Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Industries of Titan is a simulation strategy game where players build up their corporations and fend off rebel groups that want to take you out. Unlike most strategy games of its kind, players are restricted to making a select few buildings that are capable of housing habitation pods, fuel fabricators, generators, storage containers, and processors. These buildings are called factories and players will construct a lot of them to expand their empire.
The game begins with a significant amount of information given to you by your advisors and the council member who sponsors your corporation. Don’t let that fool you though, because if you are attacked, the council will not help you. It is up to you to build defensive turrets so that you can take out enemy ships. (More on that later.)
Anyways, players need to build a few factories in order to construct the buildings required to thrive on Titan. There are options to create and expand a power grid, build monetization stations, erect residential buildings, and manage waste. While there are many more tasks that players learn, I found that the core gameplay loop is fun and addicting.
Graphics and UI
The graphics in Industries of Titan are remarkable for a simulation strategy game in early access. Yes, it is a top-down view that most games in this genre have, but it has a charm that might go unnoticed. I find it cute that players can zoom in on their workers and citizens as they diligently perform tasks. Moreover, we are able to see the materials being carried in boxes that are headed to storage containers. And while these animations and graphics are well designed, there are smaller details like those present in the ruined buildings. Players might not notice the minor details, but I find that I appreciate developers that take the time to bring their game to life.
Industries of Titan is designed to show relevant information that players need to succeed in their mission. At first, it can be daunting as there is a lot, but each bit of information displayed is useful. Not only does the top bar convey information to the player, but it can display more detailed information when players click to expand them. For example, clicking on the credits button will display how much currency is gained and lost. Also, the quality of materials being used can be changed manually. Just beware of the material level you choose because you might not have enough to construct buildings more efficiently.
Other than information about power consumption, game speeds, buildings to be constructed, and worker information, players are also able to click on the bug button at the top right of the bar. Unlike many games where bug reporting tends to be done through a forum post, Industries of Titan has bug reporting directly in-game. I find this to be a great feature that more Early Access games could implement for easier troubleshooting.
The music in Industries of Titan is fantastic and fits the aesthetic of the game quite well. Its music is composed by Danny Baranowsky who has worked on game titles such as Super Meat Boy, Crypt of the Necrodancer, The Binding of Isaac, and Half-Life. He started out as a member of OverClocked Remix (OCRemix) which introduced him to video game music. After some time, he tried his hand at composition and landed a gig on the Canabalt soundtrack in 2010. He’s had a successful career since then and continues to produce electronic game music for indie titles that are loved by many. I absolutely love the music in the game and find it is a stellar fit for the genre.
The combat system in Industries of Titan is lacking at the moment for a couple of reasons.
- Firstly, it is designed to be simple as the focus is on the expansion of your industry, unlike certain games.
- Secondly, defensive turrets auto fire at targets. It is not sophisticated in terms of the ships’ programming or abilities.
- Thirdly, players get to outfit their ships after purchasing a chassis. The bothersome element about this is, despite the fact that players can outfit their ship however they like, players aren’t given much direction about the basic requirements. They are given a percentage bar to indicate when there is enough power. Players must make room for their crew, generators, weapons, fabricators, and shields. While that makes sense in the grand scheme of things, the task is easier said than done. This is an aspect where I feel that having a couple of pre-fabricated ships or blueprints would be useful.
While I enjoy the strategy of the game, I think that the combat really needs some work. And I do believe that the combat system will be expanded on throughout the early access phase, otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense to allow user-created layouts only to have combat run on autopilot. This is one of those gameplay elements that is going to need some beefing up before the full launch of the game.
Pros and Cons
As with any Early Access game, I found myself enjoying many elements and features in the Industries of Titan. But for every released game, there are some issues or bugs that are unavoidable. And while I didn’t encounter any bugs during my gameplay, there are a few quality-of-life additions that would help players, in my opinion. But before I list my pros and cons for the game, know that there is a roadmap that outlines features that are being added down the line (like healthcare for example). With that said, below is a list of pros and cons that I personally found with the game.
- Excellent Voice Acting
- Awesome music to listen to as a backdrop, although I do wish there was more of it.
- Decent balance between building and strategizing your next plans
- Amazing graphics quality for an early access game
- Ship combat is interesting because it scales up as bot you and the rebels increase in strength
- UI is fairly easy to understand after getting used to it
- Animations are well designed and I do like the 3D printing aesthetic of erecting buildings.
- Unit priority abilities comes in handy but has some drawbacks.
- There’s option to increase the UI size which is great for people playing on different monitor sizes or are visually impaired.
- Highly addicting gameplay
- I love that there is Photo Mode in the game.
- Priority tasks don’t always work. There were times that I prioritized an action but when I placed a building after the fact, the newer one built first.
- Worker pathing is strange. Placing storage containers near the processors doesn’t receive closeby materials like one would expect. The people go to storage containers elsewhere.
- There’s no easy way to change factory buildings without first exiting the building. While the game is built on making an efficient industry, this is one of the elements that opposes that idea.
- When rebels attack your buildings, there is no timer and there is no help from the council. There isn’t even a timer to indicate when they would leave nor when they could send reinforcements. Thus, players have to build a defensive turret or die a slow death. As in, the combat is rather basic and feels like it will be fleshed out in the future.
- The tutorial could use some polish. While it does have descriptions of objectives, there concepts that could use more explanation. I am thinking about a codex that displays some sample layouts in diagram form. This is particularly true with the processor buildings.
- Playing tetris inside factories is somewhat bothersome. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that workers will build anywhere on the floor without having physical access (with exception of buildings that require input and output and storage containers.)
- Also with tetris issues, I’d love an option to rearrange buildings on a floor. The mass dismantle helps but it’s not enough.
- On that note: blueprinting would be a great addition to this game, particularly because of the games’ design.
- At the start, waste management is frustrating because there is only one size. Everything else has different sizes, why not this?
Industries of Titan is a fun simulation game that I played a fair amount of. It took some time to get used to the game but over time I fell in love with it. I like the concept of the game and its potential to be one of the best in its genre. It has amazing graphics – even in the small details – excellent music and voice acting, and a combat system to keep players on their toes. Despite some of the downfalls of the title, it has an excellent foundation but still needs more work before launch. I can’t wait to see how the game systems evolve.