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Objects in Space is a very different kind of space sim

Objects in Space is unlike most space sims. It's a stellar sandbox that shares Elite Dangerous' predilection for trade and exploration, but actually flying a ship feels more like commanding a submarine in a game like Silent Hunter. You're crammed into your vessel where you'll stare at a multitude of in-game monitors, your main window into the galaxy, and you'll probably spend a lot of time hiding from other ships. It's tense, claustrophobic and left Early Access today.

Frontier's space sim might let you sit back and enjoy the galaxy unfolding before you, but Objects in Space exchanges fancy space scenery for utilitarian rooms full of screens and machinery. Who has time to look at space when there's a strange ship on the sensors and you've got to turn off everything, from your engines to your music player, to avoid being noticed? 

I avoided combat at all costs when I took the Early Access version for a test drive. I just wanted to earn a living ferrying stuff between stations, which is dangerous enough as it is. Ships require a very hands-on pilot, who also has to be the engineer, comms officer and whatever other roles need filling. There's a lot to manage and a lot of ways for things to go wrong, leaving you stranded in space. It's paradise. 

Despite standing around in rooms without a good view, Objects in Space still manages to find ways to remind you when you're hurtling through the void, even if it's just the shuddering of the ship as the engines push it forward. It feels more like a real place than the cockpit of most space sims. You have to move around. If repairs need to be made in the engine room, you need to head there and get your hands dirty.  

Now that it's hit 1.0, the devs are working on achievements and trading cards, along with a few new features. Procedurally-generated derelicts, merchants in uncharted systems, bounty hunters and more multiplayer scenarios are in the works.

Objects in Space is out on Steam and GOG now. 

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.