Solar Expanse has only been revealed this week, but I’m already extremely excited about this game. The main draw for me is how close the game looks to a TV show, and series of books, called The Expanse. It sees players progressively conquering the solar system, terraforming worlds, before moving on to conquer the galaxy, spreading humanity far and wide among the stars.
As you can see, the game will start by seeing you plan rocket trips from Earth to the planets around the system. I would imagine that you’ll be able to set up forward bases on each world before you can actually terraform them, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’d say that the early years will also see you sending out satellites to monitor worlds, and listen for activity further out in the galaxy.
Something that’s extremely cool is the fact that you can mine asteroids. These will be very important when it comes to water and air, both of which will be frozen within these asteroids. A huge part of The Expanse series is a group who live out on the asteroid belt, mining for Earth and Mars. I think that if this game allows stories to evolve naturally, then we could see some conflicts, as they appear in The Expanse. This would really make the game so special to me.
Even without those stories, this game gives you a lot to do. You can set up terraforming efforts and watch them go on throughout the centuries. As you slowly colonise the solar system, it’ll then be time to take your people further out, which is when things could get really interesting.
There are loads of great management simulators set in space out there, but this is the first one I’ve seen that takes such a minimalistic approach. There’s clearly a lot going on here, but it all seems like it has been pulled back to the most basic of inputs, allowing you to feel like you’re managing an entire civilisation with the least amount of control. I’d say that would be exactly how a world leader would feel at a time when humanity is spread across the system like this.