[Please note, this preview was written back in May]
Jumping around a rather gorgeous planet, jetpack kicking up dust as I slowly settle my boots into the ground beneath me, I glance downwards. With a soft sigh, I proceed to tear the earth up in search of precious minerals, the very lifeline of my survival. After all, nothing says nomad like building a base and living there permanently. Oh… wait.
Oddly enough, my first gripe with Planet Nomads is its name: for a game with nomad in the title there is very little travelling really. Merely moving from biome to biome in search of more superior materials and objects before scrambling back to your main base. Whilst this is somewhat nomadic behaviour, it is hardly on a planetary scale and you are confined to the single planet. On top of that, most of the items you go out and search for are luxury items. Things that aren’t really required for your survival but just make it a little easier.
The tutorial is somewhat perplexing and confusing as well. Whilst everything is nice and straight to the point, it seems that at certain points the tutorial is incorrect. It mentions that the best way to mine ores, such as silicon, is to mine the rocks that you find scattered around the landscape. Which are in great abundance. Yet, I found that when I mined these rocks, I was getting little-to-nothing in terms of ore or resources from them. I found, by myself, that mining straight down into the ground produces an almost infinite amount of these vital resources. Yet, this is never mentioned in the tutorial!
There is a mention of creatures within the tutorial, however I have only been able to encounter a few of these and of these few I have encountered only one which poses a threat. A threat that you can literally walk around. The creature in question throws rocks at you and tends to lurk within lakes and rivers. The rocks travel at a snail’s pace and the creature itself seems to give up on chasing you after a few moments.
A worthwhile addition to this game is the vehicles, however, they do seem to have a fair few limitations. Other than the barebones and simple rover design, anything else seems incapable of traversing up any sort of incline.
For an Early Access game, Planet Nomadsis definitely well developed and thought through. Sadly, it doesn’t really have any unique features that allow it to stand out from the rest of the survival genre that dominate the Early Access market.