Stable Orbit is a simulation game developed by Codalyn, focusing on the construction and management of a new Space Station after the previous one had crash landed. Starting off with little funding, you must construct living quarters and labs to warrant enough grant money, new research and a possible new venture into space, with virtually no time limit imposed on you besides that of your dwindling resources.
There isn’t much story implemented into the game right now, with a simple New Game button on the menu thrusting you into the game proper. You can however read up on the story on the steam page and website. It is the year 2034, 5 years after the previous international space station had deorbited. With the sciences being hit majorly due to its loss the world has banded together to form a new group “All Nations Space Coalition” to venture back into space.
The only real goal as of yet is the build, make money and survive. Going for a Free Roam/mode rather than a story or challenge. You can experience all the game has to offer as of right now within an hour or so.
As of right now there isn’t much to the gameplay of Stable Orbit, you start off with an honest sum of 7500Million dollars along with the core module of your space station. Clicking on several parts of the core will allow you to pick and choose how it is created, making trusses to carry even more rooms. Right now you can make solar panels, radiators, batteries, living quarters, labs and docking areas. Labs will generate money, however they require energy to run and generate heat, which you can offset with the living quarters and other systems.
You can easily make a money bank in space with larger creations, making sure you have enough energy and radiators beforehand, having 10+ people working the labs to generate billions of dollars. As it is free mode, it only has a little focus on management with making sure you have enough energy, manage the heat and the food, water and oxygen for your residents. The indicators for all of these are found in the bottom left, but are rather unclear as to how much you have or need, showing green or red for most cases.
Overall thoughts and feelings
Stable Orbit is rather interesting, with a lack of music but stunning visuals of a simulated orbit around earth. You can become slightly immersed into the setting, but that quickly fades with the tasks laid in front of you being completed almost instantly. You only need to build 5 rooms to see how much the game has to offer.
Thankfully the developers are planning to bring out updates and patches, even going as far as producing a roadmap and showing it off to the public. With plans to improve the management side of things, for your resources, residents and waste that those produce. Improving the already stunning graphics as well as deciding your rotation around the earth itself. They plan to improve the way you design the ship, which as of this Alpha build becomes rather blocky and unimpressive.
I see quite a lot of potential in Stable Orbit, it has a cool concept as well as what is currently available being rather enjoyable. Improving the UI and information layout, possibly with some changes to the ship itself will be a major improvement. Changing their design to games like Planetbase with similar visual representation of the residents and seeing them moving between rooms would do so much for the game. They need to show us what is happening, rather than just altering numbers or bars. At this Early Access stage, there just isn’t enough content to warrant a purchase.