PCReview

Planet Explorers Early Access Review

September 9, 2016 — by Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh0

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PCReview

Planet Explorers Early Access Review

September 9, 2016 — by Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh0

Bring out the inner explorer in you!

At first glance Planet Explorers looks like a much fancier Minecraft. And after playing it ourselves, turns out it kind of IS a fancier Minecraft. The sandbox genre has been around for a while and the creative/survival kind – such as Minecraft – have taken the world by storm. There’s a host of games that attempt to improve on the Minecraft formula, but we all know that in Minecraft’s case, the charm lay in its simplicity, right down to the very graphics. It was simple enough to grasp and at same time complex enough for people of any age to be able to enjoy it. Planet Explorers is one among many games that have attempted to use the Minecraft formula and perhaps make it better. Did they succeed? Let’s find out.

Gameplay

As soon as you start Planet Explorers you have the option to begin a tutorial. The tutorial is simple enough, but could definitely use some work. Some aspects of the tutorial can be slightly confusing if you’ve never played a game of this sort before. The game is still Early Access so nothing is certain and stuff is likely to be changed or improved upon.

Planet Explorers

Anyway, rather than getting bored doing the same old tutorial we jumped right into Adventure mode. As soon as you do so you’re prompted with a bunch of settings regarding the world you’ll be spawning in and other settings and whatnot, yada yada yes yes boom we’re in!

We’d spawned on a grassland planet *cough*easiest biome*cough* with abundant resources, ample amounts of animals to hunt, and plenty of land to build on, and we were itching to start explorin’. We spawned in one of the supposedly many established bases on the planet, which was occupied by the “first wave” of explorers. We’re apparently filthy second wavers. They don’t actually call us that but we know that’s what they’re all thinking. There’s some RPG elements in Planet Explorers as well, as we noted several exclamation marks on the map, indicating that there were side quests for us to pick up. Wohooo more to do!

Planet Explorers

The controls were fairly simple. ‘w, a, s, d’ keys for movement, ‘spacebar’ for jump, left click for actions like, you guessed it, mining, digging, cutting trees etc, and right click to initiate conversations and use shops and such. You’d learn all of this in the tutorial normally but we’re super pro so we skipped the tutorial. On second thought we probably shouldn’t have skipped it. Movement was quite fluid, there’s something about sprinting in vast open grasslands and being able to jump higher and farther (gravity is weaker on this planet apparently) that’s just tons of fun.

Planet Explorers

The world itself looked pretty nice, grasslands as far as the eye could see (as far as our system would let us render anyway), some interesting looking wildlife, and even an hostile alien species. Nice!

Planet Explorers

Now in adventure mode we found that we hardly ever built or created anything. You could definitely still use build mode and you know, build stuff, but we hardly touched that ‘b’ key. For that matter, we didn’t really know what the focus actually was. Running around killing the wildlife and then proceeding to sell the stuff we got for better gear was all we really did. We picked up all the side quests we could find, which were either fairly simple to do, or we just didn’t know what we had to do at all. We were supposed to kill a certain animal but we had no idea what it looked like or where to find it. Similarly we had to find and gather a certain plant, but again, no idea where to look for it, but we managed by just buying it off of a vendor.

Planet Explorers

Now coming to that build mode that we hardly ever touched. For one thing we didn’t really need to, as we said, and for another, it’s very complex. It seemed like too much of a daunting task to get into build mode and start doing stuff. To build certain stuff you needed recipes called scripts, gather the stuff on them to construct whatever the script is for. There’s tons more items and materials to gather and farm as well. Additionally you can construct weapons, vehicles, and other structures but it’s all. So. Complicated. This is where you appreciate the simplicity of Minecraft. Sure everything looks better, but if it’s too complicated for you to not want to bother with it at all, well, you might need to do something about it. But again, Planet Explorers is still Early Access so things could change for the better. And we found that we could get by just fine without using build mode at all, so that’s either a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. We’re sure there are many who like going in-depth with stuff like this and we have a few of us here who also enjoy that sort of thing.

Planet Explorers

MOAR
Developer: Pathea LLC
Publisher: Pathea LLC
Price: Rs. 619
Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS

Graphics

It’s definitely not pixelated cubes, that’s for sure. It’s all voxels, so everything has nice and well rounded edges. Even the pits and caves you dig will actually look like pits and caves. It can be a bit hard at first because there’s nothing to indicate where or in which direction you’re digging, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you end up with oddly shaped caves or pits. Overall, it doesn’t look too bad, though you might need a somewhat beefy rig to be able to play this game at max settings. You can of course tone down the settings to prioritise performance over quality. Now we personally don’t mind this kind of aesthetic – a slightly cartoony feel with bright colors. Not everyone may like that sort of look but we’re quite ok with it. We’ve only really explored a grassland planet though so we can’t speak for other biomes.

Planet Explorers Verdict

Planet Explorers looks promising and since it’s still in Early Access there could still be many more changes to come. There’s a lot of potential here especially with the added RPG elements. In the game’s defence we only tried adventure mode and there may definitely be more to do in the other game modes. But as of right now, it’s just another way to kill time, albeit a fun way. If sandbox games are your thing, this one is worth checking out. The early access is on Steam.

Planet Explorers Early Access Review
7 / 10  
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh

If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.

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