By Terris Harned (NWOrpheus)
Ever since the introduction of Dwarf Fortress colony survival games have been growing steadily in popularity. We now have titles like Oxygen Not Included, Rimworld, and Judgement: Apocalypse Survival. One thing that all of these titles have in common is being trapped in two dimensions. Gnomoria was one title that released with a 3D aspect, but generally speaking it’s considered abandonware. It was released with a huge number of bugs, and then development stopped.
Enter Meeple Station by Australlian based development studio Vox Games (not to be confused with the American studio which became Polygon.) Meeple Station puts you in control of a space station occupied by little digital entities called meeple. Meeple have jobs, just like
peeple people. They can be engineers, refiners, janitors, chemists, officers, and more. Meeples exist to do your bidding and create the space station you’ve always dreamed about.
Like with most colony survival games, you don’t actually have any sort of direct control over your Meeples. Instead, you assign them tasks like mining, building, refining, or killing. When meeple are hungry, meeple will eat. When meeple are tired, meeple will sleep. If meeple don’t like what they eat, have to eat standing up, or have to sleep on the ground, your meeple will become angry. It’s your job to tell meeple to make beds (preferably in a bedroom), to make food dispensing areas, tables and chair, etc.
Additionally, once you get your first officer meeple, you will be able to assign researches to be done on the station. Research is important, as it will unlock additional objects for you to build, including but not limited to shields for your station to prevent it from getting blown to bits by meteors.
Much like this power conduit, the game is under construction.
The game as it stands is in a very raw state. This is understandable however as it’s only just gone into Kickstarter as of September 4th of 2018. The developers have a lot of work to do, but they also have a lot planned.
One of the things I’m very intrigued by is the potential for multiplayer. This is something that I have seen many players of colony survival games request, but it’s not something I’ve seen developers implement in the genre. Meeple Station will allow up to 12-player cooperative play.
Furthermore, Vox Games has some exciting plans in regards to the ability to move your ship from place to place, so if you mine the resources from one region, you can go to another. They’ll also be implementing a hangar bay for you to be able to control your own ships. As it stands, you can build an airlock and assign it to trade, allowing other ships to dock with you. This will also be your source of additional meeple, as you hire travellers from ships to live on your station and do your bidding.
Giant meteors won’t be the only threat you might face, either. Enemy meeples will try to invade your station, giving need to security meeple. Also, giant electric space squid, and something about clowns.
Frankly, I’d love to see Meeple Station be successful. It has a strong community forming around its official Discord channel already, and a few first play videos around YouTube. I’m going to withhold a rating on this one because it’s just too early and too raw to give it a fair shake. It’s definitely going to be a game to keep an eye on if you enjoy the myriad Dwarf Fortress clones currently on the market.