PC (now), Mac/Linux (when it reaches Steam) •
Did you play with Legos as a kid? Did you build elaborate spacecraft and make them fly around and fight each other? Do you have Legos around now, you know, for “your kids?” If you answer “yes” to those questions (as I do), have I got a game for you.
Cosmoteer is a game where you build a badass starship, fly around the galaxy, and blow up other starships for credits. Blowing stuff up is fun, but the real joy of the game is in the creation. Design in Cosmoteer is very open ended and your ship can be lean and symmetrical (like nature intended) or a sprawling mess of patchwork extensions and expansions. You start out with one of three different ship options and can customize the crap out of whatever you choose.
Naturally, there are some limitations. Everything you add to your ship—weapons, power systems, defenses, crew quarters, propulsion—costs credits and it can add up quickly. Luckily, you earn more credits by blowing up other ships, which happens to be what you were planning on doing anyway . Power is another limiting factor. You can have a big, fancy weapons array but if you don’t have the juice to power it in the heat of battle, you’re meat. There’s also maneuverability to consider. This one is very cool—the game uses real-life, honest-to-goodness, two-dimensional physics so things like weight and center of mass matter. Where you put and aim your thrusters actually matters.
When your ship is ready for prime time, it’s into the galaxy you go, seeking and destroying other spacecraft. Combat takes place in real time and here again, physics gets its due. Whether your weapons hit or miss depends a lot on how you approach and your position relative to your foe. There’s also no overall health bar. To win a fight you have to damage or destroy enough of the enemy craft so it just can’t fight anymore. You can target their weapon systems one by one or go for their command station, which eliminates the ships ability to fire weapons and maneuver. Destroying a ship’s reactor core, however, is a devastating blow that will end combat outright and earn you the prize.
Right now, Cosmoteer is free, so grab it if you’re even remotely interested in checking it out. The developer is looking to build a community, get some feedback, and create the best possible game prior to bringing it to Steam. The game is already quite good—it’s been out in the wild since 2015—and I’ve encountered no bugs or significant gripes. There is also quite a development roadmap with a bunch of cool features that look to be on the way.
Cosmoteer is great fun and fans of Legos and the simulation/builder genre will find it quite compelling. I played for five hours the day I downloaded it, so I can safely say it’s one of those where-did-the-time-go games. You’ve been warned. Unfortunately, you’ll need a PC to get sucked in at this point, though there’ll be Mac and Linux versions once this baby hits Steam.