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Planet Explorers: a game review

screenshot courtesy of httpplanetexplorers.pathea.net

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avatar mommaCarole
Retired Moderator
Level 52 : Grandmaster Narwhal
655
I don't want anyone to start reading this review and say "Oh, another voxel-based sandbox game, yee haw." Because yes, Planet Explorers IS another voxel-based sandbox game... kinda like Minecraft was "like" Infiniminer and World of Warcraft was "like" text-based MUDs.

This game totally changes the genre of sandbox-style games. Using OpenCL based on the Unity 3D engine, this game allows the gorgeous, immersive terrain to be changed by the player in any way, any where. As well, the creation system takes crafting to the next level... it lets you create your own objects, voxel by voxel, and use them in game. And I mean ANY objects. Weapons, vehicles, decorations, armor... YOU create it, YOU import it into the game, or export to share with friends. Giant flying air-fortress anyone?

The planet Maria seems almost prehistoric. The animals and monsters are large, dinosaur like beasts. Many are peaceful, but some are not. We were coming down to colonize this planet, but something caused our ark-ship to crash, sending lifeboat pods of survivors all over the planet surface. As one of the colonists, you can find and rescue other survivors and have them join you on your quests. You can purchase (for meat, because food is most important) new schematics for your replicator to better your tools and weapons. User-created items have calculated prices based on the materials needed to make them. This means you can create the flying air-fortress, IF you're willing to mine all the necessary ores to make it.

There are three different single-player game modes: Story (a rich storyline, which is still growing in complexity, with various tasks for you to complete to help you upgrade your equipment and learn the backstory of the colonists and planet Maria), Adventure mode, which gives you a random, seed-generated map 40x40km square with quests and bosses to defeat, and Build mode, which gives you the same 40x40km map but with unlimited building materials and no pesky critters to bother you.

Oh... did I mention MULTIPLAYER?

Multiplayer mode in either LAN-based games or online servers will let you build true colonies together. You can play cooperatively or PvP, with the various factions (Martian-born vs. Earth-born) or create your own faction! Just don't forget that the planet already HAS an indigenous population....

This game is in ALPHA currently, and is available on Steam for $24.95US. Is it worth the money? I really believe it is. The vision of where the game will go in the future is really exciting. Oh, I completely forgot to mention the gorgeous soundtrack. That alone is worth the price of admission. For more info on the game, check out http://planetexplorers.pathea.net/ and give it a try.
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  • Buttsauce
  • Level 40
  • Master Princess
  • April 15, 2014, 10:45 pm
I'm incredibly excited for this game. The only thing that doesn't sit very well with me is the 40x40 km map. I guess Minecraft spoiled me in this aspect. Still, the game looks pretty and the crafting system is so interesting.

...Sigh. I wish I had more cash to spend. Right now it's a bit of a game vs make-up situation for me, and make-up usually wins.
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 16, 2014, 3:56 am
I really haven't had any issue with "lack of space" (though in story mode, the world is much larger.) And just remember: makeup will ALWAYS be there, but how much building time are you missing out on if you put off buying the game?!
  • Buttsauce
  • Level 40
  • Master Princess
  • April 16, 2014, 7:26 am
It's ridiculously expensive for a game in alpha, though. I mean, 23€? Dammit.
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 17, 2014, 3:43 am
Yes, that I totally agree with... Ok, let's be real here for a minute. I used to get PAID to beta-test, not pay for the priviledge of beta-testing. It's an interesting way to do things, and it helps out the developers, but it reminds me an awful lot of Tom Sawyer convincing his friends to paint the fence for him (and pay him to let them do it!)
  • Buttsauce
  • Level 40
  • Master Princess
  • April 17, 2014, 4:25 am
Yeah, there are many people who see such strategy as very beneficial to both the devs and the recipient group, but.... eh. I wasn't very thrilled to buy a potentially buggy and incomplete game for such high price. :[

My only hope is that the devs fulfill at least half of their promises regarding the game. Especially now that I kissed my eyeshadow palette goodbye and bought Planet Explorers after all, lol. Spent like half an hour digging all over the crash site until it dawned upon me to right click the crate, now conveniently suspended in mid-air.
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 17, 2014, 10:41 am
LOL ... I DID THE SAME DAMNED THING.

isn't it great to know we're equally derpy? I've gotten into the creation system now, I'm recreating all my husband's nerf gun collection as KILLER DEATH RAYS. And people say I have no life.
  • Buttsauce
  • Level 40
  • Master Princess
  • April 17, 2014, 10:25 pm
Haha, it's certainly reassuring!
I went as far as opening the crafting window, lol. I feel the tutorials in this game are... a little lacking, perhaps. I'd rather they be a little more, I don't know, interactive? At least the ones concerning crafting, since it seems to be a huge thing that is definitely going to require some getting used to. At this point it's a lot of reading and trying to figure things on your own. Perhaps it adds to the overall feel of the game, this whole 'stranded, not prepared and improvising vigorously'  thing, but for me as a user it's mildly annoying, haha.
  • Jetra
  • Level 27
  • Expert Archer
  • April 15, 2014, 5:45 pm
Funny enough, I was watching Danjiro play this a few months back, it's a really interesting looking game.
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 16, 2014, 3:57 am
I have to say, it's the prettiest voxel world I've ever played in. Though I'm rapidly beginning to hate the critters that live there... getting jumped by a pack of six-eyed proto-cougars is annoying.
  • Knightsunder
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Cyborg
  • April 15, 2014, 2:53 pm
Wow, I haven't seen one of these in a while. Welcome back, Carole :D
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 15, 2014, 3:34 pm
why thank you! I've been too busy playing new games to review them. Bad me. I'll have to actually review a few I DON'T like though, so I don't look too biased.
  • Knightsunder
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Cyborg
  • April 15, 2014, 4:31 pm
You might try this one. I've played it and personally think it's worth it, although if you don't want to spend the money, I'd be happy to send you my copy. It's a 2D rogue-like, and decently grindy. However, it has a very harsh reward system; you only get the money you earn for one round. So, make enough to buy stuff, or waste a huge amount of money. It's a pretty short and simple game, but it's quirky and interesting.
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 16, 2014, 3:57 am
hee hee, looks cute! I'll give the demo a try and see if it catchs my fancy!
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • April 15, 2014, 11:25 am
I made a waffle shield and named my planet Urist McWorld accidentally since I didn't know the seed also named the world.

10/10
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 15, 2014, 3:33 pm
you been noticing the glitchiness in adventure mode? keeps crashing my system even after today's update. Story mode is no problem though. I made a gun! and a TABLE! I'm so exciting. :D
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • April 15, 2014, 7:17 pm
For some reason it doesn't seem to allow me to build in adventure mode, maybe I am doing something incorrectly? Story mode seems fine though, but the first time I tried the NPC you spawn with wasn't there. Going very smoothly so far though, I need to do some work but in one of my adventure mode saves I got a handgun and silver armor, but as I said, it won't let me build. Pretty fun game though
  • Zeranny
  • Super Moderator
  • Level 45
  • Master Sweetheart
  • April 15, 2014, 9:32 am
Laser face is best face
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 16, 2014, 3:58 am
And from now on, he shall be known as Laser Face, king of the giant laser robots!
MY Name is Leonard Church and you shall FEAR MY LASER FACE!!
  • OliverFrenchie
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Scribe
  • April 15, 2014, 8:57 am
WOO GO CAROLE REVIEWS
  • mommaCarole
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • April 15, 2014, 3:32 pm
heh thanks Oliver. :)

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