Title: Star Explorers
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, RPG, Simulation
Release Date: 8 May, 2018
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This game gives you really tons of gameplay features for only 5$ and is still worked on to get even better.
Exploring a vast universe with random suns and planets that you can land on to complete your main mission, retrieve fuel for your mothership and engaging in varying adventures in FPS against aliens, cave hazards and hostile environments. You can freely walk in your ship, for the moment there is not much to do inside it other than accessing the landing bay for your shuttle or managing your inventory, but wandering around and simply looking outside gives the game a real atmosphere. Then, yes, in the current beta - and soon in the regular version I guess - there are now space battles against alien flying saucers that you can board to loot even more needed items.
The game is NOT a walk in the park, the survival aspect is essential and funny at the same time. I have only played for 1-2 hours now and only scratched the surface for what is really amazing for such a low-budget indie game. Other games of this genre and much more expensive are really lame and without purpose in comparison. Well done !
Ok, now, a gamer always wants more, doesn't he? For example, instead of the loading screens (that only last a few seconds on my decent rig with an average nVidia GTX 960 4gb), instead of this I would like to see some landing sequence towards the planet, or actually enter my shuttle and land with some difficulty involved. But I'm sure Michael the developer has some surprises in his chest for us in the future!
My thumbs up for this jewel of a space game. It is on a very solid base, no bugs I'm aware after 2 hours of gameplay, and I continue to have load, load of fun... Highly recommended !. I love space games generally, but this one is very counter intuitive and is plain not fun.... I find the concept of the game quite appealing. Unfortunately it lacks quality of execution from my point of view. This may be partially because of the choice of the "outdated" game engine (Acknex Engine from 2010!). An engine like Unity probably would have allowed for a better game.
I just explored four planets and 7 caves and I found the following things "annoying" (note that there may be sollutions to my issues which I don't know):
You have to select a star to travel to by pointing your spaceship at it. My starmap just showed sectors, no stars.
Same for planets in a system. An "overview" would be good to give travel commands. Erratically rotating the spaceship with no means of orientation just make me sick.
When you want to use context menu (scan, warp to) you have to switch fly mode!
When you decide to land on a planet you have to walk through the ship each time. This may be "fun" a few times but when I'm supposed to land on hundreds of planets this is just a pain.
Walking is painful slow. Why is there no always run option?
Generating the planet takes pretty long (good computer!). Its not fun to wait a minute, each time.
Theres no orientation on the surface. Just a little region on a "map tool". So I run around erratically until I discover a cave, the thing where all loot seems to be (surface seems stripped). Why cant there be a scan of the surface indicating points of interest and showing me regions I explored already (Fog of War fe)? Now I don't know if I got all caves or left one.
Entering the cave takes a while again (shorter but still unnecessary painfull).
The cave is just a small flat system of tunnels where I collected resources. Again no indication which tunnels I explored already. Am I supposed to draw me a map on paper?
When I leave the cave the planet surface is regenerated again. Waiting times included.
Walking from hangar to cockpit through the ship is as exciting as the other way round. The manual states "Some games keep you locked into your spaceship console ... not Star Explorers!". This is sold as advantage but I don't agree. Walking the ship should be optional and not forced upon the player.
I don't know if collecting resources alone can keep motivation high for long. Mostly its walking and searching without guidance. A bit too realistic and too little fun in my opinion.
I don't seem to be able to delete a saved game. And I have to enter the name instead of selecting it from a list.
It's pretty hard to leave a planets orbit. Why is there no button for this? The controls and ships behavior is clunky and awkward.
Parts of the caves are blocked and the manual suggest to come back later when I have a rocket launcher to free the path. Really? What a waste of time and resources (fuel) especially when you find NOTHING behind the block.
I'm sorry if I complain about things just due to lack of knowledge. But I could not find solutions for the "orientation issues" in the manual. The game did not kept my interest for long enough. Whats sad as I generally could like such a game.
I understand the Dev want the game to be hard and "oldschool". But ignoring all major developments in user interface (fe Minimaps) and useability of the last 20 years is the wrong aproach IMO. A game should be hard by its gameplay elements and NOT because the user is fighting the interface and must play in the most uncomfortable way possible.
Summary: The same game with a modern underlay and some convenience overhauls would be great. But I can't recommend this game right now. Unfortunately it's too frustrating from my point of few. If you are a hardcore or oldschool spacegame fan give it a go. But when you expect a convenient user interface watch a gameplay video before you decide to buy. I guess the average player will be frustrated by th game so no recommendation.
Note: I play with Steam in offline mode so my time ingame is not counted properly. I have played around 2 hours.. Graphics look like something from the 90's.
Theres no turtorial so it was dificult to figure out how to navigate to the 1st destination.
Options menu allowed me to get into full screen in the begining but crashed after aprox an hour, after which full screen wouldnt work. Uninstalled the game and reloaded but problem persisted.
On my screen in windowed mode it makes it too dificult to see the distant stars, so that finished this game for me.
This game needs to be priced at .99c, not 4.99.
I had to watch a youtube vid to see what I was doing wrong but the video displayed someone having even a harder time with the game.
The story seems decent but still very limited.
Cant recommend this game, but if you have $5 burning a hole in your pocket then feel free to try it but dont say I didnt warn you.. the screen only shows the top left corner of the screen now making it unplayable. Still a lot of work , so i cannot recommend to the casual player.
- It feels a bit like Lightspeed / Hyperspeed from Microprose , i like the atmosphere : ). I am one of the few people who quite enjoy No Man's Sky. Because NMS is lacking in gameplay and variety, I thought I try Star Explorers, as it seemed to be a similar concept (exploring procedurally generated planets, collecting resources etc.) and often Indie developers have very nice and novel ideas that make their games interesting.
But whoa, this game is nothing that should be let loose on paying customers yet. In the first 3 minutes I got *three* crashes, just by setting my screen resolution to something near to my native resolution (because the exact resolution of 1920x1200 was not available).
I can see that the developer seems to be loving his work, but honestly, the graphics are really simple like in the 90's and I did not feel that I want to spend much time with this game unless it gives me interesting things to do.
Warped to the first station, then off to my first (and last) planet, found that inside my ship there is not much I can interact with, left my ship and walked around. The planet had a hot environment, with some liquid that looked like lava around small islands, I heard several different sound cues for my health dropping (So hot. This planet is really hot. Oh, argh. Or similar, probably all recoreded by the developer himself, which is fine for an Indie title,) then I ran through what seems to be lava to another island where I saw something like another spaceship, entered that spaceship, found it to be empty, sat at that ship's console, and then I decided that I rather want to play some more polished games. And I actually play a lot of simple games on my notebook, including 8bit games...
Will refund and might try again in another half year.
A New Star Explorer On the Way:
My wife is expecting and we are due to have a new, baby star explorer any day now.
I wanted to let you know that there is an update in progress too. It involves a new kit that allows you to increase your storage space and backpack, allowing for more slots.
Preliminary tests are promising, and I should be able to integrate it seamlessly into the existing build. I probably won't have anything done in the upcoming week though, since the newest member of the family will be taking precedence.
You may not hear much from me in the coming days. I trust you will all be able to handle things without me for a few days :)
Don't forget to vote for Star Explorers as Indie of the Year! . Beta Updated to Version 4.3A:
I did another small update last night. Thanks to a helpful player, I was able to narrow down the cause of the terrain generation crash that was happening on planets with a vapor atmosphere. With the additional data I was able to isolate and reproduce the crash, and from there it was easy to track down the cause. Hopedfully that will be the last we see of it.
Now I am noticing that the lighting seems a bit oversaturated on some planets. The top down map I introduced is probably responsible, as the lighting effects I use on it are somehow being applied to the main camera. Of course I only saw this behavior after uploading the game!
I will try to resolve it as soon as possible. If you do notice any planets where there are no shadows, and the lighting seems just a bit too bright, that is what I'm taslking about. It does not seem to effect gameplay, so it should not be a major concern.
. Star Explorers Testing Version Updated to 2.5:
Version 2.5 is up. Here is what I was able to address so far:
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