Dyson Sphere Program
- Price: $19.99
- Developer: Youthcat Studio
- Publisher: Gamera Game
- Platform: PC
I’ve been burned before on early access games, so I hesitated to approach another based solely on slick videos. I spent hours watching Youtubers try to figure this game out as it just hit early access. The game looks polished; there is a game with clear goals. However, it is still missing a little meat. I still was hesitant, but after finding myself waiting for the next video to drop, I knew I was hooked, and I hadn’t even played the game.
I never play other games like it, such as Factorio or Satifactory, but I am used to the genre of building my own worlds. The Dyson Sphere Project drops you on an alien world with one goal, get to the end of the technology tree. Not even the titular project is necessary to complete this goal, but that is the charm of this game; it’s your star cluster to explore and exploit in any way you see fit. You pilot your mech that can harvest, refine, build, and deploy. However, these actions take energy, and that is why it’s a Dyson Sphere Project. Balancing these four tasks and managing the power to do is the crux of the game. You unlock technology to build more machines that allow you to automate these processes; you expand into developing your factory. Spend your time optimizing, planning, and developing these processes, and then much like in the game, the sun rises in real life. This game is that engrossing.
I look at my hours in this game and know that much of it was letting the game run to build up stockpiles for my later gameplay, but I know that much of that time, I was at least thinking about it while I was AFK.
In the beginning, I was placing mining machines, smelters, and assembly machines with wild abandon. Using belts and sorters to chain great assembly lines that resembling a psychotic spaghetti nightmare. Once I gained my sanity, my OCD kicked in my lines became organized, and through a sheer act of will, I turned the chaos into my perfection. As the technology was researched for transportation towers, I tore it all down and began again invalidating my efforts but increasing my production. These manic hours slipped through my fingers. As my life descended into a cycle of sleep, eat, and Dyson Sphere Program, I raced to the end of the game. The end seems to come once I planned my factory to allow expansion, and my titular Dyson sphere began to encase my home star. The buzz of transport vessels leaving my homeworld traveling to extraction hub I set up on a distant star, matching the solar satellites’ constant thrum leaving my planet.
When this level of obsession from a game built in Unity by a team of five people, you know you have found something special. There is nothing in this game that is early access, lacking some tiny quality of life improvements, and more concise localization on the translation. The two years this studio spent before hitting early access reflect the quality of the game.