Guide stupid humans to a distant planet in Destination Ares

Destination Ares is "unforgiving resource management sim" about shepherding a crew of humans aboard a colony ship bound for a distant, red planet. You're not the captain, though, but the AI—the cold, calculating machine whose one and only job is to ensure that the mission succeeds. You have complete control over all systems and can set priorities as you see fit. But ultimately it's up to the crew to make things happen, and they're not exactly the best and brightest. 

"The crew members are independent beings. You can't directly control them. They're also fickle, needy, and liable to mess everything up," the Steam description states. "Despite all that, only they can do any real work onboard. You'll have to rely on them, so treat them well." 

It's not entirely bad news: The game's "self-balancing difficulty" means that "events will change in frequency based on your performance," so struggling players will encounter more helpful events than those who are doing well. On the other hand, the crew's behavior in general will make you "want to give up on humanity," which promises to be potentially interesting. The mission itself doesn't sound terribly well planned, either. Crew competence aside, your ship is old, resources are short, and eventually you're going to have to start making some hard decisions. 

Destination Ares is now available for purchase on Steam Early Access for $12/£10, and developer Patrick Scott talks more about what he has in mind for the game at his devblog.   

Update: The post originally included a link to a demo of Destination Ares, but Scott has since removed it. "The demo was old and buggy, and while a decent simulacrum of the early  access version, it lacked enough polish that I felt it prudent to pull  it down," he said.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.