Maia lands its colonies on Steam Early Access

By billing itself as a hard sci-fi experience, indie space-colony sim Maia has posed a fascinating set of questions for itself. Available since Tuesday through Steam's Early Access alpha testing program, the strategy game's reference to a classic sci-fi genre points toward the gritty, dangerous, and sometimes darkly-futile nature of exploration.

And since what you'd be paying for really is an alpha build, the vision and premise behind Maia are absolutely worth keying in on. The developer Simon Roth calls the current, 0.38 version a "sandbox build" that includes features for colony construction and management centered around the game's simulated settlements. You can have a peek at some of that content in the trailer below. We've been keeping an eye on Roth's game as it moved from crowdfunding , to Steam Greenlight , and beyond , but there's a bit further to travel before release.

"The game is still very deep in development, so many things might be broken. Sometimes in a rather amusing manner, sometimes...less so," Roth writes on Steam. "We want to keep development hurtling forwards at a steady rate and plan to release update builds every week (probably on Fridays) as the game progresses."

If you feel like spending some time with Roth on one of his new colonies, Maia is currently discounted at just under $19 until December 10. For a closer look at an earlier version of the game, check out our hands-on look at Maia from late October.