Space pirates murder everybody in the trailer for colony management sim Starmancer

Earth, like always, is screwed. That's why you take to the cosmos in Starmancer, the colony management game from Ominux Games and Chucklefish. You'll build a space base in a strange new solar system, manage your colonists, give them jobs, send them on missions, and most of all try to keep them breathing. That's not so easy when a bunch of space pirates show up, as the Starmancer trailer above, shown on the PC Gaming Show, will illustrate.

You're not just trying to protect your colonists, either. As an advanced AI-human hybrid, you're mostly machine but you do have a some physical human parts, and they're kept at the heart of the space station you're managing. You'll need to keep your own body safe from danger—sometimes even from your own colonists, who will rebel if they become too unhappy with you.

Starmancer is inspired by Dwarf Fortress and is aiming for a similar complexity, so you'll need to manage a lot: machine wiring and power grids, oxygen, food, and water, relationships with other factions, and of course the wants and needs of your colonists, who each have their own personalities and quirks. A colonist could succumb to disease, break their bones in an accident, become dangerously jealous of a rival, and even begin smuggling hazardous items on board like weapons or alien eggs.

The solar system is randomly generated with each game you play, so you'll always find different planets, moons, and even other space stations floating around near your colony. And of course there are space pirates, who can invade your base and ruin everything. You'll have to build automated defenses and train your colonists for combat or risk losing everything.

Starmancer has a closed beta coming in the near future, which will be accessible when it arrives to those who preorder the $35 version of the game.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.