Astroneer- The Space Game You Want
With the disappointment of No Man’s Sky, I was very wary of any space games that proclaimed fun exploration and space creation. So when I started Astroneer, I was hesitant to get too excited.
But let me say this: Astroneer is the No Man’s Sky we all wanted. It filled the black hole in my heart (pun intended) that No Man’s Sky left behind. Although the game is still pre-alpha, I have easily and readily put over 7 hours into playing it within a couple days, and it has only made me eager to see what more will soon be added.
Astroneer is essentially Minecraft in space – you mine for resources, build your base, and explore unique planets. Once you get the controls down it becomes a relaxing game about finding resources to make others. Due to it still being in pre-alpha there aren’t any missions or goals, but the exploration in itself is enough to keep players captivated.
Used for storing items or resoucres, the backpack also shows how much oxygen and power you have. As expected, once a character runs out of oxygen he/she starts to suffocate and then dies. There is no power – no you’re using a SUPER COOL VACUUM! Used for sucking resources. The vacuum also has 3 different modes: “Lower” mode can be used to create holes, create a ditch and/or dig a tunnel. “Raise” mode basically raises the terrain, so if you made too big of a hole, you can fix it. And lastly, “Level” mode, which is used to make the surface nice and smooth.
There are six planets, each with its own unique structure. Now, how big are the planets? HUGE. All of them come in various sizes, but all are quite robust. You have to make a spaceship to explore the whole planet, unless you want to take a rover and spend the whole day exploring it. The first planet you land on, Terran, is the basic/beginner’s level. The biggest problem I had were the dust storms, in which stones would be thrown at me due to wind blowing so fast and hard. Be warned that these can and will kill characters! Other planets, like Arid, have these little red balls with spikes that travel the whole planet, bouncing, making it unsafe on the surface.
Once you land, the game gives you mini instructions to follow but that’s about it. It is pre-alpha still, so I’d recommend reading up on a Astroneer wiki page. (What? We’ve all done it with Minecraft!) Once you finally get the idea on how and what you need to do, your base starts offering life-support. Your character needs oxygen, so when you’re close to a building a wire is connected to your backpack to replenish your oxygen supply. I’d recommend getting one of every type of building once they’re unlocked. With a 3D Printer, you can make huge solar panels to eat up some yummy power for your base. With a Fuel Condenser, you’ll be making fuel for your shuttle/spaceship to allow for more travel around the system.
Once you’ve gotten a rover (and an extra rover for carrying supplies or bringing stuff back), you’re ready to go out and explore the world. I went to see what is out there, what did I find? A lot of dirt, mountains, caves, and plants. Once again, it’s pre-alpha, so more will come. I found myself getting tired of seeing the same stuff – until I saw something tall and shiny. It turned out I found a crashed solar panel that belonged with a satellite dish. Plus, there are two more things you can find…but I don’t want to spoil it for you <3.
From making my base, to exploring the plant, to falling to my death from unseen cliffs, the music was calm and relaxing. I spent hours farming for resources to make more buildings while listening to the wonderful music Astroneer brings. It makes everything so much more enjoyable and motivates me to keep going, but makes me okay with a steady and relaxing pace.
YES! The chaos/fun that ensues when playing with friends is awesome! Make a base together…or screw each other up by making a hole underneath and then filling the top up, burying them alive.
I had a lot of fun playing it and can’t wait for the creators to complete it. The game isn’t done but it has A LOT of potential! I’m looking forward to what other features are on the way, and I felt like the money and time I spent was more of an investment. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game, and certainly recommend it for anyone who wants a relaxing game.
Astroneer is $19.99 on steam!