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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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