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Autonauts is a management sim full of adorable, programmable robots

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Autonauts (opens in new tab) is all about delegating the challenging work of building a colony on a new world. When you land on your charming little globe, you'll need to do the busywork yourself, chopping down trees and crafting items, but eventually you'll be able to build and program a legion of little clockwork bots to do your bidding. 

Using a visual programming language that's apparently easy to learn, you'll be able to teach your bots to cook, farm, mine and build, transforming your humble colony into planet-wide, automated factory. That doesn't mean you can put your feet up, though, as you'll need to teach them what to do, program all the steps and upgrade them so they can perform more complicated tasks. 

Developer Denki Studios was founded by DMA Design developers, creators of Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto, and it looks like there's a bit of the classic puzzle romp in Autonauts. You didn't need to do any coding in Lemmings, but you still had to give the suicidal little critters tasks, building an automated system that allowed as many lemmings as possible to get to the exit.

Autonauts has been in development since 2017 and an alpha build has been available on Itch.io (opens in new tab) for a while, so you can check it out right now. Judging by the trailer, however, the release version looks like it will be a significant upgrade. It's due out this Autumn. 

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.