Planet Nomads is a sci-fi sandbox game that requires players to gather materials in order to survive and eventually establish interplanetary travel. The initial planet that I experienced – in the Alpha build of the game – was rich in detail and even had environmental cycles. The graphics came as a surprise to me because it is well textured and as crisp as can be. While the game is currently in the Alpha stage, it is being slated for the first quarter of 2017. Considering the level of detail at this stage, I can hardly hold back the excitement of what the final build will look like. It is worth nothing that Craneballs takes the development of Planet Nomads very seriously as they are active with the community (listening to the feedback). All things considered, there is plenty of potential here and hopefully, the majority, if not all, of it is realized by the time the final build is made available.
Much of the gameplay in Planet Nomads – that I experienced – consisted of learning the controls and mechanics. However, once I was able to learn what is needed to start my journey, I was to build a basic but serviceable vehicle to aid me on my journey. Building a vehicle is pretty straightforward but slightly complex due to having to link up, power, and set each individual piece for any vehicle to function as it should. The tools that were made available are actually interesting and are accessed by utilizing the T-key on the keyboard. Alien life was not present during my playthrough, but it leaves me curious as to what could be out in the world once I begin to explore every crevice of the game. It is a great start, but I definitely would like to have been able to encounter something other than a tree or the construction of my vehicle, but there is an old saying – good things come to those who wait.
Even though most of my time with Planet Nomads revolved around building the vehicle and learning mechanics of the game, I noticed that there were plenty of tools to assist me in building a base – which is an important part of survival. Scanning through the items, I could see that there would be no limits in terms of how I can go about constructing a base to suit my needs. During my next session with the game, I will be diving into this aspect of the game so that I can get a hold on gathering materials and eventually getting off of the planet.
If you would like to see a glimpse of what Planet Nomads is about, take a look at my Let’s Play video below:
Since Planet Nomads is only within the Alpha-stage of its development, it would be unfair to give a complete assessment. However, the changes that I would like to see revolve around the time in between the environmental cycles as well as the lighting during these cycles. For example, when the environment changes from day time over to night time, the darkness makes it somewhat impossible for me to see or predict where I am traveling to. There are two ways to remedy this and it would take much time to implement. One would be adjust the lighting without sacrificing the need for the flashlight – while the other could be the addition of an on screen map for players to utilize (way points or markers).
In regards to the timing in between each cycle, I feel that it would add to realism if the shift took a longer amount of time. For those who are playing the Alpha, you will noticed that the environment changes within a minute or 2. It may be considered nitpicking, but there are games with a similar feature that have longer periods of time in between the changes in environment. With that said, Craneballs has done a good job in the development of Planet Nomads but must address the current issues within the game in order to realize the potential of the world that is in the process of being created.
The sound in this game is something that bothers me in ways that a mosquito does. While the mosquito maneuvers in and out of my personal space, the sound in Planet Nomads does not seem to be synchronized when using capturing software. During the process of recording the game for my Let’s Play video, there were a few spots in which the sound of the game would become really high – regardless of lowering the volume in game or in the software I was using. Hopefully, the synchronization is something that Craneballs could fix with a future update or patch so that this isn’t as bothersome as the mosquito.
Since Planet Nomads is such a large game to explore in one Let’s Play video, I will be covering another topic that I believe will be interesting to players interested. The next video will cover base building and showcase much of the options that are available when deciding how to construct whatever type of base that comes to mind. Building a base is similar to that of vehicle building but with more variety. It is also important to mention that this game will more than likely receive more than a 2 part series, so make sure you guys keep an eye out for each video!
Planet Nomads is a game that has a ton of potential. The level of detail, accompanied by the environmental cycles was nice to see (time of cycles should be longer). The importance of gathering materials cannot be overstated but since I wasn’t able to collect any, it is really hard to tell how important and that is kind of disappointing. That said, the developer is active within the community to monitor and respond to feedback. This level of interaction can only result is something positive – or at least I am hopeful because if the issues that I mentioned concerned me, they will concern the next player. Next year cannot arrive fast enough!