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Dyson Sphere Program's planetary production lines enter early access

Interstellar factory-builder Dyson Sphere Program has begun cracking open planets with today's launch on Steam Early Access.

Following the game's announcement last year, Fraser described DSP as a kind of interstellar Factorio—and sure, with the way you lay out planet-spanning conveyor belts and production pipelines, there's more than a passing resemblance to Wube Software's time-destroying sim. But for me, the image of a dinky robot running around gathering resources on spherical worlds instantly calls to mind Uber Entertainment's underappreciated RTS Planetary Annihilation.

Sure, you're not using armies of robots to smash each other apart, but the idea of consuming a planet's resources to fuel an endless machine still holds. Dyson Sphere Program goes beyond simply strapping rockets onto planets, consuming them entirely in the pursuit of constructing megastructures like those titular orbs—vast, metal shells built around stars to suck up 100% of their energy. Eventually, you'll have production lines spanning multiple systems, constructing artificial stars for when you've burned all the real ones out.

The set-up's a kicker, too. Having gotten rather bored with reality, humanity's buggered off to a virtual one stored in a massive supercomputer. But rather than join them over in Ready Player One, you're stuck building the infrastructure that keeps it running—starting from a single lowly powerplant to a system-spanning industrial nightmare capable of keeping the lights on for eons to come. No pressure.

Developer Youthcat Studio reckons the game will spend roughly a year in early access. Over that time, it hopes to add more kinds of planets to discover and consume, monsters to fend off, and to add more bizarre stellar events like being sucked into a black hole. For now, though, the developer reckons there's a good 100 hours of interstellar industry to wrap your head around.

Dyson Sphere Program is out now on Steam for £16/€17/$20.