Spacebase Startopia is, at its core, a management simulator. You are tasked as an overseer of the titular space base named Startopia where you are responsible for keeping the customers happy and healthy.
There are real time strategy elements to the game as well, but that was not available in the beta as of this video and should be coming at a later time.
You have many different aspects of the space station to manage. The main currency earned and spent is energy. Having one currency keeps the game streamlined. There are other currencies you can earn to spend on special consumable items but they are more of a bonus. You earn energy in one of two ways so far; you can earn energy by recycling garbage or by selling customers goods and services.
In order to sell goods and services to customers, you will need to create a modifiable room called a berth. Once you outline the size of the berth, you must attach a door (so aliens can come in), and then install whatever quantity and variety of modules that would best keep the current demographic happy. The current modules available are sleep pods, cleaning stations, drink stations, and food stations. You can also build a completely separate berth just for medicine.
As aliens come visit your station, they leave behind a lot of trash. You can pick it up manually and drop it off at the recycler, a facility that turns garbage into energy. You can also let your Fuzzies, which are automated robot helpers, do the work for you, albeit at a much slower rate. Failing to clean up your garbage or have the suitable type and number of modules in berths will result in unhappy customers.
You will be able to increase the size of the floor space available by opening bulkheads, as well as go to specialized floors, such as the bio dome or the fun floor. The bio level specializes in growing plants which can be harvested for crafting materials and the fun floor is filled with entertainment modules to keep visitors happy.
To keep all of these separate facilities running, you will need to hire aliens. Some jobs require certain aliens so it’s vital to keep all of them happy. Unhappy employees will quit and an unhappy population will be less likely to work, making it very difficult to accomplish anything.
Over all of this is a very sardonic artificial intelligence very similar in vocal quality to GladOS. The writing is very biting and witty but it does get a bit tiresome to hear on repeated playthroughs.
It was a bit difficult to go through the tutorial in Spacebase as the controls weren’t thoroughly explained but once I did understand how to play the game, I was pretty hooked. If you are a fan of management sims or city builders where you like building a perfect utopia, this game will be up your alley. It will be a tad frustrating at first because failure is inevitable but the game kept me coming back to get that perfect run.