If you want to play an open world, sandbox, crafting/building game, there are several choices. Minecraft, Terreria, Windborne (early access), Starbound (early access); if you add in simulation then perhaps Kerbal Space Program, Space Engineers, and Habitat also qualify, at least partly…
So recently when I opened up Steam, another one caught my eye: Planet Explorers. I read the blurb and the game is described as “an open world sandbox adventure RPG game set on a distant planet”. Wait a sec, RPG in addition to the other stuff? Hm… very interesting! I watched a few of the videos and liked what I saw. When I noticed the game was also 40% off (dipping the price for this Early Access game to $15), I grabbed it.
After starting up, I chose the single player story mode. I was treated to a quick video showing an attempt to colonize a planet, with an unfortunate ship crash:
Next I found myself standing by a wrecked ship with somebody calling for help.
Various dialog options led to some help screens, and I imagine as the game is fleshed out, the tutorial will be more comprehensive.
However, I could experiment and try to figure some stuff out. The top 4 icons by the mini-map were inventory, missions, build, and replicate, so I tried some stuff out. Basically the first “mission” I was given was to locate supplies, but to do that I needed to build a shovel, and in turn, to do that I needed to harvest some wood. I was given a shovel recipe, which I right-clicked to learn.
After a few minutes I figured out that I needed to equip my dagger, then walk up to a tree/plant, and attack it (left-click). That started a progress bar showing how far along I was to chopping down the plant.
One plant gave me 5 wood, another gave me 3, etc. I needed 10 blocks of wood so I gathered that up, then checked the replicator pane. The hammer icon was lit up so I clicked it and created a shovel.
With my new shovel I wandered around the ship looking for a good spot to dig up the supplies. I spotted a half-buried crate near the rear, so I dug it up and found medicine.
Anyway, to sum up, the next few missions involved harvesting plants to make medicine, then getting water in a pitcher. After helping my fellow survivor, I got a mission to look for others somewhere to the north.
Unfortunately I had to stop, not having too much time available to play.
So far so good, I think I’ll dabble here and there and see where the mission goes!