Cosmonautica has a lot of the right elements in place: solid graphics, oddball characters, an interface that's easy to navigate, and nice pacing that makes it an enjoyable ride. The game allows players to recruit the crews of their choice and lets you watch them meander around the ship handling daily tasks, similar to the way The Sims lets players become a voyeur of the lives of other people. You also can adjust work and time-off schedules, but you have to be careful because an overworked crew is a cranky crew. The biggest problem, though, is that Cosmonautica quickly becomes repetitious, driving relentlessly toward the goal of being the biggest, baddest space trader to roam this quadrant of space the game calls home. Plus, once the end game is reached (which takes some time), there's really nowhere to go.
Players can invest in bigger ships and build a nice fleet, but this doesn't take a lot of time away from the game's main thrust: running trade missions. Of course, since you have to traverse the galaxy, players will inevitably run into raiders and pirates, which is why it's wise to invest in good engines and better guns when space and finances allow for it. The flying/space-combat element provides a nice break in the trade and crew-management action; though combat is handled simply, it provides a nice diversion and a more rounded playing experience. Overall, the repetition of trading tasks may limit the game, but it's still somewhat fun, and there are a few chuckles along the way. Cosmonautica doesn't take itself seriously, and that's always refreshing. It just could've been better, especially if it had a bigger sandbox or more dynamic, procedural content.