When Earth is running out of resources and only humans are left, who gets the chance to stay alive? That’s the decision you must make as the overseer of a factory in the future. Earth is dying and humans have found new exoplanets to colonize. Only the best and brightest will be traveling; everyone else is turned into food, materials, or energy. You must construct a rocket to travel to new exoplanets, but other factions have their own goals and demand your assistance.
It’s not a simple task to build your rocket without resources, and factions have what you need. The balancing act between getting resources, making progress, and working with factions is fun to manage. While the game fails to mention some basics that would assist your management, those kinks will presumably be ironed out upon launch.
Organs Please is available on PC for USD 13.99, and leaves Early Access on April 5, 2023.
Story – Preparing to Leave Earth
In the distant future, humans have drained Earth of nearly all of its resources. Life is becoming unsustainable, though the government is trying to hide this fact. Thankfully, scientists have discovered exoplanets that can be colonized, allowing life to continue. The race is on to get a rocket to the exoplanet, because the government needs efficiency. Do poorly and miss the deadline, and you might find yourself replaced.
There are some bumps in the narration, but the point gets across. The tutorial involves learning as an overseer who is quickly replaced, letting you know the consequences are real. You are soon introduced to other factions, who want to use the rocket for their own purposes. Each faction tries to bring you to their side, and dealing with them leads to their own small storylines.
It’s a simple management story at its core, and isn’t one that is particularly special. It’s just a way to provide exposition towards your actions and explain the setting. As you progress, news channels will highlight the tyranny of the government, but it’s not something you pay attention to. Just like Contraband Police, government policies only affect you when it influences your objectives. Your mission remains the same throughout the game; build the rocket or get replaced.
Gameplay – Use Humans Wisely
The rocket is built with metal, but other resources are created from human remains. In a manner similar to Godlike Burger, you are picking which humans board the rocket and which are turned into resources. No one knows the difference, because going into the rocket is considered a one-way trip. The best and brightest candidates make your planned colony better, while everyone else provides valuable resources for manufacturing.
It’s grim and digs into dark humour, but it fits the setting of the game. There are no other resources left, and you have a plentiful supply of humans. You can’t reach your government-set goals without sacrifices, and the government is aware of that. That’s why you can turn people into manufacturing energy or resources for future colonists. Anything is necessary for you to reach your goal.
But you can’t build the rocket yourself. You must have employees whose needs are met and skills are properly applied to build said rocket. These employees are picked from the people you allow onto the rocket. Employees will work on certain stations or rest up for future events. If employees fall behind or get into trouble, they could become resources themselves.
As you build the rocket, different factions come in with their own goals for the future colony. They ask you to help them, letting certain people on board the rocket or turning some candidates away. Every faction needs you, and you can’t please everyone. Who you choose to help or ignore affects your progress, and influences your overall behaviour. This adds a layer of complexity and drives your interest, since you want to know how factions help or hinder you. Unfortunately, the game’s complexity isn’t helped by its information shortage.
Information – Important Missing Details
Balancing the various faction demands with your overall construction is a fun challenge, which is supported by the dark humour. Unfortunately, your efforts are quickly halted because you run into difficulties that you aren’t told about. It’s not that the game deliberately misleads you, but you aren’t told about these problems at all.
Take employee stress and fatigue. If these reach high levels, employees start developing negative qualities that impact their work. You can relieve employees by sending them to a break room, but this isn’t mentioned when you work with employees. The break room is found while searching your facilities, but you would miss it if you aren’t careful. This misleads players into thinking employees are always getting burned out, when there’s a way to stop it.
While most of the game’s fundamentals are explained, some advanced concepts are glossed over which directly affect your success. Learning from other players is helpful, but it would be easier if the game taught you most of the fundamentals in the beginning.
Audio & Visuals – Silly & Dark Contrasts
The appearance of the game looks no different from any management simulator. Humans look somewhat funny and harmless. Your workplace looks like a regular office job. All of that is contrasting the actual cruelty involved, which is a suitable dissonance for the game. It makes your job look ridiculous and prevents you from thinking about your actions too much.
Even the soundtrack has elements of this as well, with nothing sounding out of the ordinary. It’s just you on a regular day at work, and the music does nothing to change your mind. It normalizes your actions, successfully immersing you into the darkness of your situation. Everything ties together to hide the horrors from the player, letting you play without thinking much of your actions.
While the game never shies away from how ridiculous the current situation is, you soon stop thinking about the horror. Turning people into resources and meeting your quotas is the real problem, not the actual sacrifice of others.
Organs Please was previewed on Steam with a code provided by HeroCraft.