Updated for 1.02 - bugfix and tooltip clarification release
As is not usual, I'm planning to make a bona-fide PC title out of this PICO-8 game. Here is that game's website where you can follow that effort.
Mouse is kind-of-required for this one. You can drag the map around with the right mouse button, but that doesn't work on the BBS (since the browser's context menu will pop up). You won't have this problem when playing on itch.io or inside PICO-8. Alternatively, you can scroll around with SDFE or arrow keys.
Phew. Oh, wait, so you'd like to know how to actually play the game? There is an animated quickstart guide, but here is the shortest possible text summary:
Drag the map around using the right mouse button or the SDFE keys. Click to drop a wormhole that will become your starting point. Then click and drag to find some planets, which you can colonize with your chosen industry type. Drag from planet to planet to connect them with a slipway. Try to connect planets that make stuff with planets that need it. Buy structures by dragging them from the bottom-right corner. Research technologies from the top-left corner. Click the heart symbol to check your score.
Make the biggest, baddest, most prosperous empire possible! And do post your scores in the thread! :)