The whole minecraft thing kind of passed me by. I understand that it took off because it created something like “Lego Unlimited” (and “Lego Unlimited Online”) for an exceptionally cheap price allowing people to explore, build, create, manage, so on and so forth, and then, just as you were getting into it, night fell and cactus people attacked you and you died.

So you restarted the game and, this time, you tried to make a house where you could weather the night and keep those cactus guys out thus allowing you to explore, build, create, and manage *WEAPONS*. And traps and other things that could help defeat those dang cactus guys.

It wasn’t really a survival game as much as a “survive and thrive” game.

Well, Klei saw Minecraft and said “I could do that” and they created a game called “Don’t Starve” which had a similar thing going on. You started with little more than rudimentary tools and went to a wild land and you had to weather the first night (well, the first week or so) but then, once you started going, you had what you needed to take on baddies. And then bigger baddies. And then bosses.

Which, as survival games go, is a neat trick.

Klei is now working on a little game called “Oxygen Not Included”. It’s still in Alpha, so it’s not even *CLOSE* to finished, but it’s like Don’t Starve… IN SPACE.

So far, I’ve had my people have to deal with the fact that Oxygen was not, in fact, included and they opened a room that was full of CO2 and could only work in there a few seconds before running back to home base to breathe.

This freaked me out so I had to stop playing.

But, if you liked Don’t Starve, and you like sci-fi, and you like survival games… Oxygen Not Included will frustrate the heck out of you unless you really like Chemistry too.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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17 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. Your description of “Oxygen Not Included” reminds me of a game I played called “Spacebase DF-9”, which is a little bit like Dwarf Fortress in space. You can get things like hull breaches and asphyxiation and so on.

    But what I’m playing right now is Endless Legend, which is a 4X game, based on a mythical other planet in Iceberg’s fictional galaxy. But the game elements seem more fantasy than sci-fi. There are a lot of fresh takes on some of the elements of 4X, and there are heroes.


      • I guess I missed the controversy. That game has the distinction of inspiring me to wake up in the middle of the night with a yell, because I thought that there was a boarding party coming through the floor.


    • Also like parts of FTL, the only spaceship game I’ve played where “vent the atmosphere from that section to suffocate the boarding party” and “we can’t put out the fire, but send Scotty in anyway and hope he fixes the engine before he dies” are actual things that happen.


  2. I found the old Curse of the Azure Bonds box the other day, and thought I’d load it to see how it plays on my three-legged laptop.
    I remember loading it on Something-Something, and the playability was fine, but the combat sequence was faster than one of those Benny Hill sketches where he doesn’t talk.
    Only a few things I ever need my floppy drive for, and I tend to lose it in between those times.
    Maybe if I pretend to give up looking for it, it will come out of hiding.


  3. Right now I am playing Starpoint Gemini 2, which is space sim with privateering. It’s fun, but it suffers from a common flaw of such games, in that the universe is just too small (planets too close together, not in actual orbits, junk or asteroid fields are crowded beyond belief, systems are lousy with habitats & planets are just like the habitats when it comes to interaction, pirates are so common it’s amazing any commerce through space even happens, and pirates are some how able to find you in deep space far from any trade lanes, etc.). And we haven’t even talked about the physics of space flight or combat.

    I miss Independence War 1 & 2. Although I guess the X series games do a better job of size & physics.


  4. I’ve been playing heaps of Darkest Dungeon. I think I finally figured the game out and I’ve got a double-handful of 3rd- and fourth-level heroes and I’ve finally learned my lesson about when to push and when to cut and run. Still too chicken to make a run at the Darkest Dungeon itself, though.


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