The ocean is full of gold. Plastic gold. Mostly just plastic. And it’s your job to guide robotic vehicles in collecting plastic and turning it into profit, or more vehicles. Like the Patchers from William Gibson’s The Peripheral, your vehicles extract plastic from the ocean to be recycled.
Like most RTS games, OPCU requires you to collect resources to build units. Where it differs is that there’s no combat. The game is a race to collect as much plastic as possible while maintaining the highest profit. Each randomly generated map has a limited supply of plastic. You need units to collect and transport the plastic, but each unit you build subtracts from your overall profit. Build too few units, and you won’t collect as much as your opponent. Too many, and your profits will be lower. Additionally, as more plastic is collected, the market price decreases. It’s tricky finding a good balance. Thankfully, there’s single player time attack and AI skirmish modes where you can experiment.
There’s a few different types of units to manage. Each player starts off with a floating processing platform and a single transport-collector boat. Fulfilling the role of mothership, the platform is for resource drop-off and new unit creation. The transport-collector on the other hand is the most basic unit. It extracts plastic from the water, and once it’s cargo hold is full, returns to the platform for drop-off. This isn’t very efficient as you won’t be collecting any plastic during transport. You’ll want to quickly collect more plastic to build specialized units. Dedicated transports and collectors help to streamline the process, but require coordination to use effectively.
We dig this non-combat RTS! While it could use some polish, and a few more units, it’s a fun and accessible game that provides several minutes of enjoyment.