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Run a space station in Spacebase Startopia, coming October 23

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After waiting for a follow-up to management sim Startopia for almost 20 years, it's finally happening. Realmforge Studio's Spacebase Startopia (opens in new tab) will be open for business on October 23. In the meantime, there's a new video, above, that breaks down what you'll be doing as a space station administrator.

Realmforge says it's a "fresh take" on a game that it strangely never mentions by name, despite them sharing names, but from what I saw during my first look at Gamescom, it's close to identical. You run a donut-shaped space station split into three levels and must attract alien visitors by managing their diverse needs. The station layout, robotic helpers, aesthetic, and the stuff you'll be building are all very familiar. 

The one place where there's a significant change is combat. Spacebase Startopia gives you control of mechs during RTS battles to deal with competitors and pirates. It's a cutthroat business. 

I've never enjoyed a space station management romp—of which there are tragically few—quite as much as I did Startopia, so the absence of changes is fine with me. It is a bit odd, however, that it sticks so closely to the original, especially when it's not an official remake, or an official anything.  

Odder still is the fact that the original Startopia has been removed from sale (opens in new tab), apparently at the request of Square Enix, which added it to its catalogue when it acquired publisher Eidos Interactive in 2009. I'm not sure when that happened—I don't have much call to search for it often—but I've reached out to the publisher to find out where it went. 

To get into the closed beta, you'll need to pre-purchase it from the Kalypso store (opens in new tab). You'll be able to try out three tutorial maps, two missions and an early version of the skirmish mode. Realmforge will continue to add to it across regular updates until the October launch. 

Fraser Brown
Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.