Review | Dyson Sphere Program

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They had the inner nerd in me at Dyson Sphere. For a base building simulation game that allowed you to set up on different planets and solar systems. This one kept me hooked for quite a long time. You also got to just focus on building out your massive planetary-wide operations without being interrupted by other stuff that you tend to see in the base building genre these days.

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Dyson Sphere Program allows you to play around with a few of the universe settings to fit your play style. You can also do a bit of seed shopping by trying to find a setup between the different kinds of star types for those who have a more advanced understanding of the game from playing it.

I prefer to spend a fair amount of time on just a couple of planets in a massive universe. As a result, I slide the resource settings up a fair amount. I wanted to set up massive planetary wide production lines and not needing to worry about hunting around for the next plant for resources only staying just ahead of things before a needed ore vein depletes.

For how complex and busy Dyson Sphere Program can get they do have tutorials and information popping up throughout your playthrough when you run into something new. While your thirty minutes can be quite an information-packed as you are trying to learn the ropes you tend to fall into a rhythm after some time.

You start as you do in quite a few base-building games out there where you have to manually gather the resources. This can be quite a slow process that has a heavy drain on you’re the mech you fly around in before getting any upgrades.

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A large focus on this game is trying to automate as many processes as you can. That can become quite resource-intensive at the early late stages of the game when you start needing resources from other planets. Sometimes even requiring you to take long manual trips yourself to bring back just a few thousand resources to get started from another planet.

While the starting planet has quite a few resources on it that can keep you content for quite a while if you are not going tech-heavy. It does not take long for the game to lead you to a point where you need resources between other planets.

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Thankfully the game has quite a detailed statistics panel where you can see the production and consumption of everything from raw materials to end products. This game has quite a lot of items in it and it can sometimes be challenging trying to stay on top of everything when you start having supply chain shortages somewhere backing things up.

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I can recall one instance where I was not importing enough materials I needed to one of my planets so I had to fly back and see what my bottleneck was. I forget to make sure I had enough energy items on me to make the trip and ended overshooting the planet I was aiming for as I could not turn in time. Spent over half an hour trying to turn, slow down, and land. Nothing like being in a rush and wasted a bunch of time.
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One of the main things you tend to focus on turning resources into for this game is material research items. The tech tree for this game has one for your mech and another one for everything else that is quite extensive. The further along you get the more complex materials you need to keep researching. Which require more advanced buildings and even production lines to make a single item.

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The above screenshot is from one of my production planets. I had several plants I was shipping resources from just trying to keep on top of things. With quite a few long rows of the same item being massed produced and then stored in those large towers you see.

I had quite a massive amount of logistic stations and a swarm of flying vessels endlessly trying to meet the demand and supply of everything going on. It takes quite a lot of hours to get to this stage of the game. You first tend to have buildings being manufactured in your mech’s production which is quite a slow process.

Eventually, you can automate to this pure insanity. Many times I would just leave the game running on my send screen and watch the logistic fleets transport everything around for hours on end while I was doing other things. You do get to a point in this game where you start just leaving it on overnight producing needing items to progress even further.

One thing that was a constant struggle from early game to middle game was keeping up with energy consumption. While the game has all kinds of different options you get to unlock along the way from burning oil, wind, solar, and even the end game Dyson Sphere. It felt like I was always struggling to have enough power.

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This is what one of my planets would look like long term. I had quite a massive setup of solar at the poles trying to get me as much energy as it could. Then just endless rows of production. I can’t tell you how many times I’d get lost trying to find an individual item I needed to manually create something or to address a shortage is as having.

While the game does allow you to blueprint your setups. I more times than not just opted to go through the slow manual process of placing everything down from the buildings, convey belts, and storage solutions. There are even modes players have for saving large builds so they can quickly populate a planet if they have the resources and items to do so. I wanted a pure experience of the game so I stayed away from modes.

For me, with over 100 hours into the game, the biggest letdown was the whole goal of the game itself. Building a Dyson Sphere to capture energy from the sun felt like this massive thing. Throughout different stages of the game, you unlock different technology to try and accomplish this achievement.

The issue is s Dyson Sphere is quite a resource-intensive thing to construct. Even more so when everything you launch into space to form around the sun has a limited life cycle before you lose it. Requiring a planet that is just dedicated to doing so. The amount of power you need to be gathering alone did not seem worthwhile.

Not to mention the far more privative method of getting energy did not require endless costs to maintain as the Dyson Sphere does. You could even find a plant that was close to the sun that had higher amounts of solar power opportunities for instance for collection. Then ship that power using a logistics system to a plant that needed the energy. While it was quite costly and time-consuming to get set up like that. Once you did the power needs would be set for quite some time before I found myself needing to expand it even further.

While throughout my playthrough I attempted to get different stages of a Dyson Sphere going. I just could not quantify those costs vs furthering along with my progress in the tech tree or increasing my production abilities. It seems like once you are at the stage to have one fully going you are done with the game.

Final Thoughts

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Since there were no enemies to combat this game just lets you focus on the part of a building game that I enjoy the most building. That however after a lot of hours go to a point where you do get bored of it. You just end up leaving the game running all night or even days gathering, producing, and storing. Only playing when you start having massive shortages due to mining nodes depleting or manufacturing imbalances.

While it was tempting for a while to want to keep playing to build a Dyson Sphere that I could maintain. I just got too bored of the game before that. Even more so since I started a second game wanting to make some major changes in how I first played my early hours.

It was still quite a fun game for a while that gave me a lot of enjoyment. Perhaps at some point, once this game developers further I’ll check back in. This game is in early access and it seems like some changes will need to be made.

Other Content

Information

Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar. Screenshots are from Dyson Sphere Program.

Disclosure: This game is in early access.

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