Space Station Tycoon - first hands-on

We thought we had this whimsical SimCity-in-space game's number before we even sat down to play it. We'd played quite a bit of its they-hope-we-don't-mention-it forerunner, Outpost Kaloki X on Xbox 360 and were certain that Space Station Tycoon was just a clone of it. We were only partly right; this is a very similar title from the same developer, but it's very heavily evolved and expanded. We didn't exactly expect the Jetsons and get a new season of Firefly - dammit - but we were pleasantly impressed with how different it was.

Space Station Tycoon casts you as a young fellow named Shawn who, in one of those only-in-a-game twists, continually finds himself designing the lighthearted sci-fi equivalent a multi-gajillion-dollar outer space strip-mall, despite the fact that he's completely unqualified. Heck, his brother Nash - whom we'll admit right now seems kind of cooler than Shawn. Kind of a lot, in fact - is a pirate. Isn't that like Steve Wynn showing up in the next Ocean's Eleven movie and asking George Clooney's sister to design a casino for him?

Whatever. The point is, you've got the job, so you need to do it. Basically, each space station starts out as a flat, circular platform floating in space, to which to attach different items: power plants, tourist attractions, restaurants, scientific research centers, and so on, like the spokes of a wagon wheel.

Eric Bratcher
I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.