Here's a management game best described as 'terraform and chill'

You've got a big, barren world with lots of resources to make use of, and all the tech to change it into a lush cradle of life: So get to it. That's the concept of Plan B: Terraform, a management, automation, and simulation strategy game that has you in charge of setting up a terraformed Plan B for a humanity that's struggling to keep Earth habitable. Its big selling point? The planet is absolutely huge, composed of "more than a million hexagons" to build on, with simulated atmosphere, temperature, vegetation, rain, and water cycle.

More than anything, Plan B wants to be a "calm and contemplative" game with a realistic-yet-educational mindset. The developer is promising an "educational approach to greenhouse effects and water cycle mechanisms" and a "a global and real-time simulation of temperature, vegetation, rain and water flowing to form dynamic rivers and oceans."

Plan B: Terraform has a demo out as part of the Steam Next Fest. It's a taste of the in-development game that doesn't let you get very deep, but it's promising. While the full game intends to let you grow the planetary population "from a few inhabitants to a million and more," the demo's at that "few inhabitants" stage.

I think it'll be a hit with those who enjoyed games like Per Aspera, but wanted more granular production for resources and terraforming operations. It's like the Plan B developer is adding a dash of Factorio to the idea, then having a transport-tycoon-like twist involving moving resources over long distances to manufacturing or refining complexes.

The demo's a bit finicky, but in the spirit of Steam Next Fest it's a slice of an in-development game, not a polished bit of marketing. My biggest complaint is that it doesn't quite let you get into higher-tier logistics or resource movement—so it feels very micromanagement-heavy.

Plan B: Terraform is from developer Gaddy Games, whose previous game Dig or Die was a moderate success in the world of indie survival crafting games.

You can find Plan B: Terraform on Steam.

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.