If you gathered the combined imagination of a group of six-year-olds, threw it into a blender, and poured out a bizarre world of walking potatoes, you’d essentially have Wrongworld. This sandbox adventure game contains one of the goofiest universes to have ever been thought up. It’s truly a realization of the stereotypical child’s crayon-drawing, complete with googly-eyed monsters, colorful biomes, and silly gameplay. While Wrongworld’s atmosphere feels randomly glued together at times, interacting with the world itself is surprisingly polished. More ridiculous than Minecraft, but not too far from being its clone, Wrongworld has hopped over the boundaries of the sandbox-survival genre.
Taking inspiration from a slew of recent sandbox games, the overall goal of Wrongworld is to survive in a procedurally generated world by gathering resources, crafting, fighting, building, and exploring. In the process, you’ll likely experience moments of laughter and serenity, until you inevitably face permadeath and sob over your erased empire that took hours to build. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but one that tends to resonate with players of all ages and backgrounds. In this preview, I’d like to primarily focus on what Wrongworld does to push the genre in new directions, rather than the sandbox experience many of us are already quite familiar with.
As you can imagine, creativity reigns over the land of Wrongworld. Nothing looks normal and everything is just, wrong. First off, we have our strange-looking main character that looks like a bear from space. He waddles around seemingly unfazed by all the weird stuff going on around him. We assume his goal is just to survive as long as possible, but it’s not easy considering he’s always hungry and banging his head into rocks. You’ll quickly realize that collecting resources is crucial in the early stages of your adventure. The first few days in the land of Wrongworld are a bit of a grind as you chop down trees and cautiously avoid picking a fight. Once that’s over with, it’s time to sit down and take a gander at the wealth of crafting options.
As you progress, some really advanced crafting becomes available, but it’s just wooden tools and fences at the start. Eventually, you’ll have access to electronics, magic, and machinery, but getting to that point is the name of the game. As there is no underground area present, everything you need is found and built solely on the surface. Wrongworld’s complexity level is dialed down, which makes it ideal for players looking for a simpler adventure. The environment cannot be truly altered and it’s really just certain objects that can be harvested for resources. The only issue I had with crafting in general is the limited inventory space. As there are quite a few unique items, I constantly found myself running out of storage and having to throw away items that would be useful at some point down the road. Chests can be crafted and placed, but that’s easier said than done in the early-game when your focus is on basic survival.
Fighting monsters usually isn’t worth it. There’s no experience system, and monster drops aren’t very spectacular. To make matters worse, I couldn’t find a way to regenerate health, but I’m sure there are health potions and the like deeper into the game. Permadeath makes venturing into the wild pretty nerve-wracking, assuming you’ve already put a few hours into a life. Granted, standard enemies don’t deal a significant amount of damage but bosses are a totally different story. You aren’t going to be getting killed routinely, but one mistake and it’s all over.
Wrongworld’s colorful art style fits the space rainbow vibe perfectly, but graphics aren’t necessarily on the high end of the scale. I’m sure most players who are interested in Wrongworld in the first place wouldn’t mind the polygons though. Trust me, you get used to them pretty quickly. In addition, ambient sounds accompany your travels as a kind of stylized static. Admittedly, graphics and soundtrack aren’t the game’s strong points and may go unnoticed.
Wrongworld has a lot of potential as a sandbox title. New items, enemies, and locations can be easily integrated as the game develops. Multiplayer is also in the works, but consider Wrongworld a single-player experience for now. Even though it’s in early-access, there’s enough content to stay entertained for hours upon hours. I fully support the one-man developer behind this whimsical world, and look forward to experience more that Wrongworld has to offer in the near future.