I first found out about this from Xterminator’s Youtube channel, and decided to take a spin.
I only have played it the past week, and am on the latest version of the game, and I know nothing about the previous versions.
The tutorials aren’t basic enough. Even for the first lesson I messed with the game for a while before I figured out what I was supposed to do. It took quite a while before I figured out the UI, and how to navigate. I was a bit lost on the machines, but eventually figured out how to make it work. I was really lost on what all the little bits of information on all the pages was for. It wasn’t until I was much further along that I finally was able to read and understand all the information displayed in the UI.
I admit, I didn’t read any of the wiki. A wiki shouldn’t be need to figure out he basic game play. I did almost stop playing this entirely due to the learning curve. I persevered though as I thought the game can’t really be that hard, and it isn’t.
I found some of the different maps very challenging, and others fairly easy, but all in the same overall level of gameplay features. The scenarios don’t seem to be in order of difficulty. Many of the scenarios should really be further classified–basic (introduces the new elements of gameplay, like the autoclave, but has an open ended win goal of just making money); intermediate (is a little bit more restrictive on how you win); Advanced (providing X number of doses of specific medicine requiring high end machines or having all medicines of Y quality); Challenges (not only requiring high level machines, but also very specific win states like a cure i.e: Curing Sickle Cell scenario) Maybe color code them blue, green, red, and black to indicate the perceived difficulty.
Several of the machines are very unique like the centrifuge, but I have never had opportunity to use them yet as this sort of machine takes a lot of planning. It is not currently possible to see the max potency for upgraded cures you have discovered unless you are currently producing them. There needs to be a way to see this information. Since the max potency is specific to the drug it is from, maybe expanding the ingredients box a bit to fit the upgraded cures would be good, or maybe a mouse over on the cures page showing the same base ingredient information (from the ingredients page) you have discovered, but showing the upgraded cure set.
Some sort of crossover belt/machine This could be very useful when trying to feed ingredients to two different multimixers. As they need two different inputs, it’s not physically possible to feed them from a single belt. I have to use a second wall port to get the ingredient in. Having a machine/belt that would allow you to pass-thru the ingredients from one side to another without intersecting would be awesome.
Belts don’t always connect the way you drag them with the mouse. When filling in a single space belt, it often only wants to connect with a straight belt, and not with a bend. I mainly do this when trying to place an analyser in the middle of a production line temporarily without needing to move a bunch of equipment out of the way. I end up moving the extra equipment out of the way, place the belt, then return the equipment. A little cumbersome to do, but not the end of the world.
Overall, I am really enjoying the game. It’s a bit different than Factorio, but still shares some of the same logic.
P.S. One little nit-pick. When you exit out of the scenario screen to leave BigPharma for the night, the game scrolls across the factory to display the exit menu. It would be nicer if the game was just there when you exited instead of it having to scroll back to the menu area.