Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Time to Terraform in Planet Crafter

Over the weekend I dropped hard into Planet Crafter and surrendered my life to Terraforming a planet. I'm going to be honest, it took a bit to get into this game at first. I'm used to having my survival game mixed with a bit of evil zombie, but that's just not the case in Planet Crafter. No, in this game there are only three major threats: Hunger, Thirst, and Oxygen Supply. As it turns out, that's enough . . . although a giant dune worm or two might be kind of fun.

No Dune Worms to run from here.

Stage one of the game involves simply stepping out of your space pod and getting to work collecting raw ingredients enough to expand all your essentials: backpack space, Oxygen tank, exoskeleton space, agility boots, jet packs, and tools.

Where it all started . . .

The next stage is all about making a quick home base and starting to work on the big five of Terraforming: 

  • Oxygen
  • Heat
  • Pressure
  • Biomass
  • Power Supply

Watching it tick up . . . ever so slowly

Power Supply is king of that of course . . . you can't run equipment to build a planet's Oxygen, Heat, Pressure, and Biomass without it. A few wind turbines are enough to get you started, but eventually you'll be upgrading to solar panels and nuclear reactors--crafting every step of the way.

Eventually your efforts will bring moisture to the planet as puddles begin to form and the ice you've been using for a water supply begins to melt. Puddles then become Lakes. Lakes then lead to Moss. Moss then leads to flora. Flora then leads to trees . . . and on and on as you attempt to obtain the seemingly impossible goal of 175 Ti (I think that "T" stands for "Tera" as in Terabyte?).  You start small, and at the time of writing this article I've only crested over into 2 Gi (I think that "G" stands for "Giga" as in Gigabyte?) -- I've come a long way but I've got a long way to go.

That moment when you realize you need to move your base because it'll soon be underwater.

The whole game has a management aspect to it similar to how the goal of a clicker game is to eventually stop clicking and instead unlock passive features that click for you. Eventually you've built multiple Biodomes, Multiple Tier 4 heaters, Multiple Tier 4 Drills, Multiple Algae Generators, and now they just . . . work for you.

Also, much like clicker games, there are expendables that have an impact on your terraforming in various ways. One is simply informational: GPS Satellites. A couple others cause meteor showers to rain down upon you with rare ore. Others release seeds and nutrients into the air to help your terraforming with one time boosts to your ever-counting Terraforming index.

Sky rockets in flight! Afternoon Delight!

Along the way you begin to discover traces of a story to the game. At first, I didn't know what my motivations were. Once I built a radar tower and received an email, it became clear . . . I'm a convict and I've chose to commute my prison sentence into an extradition to this planet. If I fully terraform it, they'll come take my beautifully isolated planet away from me and give me my freedom.

As it turns out, I'm not the first to have arrived here as part of the fun in Planet Crafter is delving through downed space craft of those that came before me. You can even find underground bunkers from previous extradited convicts full of loot for the taking and a few scattered hints to their story. (It's unfortunate I haven't found any of their dead bodies yet)

This guy went a little crazy in his bunker . . .

So while the first part of the game was a bit slow, soon I got absorbed into the flow of the game and I was unlocking recipes and crafting all kinds of better and newer stuff. The mid-game has been really fun so far. Building a base of operations and exploring my planet was great. The ever present danger of oxygen is real and acts as a tether to the safety of indoors or a supply of oxygen reserves. Mid-game is the best game so far!

I would say that it feels like now I'm more in the tail end of the mid-game, and things are starting to slow down. I've kind of run out of my supply of Osmium until I can build a Tier 2 Ore Extractor, and really that's going to take some down time as I wait for my planet's pressure to reach a certain state.

Up until this point, I've been extremely addicted to this game, which is always a good thing.  It's too bad it's not a multiplayer game or I'd ask Lessah to start a new world with me. So far, it's been well worth the price of admission.

Here's a quick walkthrough of how my base is looking here so far.

Happy Dueling!

1 comment:

Lessah said...

The best part of that walkthrough was the lovely view of the heaters from your bedroom window and the RECYCLER right next to your bed. lol This game needs co-op so badly. Awesome review! Very on point. My game has slowed to a crawl. I'm in insects but I have yet to see even one.