While it is kind of a niche video game genre, the automation base building genre has become one of my favorites recently. It is kind of hard to explain why, but it is satisfying creating a well run production system. I am always intrigued to check out new games released in the genre. I was intrigued by Desynced because it looked like an interesting twist on the automation genre. Despite being in Early Access, Desynced is already a polished and fun automation game even if it does have a learning curve in some areas.
In Desynced you play as an explorer traveling through the stars. While traveling your ship becomes damaged. To repair your ship you send some drones down to the surface of the nearest planet. With the help of your AI, ELAINE, you must gather resources and refine them in order to create the parts required to repair your ship. While exploring the planet looking for resources, you may discover that there is more to the planet than you first thought.
Desynced has a couple different mechanics in play, but its core revolves around an automation gameplay mechanic. In the game you will utilize many drones. You will use the drones to search the planet and gather required resources. Drones will also carry resources around your base to their destination. You will build buildings which you will use to refine the resources into more advanced materials. As you research and explore you will find additional resources and ways to refine raw materials into more useful materials. You will continue to grow towards the ultimate goal of creating the materials required to fix your ship.
The game gives you a few different ways to automate your production facilities. Drones will do most of the work. You can give each drone a number of different commands which they will follow to complete tasks. First you can give them basic commands. This can include gathering resources or moving to a destination where they should pick up resources. You can also tell them where to store resources. You can also connect drones to your network where they will do queued tasks. This usually involves picking up and delivering resources to another part of your base.
Desynced allows you to use more general commands where you just tell a drone what to do and it does it. Otherwise you can get into more detail by directly telling a drone what it needs to do. This utilizes a form of drag and drop programming. You drag commands into a list of actions that the drone will then follow. The first way is much simpler and faster to set up. The later gives you considerably more control over what you want a drone to do.
At this point Desynced is mostly a laid back experience. In addition to the automation mechanics, there are some base building and exploration mechanics. Eventually you will run out of resources near your initial starting point. At this point you will need to explore to find more resources. Exploration basically revolves around picking a drone and clicking somewhere on the map and it will explore that region. You can add certain modules to drones to help in the search for resources. You need to be aware of the drone’s battery power or it might run out and stop. While exploring you will come upon various abandoned buildings. You need to complete a small little puzzle and supply it with a specific resource(s). When you do this it unlocks giving you resources and more information to help you towards your ultimate goal.
Usually the game is quite peaceful as you can just do your own thing. The game does have some enemies though that you may occasionally have to deal with. There are a number of enemy creatures that you will encounter while exploring. For the most part they leave you alone if you don’t interfere in their area. To defeat enemies you can build turrets which you can attach to buildings or individual drones.
In a lot of ways Desynced plays like many other automation games. I don’t mean this to be a criticism as I think it already shows a lot of promise. The game just entered Early Access and intends to stay in Early Access for at least a year. If I hadn’t already known that the game was Early Access and would remain there for quite a while, I honestly wouldn’t have known. While playing the game in many ways it already feels like a complete game. There are obviously some elements that are missing, but the core of the game is already in place. You could already get quite a bit out of the game, and that is with there still being at least another year of development to add more to the game.
Desynced is not going to be for everyone. If you generally don’t like automation/base building games, I don’t think you will get a lot of enjoyment out of the game. Its core is built around these mechanics. If the idea of gathering resources and then moving them through a system to create better materials doesn’t appeal to you, Desynced is not going to be for you. Fans of this genre should take note because I think Desynced is already a good game in the genre, and I can’t wait to see where it eventually ends up.
One interesting mechanic in Desynced is that it uses a modular system. Instead of having drones or buildings that perform specific tasks, you have basic drones and buildings which you modify by attaching modules. For example if you want a drone to start mining resources you need to build a laser and attach it to the drone. At any time you can remove the laser to use the drone for a different task. The same applies to buildings. You build a basic structure and then modify it to the task you want it to complete. There are quite a few different modules that perform different tasks. Instead of being stuck with a building or drone that can only complete one task, you can change up their tasks whenever you need something else done.
Ultimately I had a lot of fun playing Desynced. The game is not finished and could use some polish in areas. The game is already quite fun which is a good sign for a game that still has quite a bit of development ahead of it. I can’t quite explain why, but it is fun deploying drones to gather resources which you will then further refine until you have a well run supply chain. It is oddly satisfying to create a system that is efficient and quickly transforms basic materials into more advanced materials. This allows you to expand even further. The mechanics work well where if you didn’t know better you would think it was already a finished game. Much of the game is already fully playable and enjoyable.
I was genuinely impressed with the amount of content the game already has. Everything is not in the game yet, but you can already create a pretty large base as you advance your technology to create additional materials. If you enjoy these type of games, you can already get a lot of time out of the game. I am excited to see the final version of the game.
Probably the biggest issue I have with Desynced right now is that it has somewhat of a learning curve behind it. Most of the game comes naturally to you if you have played an automation game before. Some of the tweaks to the gameplay take some time to get used to though. Modules are a big part of the game as they give you a lot of customization options for your bots and buildings. They do take some time to get used to though. You get access to quite a few of them pretty quickly and they each do something different. I like the customization options that they give you, but they do take some time to fully understand.
Programming your bots have a learning curve as well. For most tasks there is a way to program things in a basic way. This involves giving the drone a task and where it is supposed to store its resources. This is quite easy to setup, but doesn’t always work the greatest. It is usually less efficient and sometimes your bots don’t do things how you want them to do it. Programming the bots yourself gives you a lot more control. It does take some time to get used to programming them. Once you figure out the mechanic though, it does give you quite a bit more control over your drones.
When a game is launched into Early Access it is not always clear what you are going to get. The good news is that while it is going to be in Early Access for at least a year, Desynced already shows a lot of promise. In a lot of ways the game plays like your typical automation game. You send drones to collect resources, which are taken to buildings to be refined into other materials. If you are a fan of these type of games you should enjoy this aspect of the game as it is fun creating a well run supply chain.
Desynced differentiates itself in two main ways. First it utilizes different modules which allows you to customize what the drones and buildings do. It also lets you create specific instructions that your drones will follow. Both of these give players a lot of control over how they run their base. They do add some complexity to the game though which leads to a learning curve.
Basically my recommendation for Desynced is quite straightforward. If you are a fan of automation games and think the idea of having more control of your buildings and drones sounds interesting, I would highly recommend taking a look at Desynced.
Release Date: Early Access – August 15, 2023 | Systems: PC
Developer: Stage Games Inc | Publisher: Forklift Interactive | ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Genres: Automation, Base Building, Exploration, Indie
Official Website: https://www.desyncedgame.com/
- Quite polished and fun for a game that just entered Early Access.
- Has some interesting tweaks to your traditional automation game giving you a lot of control over how your drones and buildings work.
- Some of the mechanics have a bit of a learning curve.
Recommendation: For fans of automation games that find the premise interesting.
Where to Purchase: Steam
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Stage Games Inc and Forklift Interactive for the preview copy of Desynced used for this preview. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to preview, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this preview. Receiving the preview copy for free had no impact on the content of this preview.