‘Factorio’ is a game about automating things. It has been in development since 2012 and was released to early access in 2016. It will be released later this year and honestly, it’s a work of art (and a complete game).
Each playthrough starts easily enough. A basic narrative sees you crash landing on a planet with nothing but a few supplies. You will have to automate your way to freedom.
There are three main resources at the beginning: coal, iron, and copper, and you start with a manual way of extracting these. This soon develops into electric power once steam engines are setup. Soon enough, this basic gameplay loop becomes very addicting. There is always something that can be made more efficient, and you might just find that three hours have passed and you are still continuing on this loop. I certainly did.
Past energy and smelting, you also have science to create using intricate factory designs that are yours to perfect. Oil refining next introduces fluid production and transportation for more advanced items. Trains can be created to transport final products to other areas of your base, which is by the way on an infinite map. Eventually, robots can be used to speed up construction.
At some point, you might be forced to take action against the native biters – pretty tough monsters who will stop at nothing to make your life hell and destroy you and your base. Walls will need building, as well as turrets.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this game. It’s £21.99 and the price is stagnant, so there’s no excuse. Unless you like going outside.