Are you tired of landing on uninhabited planets with nothing but your wits about you? Do you hate hacking down tree after tree and planting seed after seed? Is your back achy from carrying too many rocks back to your camp? Fear hard labor no more, with your very own worker bots! In Autonauts developed by Denki and published by Curve Digital, you learn very early on that automation is the key to success. One lone citizen can only do so much, but you have a colony to build. Find out if Autonauts is an auto-awesome simulation title in our Autonauts review!
Base building simulation games come in all shapes, sizes, and attitudes. Some are hyper-realistic or graphically intensive, and then you have others like Autonauts that are blocky, childish and whimsical. Graphically, there isn’t much here that would surprise base-building fans, unless they are enamored by titles like Minecraft. Instead of expecting flashy visuals to carry your colonization aspirations, Autonauts shines its brightest in its gameplay. After a short tutorial on crafting basic tools, you are introduced to the real meat and potatoes of the game, which relies heavily on the ability to create robots to aid you in your daily tasks.
Robots are quite complex non-playable characters. You, as the master of your soon to be automated colony, have to program each bot based on what you want them to do. The visual programming interface takes a little bit to get the hang of, simply because you program your bots based on a “monkey see, monkey do” protocol. You have to physically show your bot what you want it to do before letting it loose on the world. You can program each bot to be as simple or as complex as you want. A good example of this is you could simply have one of your worker bots chop down trees while another one picks up the wood for storage. You could also have one bot run multiple tasks, such as picking up multiple items from different locations.
Bot complexity aside, growing your colony is a mixed bag. After the short tutorial, players are let loose to pretty much figure out most of the rest of the building process on their own. To open up alternate crafting options you may be tasked with completing assignments from within one of the menus, or you may have to build a new bench or machine. I didn’t feel like the colonist system was explained exceptionally well, which hampered my research quite a bit until I realized that you needed to create the colonists from seeds and feed them to gain “wuv”. “Wuv” are tiny hearts that spill out of your colonists that you then feed into a research machine to advance your capabilities.
Despite the learning curve problems I encountered, and some minor technical glitches, Autonauts ended up being a surprisingly delightful title. Autonauts has an expansive list of items to craft and countless ways to create and program your bots which are bound to keep base-building buddies busy for ages.