I suppose when you’re attempting to combine the steady pace of a Real-Time Strategy fling with the brain gymnastics of the Simulation genre, creating new species of funny characters for your game turns into a sort of mandate.
Sure, Meeple Station has co-operative gameplay support for up to 12 players – mentions clowns and squids in its description even – but it’s still set in dark, desolate outer space and tasks you with the mundane responsibility of building a space station.
To this end you’re given plenty of hi-tech trappings characteristic of such an undertaking; think quantum engines, shield generators, kitchen appliances, trivial power grids and sofas. As you begin by expanding rooms, adding corridors, bulkheads and other areas of interest, the space station begins to take life of its own.
This is where you, as overseer of operations and the brains behind the facility, get to choose to either have your station function as a hub for intergalactic trade/commerce or an inquisitive little space probe. Either way it’s no easy gig as your decisions will affect the tiniest of technical details, invite space pirates, meteor showers and make your experience – well, yours.
Doing your bidding always is a cast of fragile characters called Meeple, whose slavery Vox Games justifies by stating that they’re neither very smart nor very human. In fact they’re foolish, albeit industrious, and are quite prone to tripping over their own feet into hazards of starvation, electrocution, suffocation, incineration and so forth.
Not too different from regular humans then, especially when they make quite capable engineers, refiners, miners and janitors too, which lets you assign them with various roles and carrying out the groundwork of your open-ended campaign.
If you find them annoying, you can even fit them with purple HAZMAT suits, seat them in custom-built scout ships, and send them beyond the hangar bay to make unique discoveries in the vein of other foolish creatures, resources, intel and valuables.
A growing economy will also attract more capable Meeple, some of them ranked officers apparently, that despite their own flaws might also help share in your management responsibilities.
It also looks very nice, no?. Why then is Meeple Station only mildly funded on Kickstarter with less than 25 days to go? Insufficient marketing? Lack of a proper USP? Decide for yourself by trying the free demo.