See anime spaceship sim Jumplight Odyssey's gameplay reveal

We saw a story trailer for Jumplight Odyssey when it was announced last year, highlighting its sweet 1970s anime vibe inspired by Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato. Now, developer League of Geeks is giving us a closer look at the space-based roguelite's gameplay.

This pre-alpha footage shows several areas of the SDF Catalina being managed cutaway-style, from the Captain sitting on the important big chair on the bridge, to a greenhouse where food is farmed, a med bay for the injured, a hangar deck where starfighters are crewed and deployed, a kitchen where food is served, and a lounge where the crew relax by playing chess and reading books.

There are also pigs on board. I guess the Pigs in Space skits from The Muppet Show were accurate? Sometimes the hogs are just hanging out receiving belly rubs, though there's also one chowing down in the mess hall while a crew member sobs, presumably because the porker's pigging out on their food.

There's definitely a Sims-esque element to things like that, as well as the blushing crew members flirting with each other and the one guy just casually chilling at a water cooler while somebody else struggles with an entire room on fire a short distance away. I expect we'll see a certain amount of emergent silliness as the ship's crew go about their routines, though presumably they'll be able to go to the toilet without being told to.

I'm into the way people casually swim through zero-gravity areas of the ship, as well as the way crew you dislike are dealt with. Apparently we'll be able to promote those who please us as well as firing those who don't, in between managing resources, repairing damage the ship took as it escaped from the villainous Zutopans, and keeping morale high.

We spoke to Trent Kusters, co-founder of developer League of Geeks, back when Jumplight Odyssey was first announced. "Essentially it's a roguelite colony sim," he said. "It's kind of like FTL meets Two Point Hospital, with a little RimWorld thrown in there with story generation stuff. You're jumping from system to system, and in between you're repairing your ship, you're retooling it for that particular system, extracting resources so you can make the next jump quickly enough to evade the Zutopans and make your way to the Forever Star."

I look forward to taking over the SDF Catalina myself, and finding out whether I'm more of a Jean-Luc Picard or a Zapp Brannigan. Jumplight Odyssey has a Steam page, and will be out in early access later this year.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.