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A review, tips, and game suggestions.


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Overall impression:
This game is pretty solid as is. I'm quite impressed with it and knowing that it is a work in progress means I know it's only going to get better. I am betting I'll play again after a few more updates are released and a second chapter is added.  Lets be honest about this game: It's very similar to minecraft, but then again, it is hard to make a voxel game that is not going to get that comparison. The main difference here is that everything is much more realistic.  Crafting and gathering in this game makes minecraft seem exceedingly easy. There are so many more mechanics to have to take into account which add a layer of realism that I really appreciate in this game.  Everything from soil nutrients and moisture, to food spoilage to processing of ores.  In fact, the realism in the game actually inspired me to try flint knapping in real life!

 

With that in mind, I'd give this a 9 out of 10.

My first play through was on a private server with pretty minimal mods. We had added a few wild food mods as some of the players were concxern3ed the game would be too hard otherwise. There were four of us, Myself, another older player, and my two kids, ages 9 and 11.  As much as folks probably get tired of comparing this to Minecraft, It is the easiest base line for comparison and you have to start somewhere. So with that, I'll mention that we all played Java Minecraft for about a year, including vanilla as well as multiple heavily modded servers. So we're quite seasoned in voxel style build/craft games. I'll just say this: The game is actually easier than most people seem to be suggesting if you can use some common sense and logic.  For me, this came very naturally. For my kids, it required a few reminders. Sure, we died a lot in the early part of the game as we learned this particular games ins and outs and how to survive.  By the end of summer and heading into fall, we had all assumed different roles in our tiny village and things were going smoothly.  By winter, we had so much food it was hard to find a place to store it all and we ended up letting a lot of crops just freeze on the field. Much of this WAS due to the added food mods, so if you feel that hunting and gathering food is too hard in the vanilla game, this is easily fixed my adding a few minor mods. But it was also due to proper planning.

We did complete the game and found that overall, it was pretty satisfying. I'll put some suggestions below.

 

My second playthrough was a single player game I started but never finished as a simple experiment. I sent my extra lives to 0 to effectively create a hardcore game. I wanted to test what I had learned and see just how hard the game was. On this playthrough, I added ZERO mods to get the true vanilla experience. But most of all, I just wanted to see if preparing and surviving the winter was as hard as many claimed it to be. Spoiler: It's not.  By the end of the fall, I had single handedly stored away enough grain to feed a party of 4 for a year, playing as a commoner.  And keep in mind, I did all this without dying.

 

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Minor Spoilers and Tips below:

Suggestions to the new player:

When you first start a game, create your base very close to world spawn. You and members of your party will likely die a lot in the early game and so creating a home base pretty much on top of the world spawn will save you a ton of headache.  If you get a poorly placed world spawn in your world generation, just start a new game.  Plains biomes are going to be the best possible starting biome in my opinion.

Play in a small group.  3 to 6 players is ideal  Make sure that you all choose different classes and be prepared to split up chores accordingly. This will maximize resource gathering.  But also share in the exploration and crafting so no single person gets burnt out.

Learn to use the prospector Pick early on.  Unlike Minecraft where you can explore caves or strip mine to find ores, this game WANTS you to use the prospector pick to locate ore deposits.  It will take time and practice and a METHODICAL method. 

Save your Ores. Aside from upgrading your pickaxe to allow for better ores to be collected, there is very little reason to make say, a copper or bronze axe or a bronze knife unless you just want to waste ingots. Instead, save ingots for things that matter most like armor, picks and crucial items.

Run away. Yup, combat early in the game is probably not your best bet.

 

Suggestions to the Devs:

I am eagerly looking forward to chapter two.  Having played through both my first games on  a standard world generation, I realized later than I never traveled far enough to reach either the northern, or southern biomes. I never saw polar bears, or pandas. So I sort of felt like I missed out on a pretty good chunk of the game. Burt then again, aside from seeing some more exotic animals, I had no reason to travel more than about 4000 -5000 blocks.

Rivers:
Why are there no rivers?  I don't care if the water flows, I would like like to see rafts have some sort of purpose. I should also mention I never saw any oceans. Some larger lakes, but nothing I'd call an ocean. And in that regard, There was nothing to keep me from simply swimming around to my hearts content. In fact, the water was one of the safest places to be.

Caves and ores:

After figuring out that finding exposed ores in caves was very rare, and finding exposed ores on the sides of cliffs was also very rare, it sort of stymied my desire for exploration of either feature and instead I picked up my prospector pick and began the rather tedious task of looking for ores while walking a methodical grid on the surface. Pretty grindy and not much fun. My suggestion would be to give ores a higher chance of generating partially in caves AND to make cave generation either more common or more interesting. Right now, cave exploration is rewarded only with the occasional underground ruin. In general, I'd like to see just a little bit MORE ore generation and to make the distance between ores much smaller.

Ruins and Lore:

I'd love to see more ruins and ruins on a larger scale, additional NPS's that were something besides traders and additional structures in general that might shed more light on the games lore.

Overall, the game was a lot of fun and I plan to play again, but not until a few more major releases come out to give additional things to do.

 

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