Autonauts is a base building and automation indie game developed by Denki and published by Curve Digital. A game about automation but still has plenty to do. A violence-free colony management game in which you start off with a few basic resources, build some hardware and then build robots that help to automate the resource gathering and building. If you’re into game-like factorio or satisfactory then this game is definitely for you.
Automation has never been easier
I start off my first world, it seems to be procedurally generated. Run through the well crafted and easy to use tutorial. I really have to commend the developers at Denki for this. The tutorial is broken up into segments that are easy to understand and easy to run through the basics of the game. For each tutorial you run through you are rewarded with a commemorative slab. And if the tutorials are too much for you there is even a handy quick start guide on the Denki website.
Feeling confident now I plan my next world with a pen and paper. Drawing basic blocks to indicate where my forest and wood industry will be planted. Then my mining facilities and resources. Then where I will start my village. Before long I had exactly that. A sprawling little village and industry of automation running so efficiently that I treated my self to a full bag of M&M’s. Munching away and watching my resources pile up.
That’s the goal of Autonauts in a nutshell. Obviously there are more technologies you can go down and deeper into the resources needed for building. You can build a massive array of helper bots that you can and should name individually if you want to organise well. These bots are programmed to do task-based off a record function. So in essence, you hit record. You then do the task, the bot sees you do the task. Then hit play and the bot works away at it forever or until it runs into an issue.
Throwing a spanner in the works
Autonauts does well to create a game in which you have plenty to do and plenty to automate. However, I ran into some issues along the way that took away from the enjoyment of the game. The first being it takes a while before you truly set up a system that is fully self-sustained. Kept having to replace tools and replace the batteries in bots. Eventually, you can have a bot do all that for you but you end up having a crazy amount of bots running all over the screen and it can get quite cluttered at times.
In a world where I can build a robot and travel to different worlds surely I should be able to give it commands that are bigger than 13KB. Each command you give the bot lowers the amount of memory left for other tasks. This was frustrating at first. You want to program a bot to do a handful of tasks but are limited to just a few. Aside from those issues, there was also a small UI improvement I felt they could have done with the recording process and being able to remove tasks easier.
The sum up
Is Autonauts worth playing? I would recommend this to anyone who really wants a change from the regular shooters or RPG’s. A game where you aren’t under pressure from the story or its violence. But you still have to be mentally engaged to create a nicely flowing automated world. A nice casual game to play to relax or calm the nerves at the end of the day. I would love to see a multiplayer option in the game so that I can bring a friend in to help colonise the world with me. Who knows, that may be a feature the developers at Denki may add in the future.