Check out this indie fusion of Terraria and Satisfactory

A cool indie experiment in making a 2D sandbox automation game released late last month with AutoForge, where you as a little magically-powered robot must explore and expand your network of machinery and mining equipment to build a factory that will let you figure out your mysterious origins. As you explore, fragments of ancient technology let you upgrade your abilities and combat prowess to take on ever-greater challenges.

It's pretty chill for an automation game, using a system of transport tubes that move goods while buildings in need can just snatch what they want from other adjacent tubes—no complex grabbers or direct machine hookups needed. That makes the automation more of a fun puzzle and less of a stressful optimation exercise. At least in the first few hours of play.

As you explore and automate you'll encounter monsters you have to take on in personal combat, and eventually you'll awaken automated drones that attack your base in waves—requiring you to construct automated defenses of your own. It's nothing too complex for now, but through the Early Access period developer Siege Games intends to add more enemies, biomes, machines, and technologies to explore.

The thing I found most immediately compelling about AutoForge is that your little robot is tethered to a central pillar, the Apotheos, and can't go very far from it unless you use your machines to make the stuff it needs to improve its range. Each block of map is satisfying to explore before you ultimately turn to harnessting its resources to expand your factory.

AutoForge is made by the ultra-small indie outfit Siege Games, whose first game, Crea, released in 2016.

You can find Autoforge on Steam for $20.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.