell is my food now?


I really don't appreciate the tone. 
From what I see in the screenshots, the food went to the planet you can see in the lower left corner in the first image. Planets are greedy and always take as much resources as possible - the planet with the oldest connection to the slipgate wins, currently. Ideally, I'd make it so the most "needy" planet wins, but that'd require big changes to the algorithm that assigns trade. Definitely will do it for the full version, but it likely won't fit in the PICO-8 edition.

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I hadn't intended to be harsh or something like that. Just my style of speech with plenty of profanity words. ^_^ Still the problem is a problem. The planet in the left corner in the first image already had a food. It's strange that they took more if it is the case. Also when I sent this post itch redirected me to comments page so I lost the progress. Not your fault but damn - that was my best run!


Even if you can't fit that to the pico-8 version can you make it so that labs have a limit on how many people they wil employ. In a run where I built a giant highway using slipgates a lab ended up getting 7 people while I had so many unsatisfied planets.

Looks like this is in the game. I can only send one person to any given lab.


Okay, I've been watching the development of this game for a while and it's looking super impressive. So polished and slick too.

So, I just HAD to buy it. I look forward to having a good play this evening. Great to see this released.


--- GERMAN ---

Ein kleiner Space-Sim in dem man Anhand von gegebenen Planeten und Handelsrouten ein florierendes Reich zusammenklickt.

- sehr simples, süchtig machendes Spielprinzip
- kurze Runden von ca. 30 Minuten
- sobald man versucht zu optimieren wird es richtig knifflig

- kein Tutorial, Quickstart-Guide lesen für ganzen Spaß ist Pflicht (zum Glück nicht lang)
- keine Zoom-Funktion auf der Sternenkarte
- zu viele "Scheinplaneten"


--- ENGLISH ---

A little Space-Sim, were you build your empire with the given planets and setting up trading-routes (slipways).

- very simple, addicting gameplay
- short rounds of arround 30minutes
- when you start to optimize, it get's really tricky

- no Tutorial, reading the quickstart-guide is obligatory for the most fun (luckily it's a short one)
- no zoom-option on the starmap
- to many "non-planets"


Thanks for the review! Watched it and enjoyed it to the extent my rusty high-school German permitted :)
I'm actually surprised it took this long for somebody to mention the lack of zoom. Couldn't do it in the PICO-8 edition due to technical constraints, but that's obviously one shortcoming I intend to remedy with the full version. Same goes for a comprehensive in-game tutorial. What do you mean by non-planets? The ones that turn out to be useless and disappear, or the hard-to-use ones (barren, iceball, etc.)?

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Glad, you liked the video! - honestly, watching it makes me scream at myself, it is really hard to play this game while trying to focus also on talking about it ^^"

I already thought, that the lack of zoom is down to PICO-8 (even though I know nothing about it, but the comments show me it is very limited in what you can do with it). But since I tried to show the game of as what it is, I felt the need to at least address it as an issue (when you are able to build longer slipways it was more a problem then in the early phase of the game).

With "non-planets" I mean the ones dissappear after you scan them, aye. I had a lot of games where I started in the busiest sector and ended up with an earth-like, a water-planet and a barren and not many options. It feels like too many of them dissappear. I would feel more comfortable if it would be coded in a way, that the first x number of planets you scan have a bigger chance of being hospitable.

Oh by the way: For fun, I just tried to start the game on my iPhone and was able to at least colonize 3-4 planets and build slipways and I liked the way it looked and felt on a mobile device even though I wasn't able to move the map or use any other right-click or mouse-over actions.
Any plans for a mobile version after the full pc-version is out there? :) I pretty much enjoy the puzzle-like very light gameplay and I think this one would be a nice one to have for a 20min session on public transport.

Verg :)


Kind of a weird thing to focus on, but... SDFE keys?


PICO-8 code space is very limited, and it was cheaper to do SDFE since these are PICO-8's default player 2 controls - and I figured it wasn't worth removing actual features from the game in order to be able to move this one key to the left ;)


It's kinda interesting but a big pain right into the brain because you can't cross routes at the beginning (a plain space or what, I don't get it) and there is no transit chains. Also - why there is possibility to make double route between planets in one direction?


This is a great game! I think it actually plays more like a very challenging city-builder than 4X, since the gameplay is centered around a network of production and buffs between stationary objects that you build, but the theme and aesthetic of building an interplanetary civilization works really well. I appreciate how hard it is too. It's not very fun when games just hand you success, but it's not fun either when you can't get any success or learn to play any better, and you've struck a pretty good balance here.

I've still only managed 3 stars on Challenging... not sure what I haven't figured out yet, but there's so much possibility and complexity with all the colonization options and techs and slipway strategy that I feel confident that with more learning and experimenting I could figure it out.

The main thing I'd suggest you maybe change or add is an undo button. I have made a few very costly mistakes that were not because I didn't understand what to do, but because I forgot my plan for a second or my mouse slipped.  It would also allow me to learn how things work better without sacrificing important resources just to see what something does.


Yeah I'd really like an undo too. Not sure how far this should go in terms of reverting planets to their uncolonized state, but something to undo the last move at least would be a nice quality of life tweak. Being able to delete individual slipways or space structures would also be nice, but again I'm not sure if not being able to do that is part of the intended difficulty.


There is no way I can fit an undo option in the PICO-8 version (very costly to implement), but I totally get that - it sucks when a plan goes awry because of a misclick or a "brain-typo". I'm going to keep this suggestion in mind for the PC version!


looks interesting but i have no idea what i'm doing lol


Check out the quick start guide: 

It was super helpful for me at the beginning. After one or two quick games the game really sucks you in like a vortex (pun totally intended, though admittedly not good).  It is totally worth overcoming the slight initial confusion!



Wow, I didn't expect to find a 4X style game (well... maybe only 3X) all done in PICO-8!

The base gameplay is simple but yet still manage to keep me entertained, and with the score challenge and the different technos to make each game a little different I was really hooked. Now that I made 8757 on 'tough' difficulty I don't believe I would go further with it. :p

But good job, and I hope your little project will grow into a more ambitious game.


There is still that last star to get on "tough" ;)

Glad you enjoyed it! The full version will deliver something to help with the missing fourth "X" (though not the classical empire vs empire battle, something more akin to tower defense where you have to protect from outside threats), along with a host of other stuff that just wouldn't fit into a PICO-8 cartridge (no matter how hard I pushed).


Wow, I must be missing something... I can barely get over 4000 on reasonable .


Seriously how did you do that? I played like 50 runs and the best I ever got was two stars on reasonable. :o


I now managed to get up to almost 7000. What I missed was that a planet can be oversupplied (in addition to their basic needs) to increase it's production, income and happiness. This gives you much more stuff the work with. This was in the guide actually, I just didn't get it first because there is no visual feedback that prompts you to give them extra resources (unlike the goods icon the appear next to satisfied hive worlds for example)

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That was a big game changer for me too! And prosperous and rich world seems to count a lot in score (plus the fact that you have high happiness), though the highest cashflow gap is between unstatisfied and satisfied world, you better take care of each world you colonize!

On a side note, I've never seen prosperous or rich tourism/luwury world (because they don't supply anything). I tend to rely on them a lot at first, but after it seems that going for oversupplied worlds gave me good amount of money and happiness, plus I still had more resources to connect to other world that way...

Can't resist to publish that pic... Didn't even need fancy tech as infraspace or starbirth... I'll stop playing now ('til PC version!)


Great game!

Graphics are a bit difficult to "read" though. Maybe you could add some tooltips?


Tried to do my best, but PICO-8 is a harsh mistress sometimes - the resource icons are 5x5 pixels total, for example, which makes it hard to make them readable.
Is there any particular part that caused you readability troubles? I can always try to improve stuff, though tooltips might not be the way to go on a cramped screen like that.


Maybe you could add an overview screen (which can be quickly accessed) showing all the important icons and their meaning? This would perhaps help people through the early part of the game.

Anyway, I'm very curious about the full experience. When will that be finished?


It's still very early in the process, so rather hard to say. I'm currently in the process of writing down an initial design and gathering the team to make it happen.


One particular issue, the mineral and nano resources are very easy to mix up when they are in the inactive state. Just putting a bright pixel in a different spot might solve it


This pair caused trouble since the very beginning. Thought I fixed it, but I'll try to fiddle with it some more before the next update.

I think if you moved the portruding pixels on the left side of either one to the top it might solve it for me. I have problem telling them apart because their outlines are the same, and when the right side is covered by another resource, there's only one pixel difference, and that is only in color.

The happiness resource produced by collapsing gas giants also looks really similar to the research resource produced by labs. Didn't realize that they are different things at first.


I'm gonna try to improve the readability of the resources for the next update. I'll also put a resource chart in the quickstart so that it's clearer what's what and what it does (it might be hard to put one in-game due to PICO-8 space restrictions). The resource collapsed stars make is "energy" - it can a) replace anything a planet needs and b) increase any planet's production

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