I was reminded of this game by the StarFlight episode, as the games share *some* of the same dynamics.
Basically you start with an empty asteroid floating through space and have to build a base. Once your base is bootstrapped, you can start to build defenses and send spy ships to scout prospect the surrounding area for other asteroids which might contain valuable materials which you could mine. Of course, there are other colonies doing exactly the same, who don’t appreciate competition…
It’s a superb open-ended game, which you can easily accidentally sink hours into.
Admittedly, I’ve played the Amiga predecessor (K240) more than the DOS version, but it’s very much the same game.
This one’s kind of my favorite. You design your colonies, you design your spaceships, you even design your diplomatic contracts, allowing for some pretty interesting negotiations.
The ways to deal with opposing factions were just as varied, from covert spy sabotage missions, through overt attacks with ships and swarms of missiles (some nice variety there too), you could even drive whole colonies/asteroids into one another.
Not an easy game though, and the fixed realtime meant alternating calm downtimes with panic-filled chaos when everything went wrong at the same time.
This game taught me basics of hex edit hacking for money. Not having to sell your key resources helps a lot, but even when cheating, the game can be a handful. And autohotkey scripts to automate common tasks were a godsend.