Oxygen Not Included

Good
  • Diverse management elements that requires you to think beyond other games with mechanics like plumbing and temperature
  • Each colonist is unique with their own specialities and requirements
Bad
  • Lacks sufficient in game guidance to give you the tools for success
  • Impossible to reconstruct your base in the mid to late game which results in beginners being locked into failure for their first adventures
8.5

Oxygen Not Included challenges you with space colony simulation across varied procedurally generated worlds that each offer their own distinct fight for survival. From food, warmth and even oxygen as your resources under constant threat you’ll need to guide your colonists to survive and in time thrive to a civilisation that is self sufficient and safe from external threats. Released in 2019 for Windows, Mac and Linux this space adventure has some similar survival mechanics to Klei Entertainment’s other survival simulation, Don’t Starve although you won’t be a lone adventurer this time around.

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Altering the challenge players have a diverse list of asteroids to select from which form the basis of the randomly generated world you’ll inhabit. Each asteroid type comes with its own biome types to locate and can severely impact on the overall difficulty of each mission and how you approach overall survival. Some asteroids like the beginner designed Terra have stable climates while Verdante offers forests and no frozen areas while the Badlands lacks liquid water entirely.

Set deep within asteroids players have full control over their colony from start to finish as you build up your resources to assist with survival. The foundation of this is your base which you’ll cut out from the asteroid to make living space complete with dispensers, bunker doors, airlocks and storage bins. Inside and outside this base you’ll then be building oxygen production, power generation, food storage, medicine, plumbing, ventilation and refinement stations. Each of these categories features multiple options and tiers that often need to be combined together to achieve their particular purpose and provides a strong sense of progression.

oxygen-not-included-gameplay-oxygen

In order to build all of these you’ll need the appropriate resources but also a healthy population of duplicants that have their own attributes and needs that require careful management. With eleven possible attributes that increase in potency based on the activities performed you’ll quickly create specialists in your settlement which pairs with interests, traits and needs that can be expressed with emotions from time to time.

Many of the mechanics in Oxygen Not Included revolve around reducing the stress and external factors that your duplicants population will face in the harsh environment. While in the late game this sees players having access to a number of leisure activities it starts at the basics of food and other resource generation. One unique stand out of Oxygen Not Included in particular is the need to manage temperature with a balance between warmth and cold on your space asteroid required. Oxygen Not Included also has a unique focus on efficiency through gas and liquid pipelines that give you another consideration as your base takes shape.

oxygen-not-included-gameplay-systems

Other mechanics that require management include critters as a food source provided you can meet their dietary requirements, diseases that can impact your workers and equipment options. Much of this unlocks through the research tree where players progress through tiers of increasing technology to either unlock new mechanics entirely or improve your efficiency at current mechanics. This pushes players closer to the end game of a thriving settlement that is self sufficient through the recycling of their own waste and other automated systems that you’ve slowly built up.

Summary:

  • Manage your own space colony as you colonise an asteroid in space.
  • Balance oxygen, temperature, food and other mechanics through careful construction and management decisions.
  • Overcome procedurally generated game worlds with a range of base asteroids that influence your challenge.
  • Develop new technology and increase the skills of your colonists to reach the end game of self sufficient survival.
  • Single player settlement management title for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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