On the Edge of Earth: 5000
You are the sole operator assigned to a spaceship carrying out a mission as part of the New Earth Federation Connected Worlds Project. You are assigned to search for viable dead planets and revitalize them for future Federation colonization operations. Unfortunately, you've forgotten a lot from your instruction manuals. But you have a whole spaceship filled with science stuff to play with, so hey, you might as well give it a shot! On the Edge of Earth: 5000 is a sci-fi adventure game by Roope Tamminen of Lakeview Cabin fame. It was originally developed for the Ludum Dare 48 game jam under the theme of "Connected Worlds". Use the [arrow] keys to move around the ship, with the down [arrow] used to interact with its machinery. You can also hold down while moving to run, speeding up the process. Figure out how all these machines work together, and you just may make NEF proud after all!
We've seen something of a spate of browser games like Generation Ship and Terra Coda, based around the premise of being dropped into an outer-space setting with a bunch of gadgets, tasking the player with discovering what they can and what they are supposed to do with all of them to make progress. Well, On the Edge of Earth: 5000 is one of the best. It has a sensible and detailed central puzzle to unravel, while at the same time throwing in all sorts of little red herrings and minigames to mess with that, while not impeding the implied narrative, does much to build the character of the setting. It feels a little unhelpful to boil a recommendation down to "if you like this sort of thing, you'll like this sort of thing", but On the Edge of Earth: 5000 is really meant for that group of gamers who don't mind a little tinkering and a little lack of direction in exchange for the chance to explore and play with an unfamiliar locale. (And, let's face it, if that group didn't exist, Myst wouldn't have sold approximately 30 kajillion copies.) This post-comp release has cleared up some of the glitchiness and narrative looseness of the original, so if you played the original and were unimpressed, it might be worth your while to check it out again. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to go try to beat my ship's Rock-Paper-Scissors machine again. I just know that the 487th time is the charm!