I AND I, Planet Explorers, my head against the wall

There’s that bird again, here to make my life miserable. It’s not that I dislike birds, not at all. In fact, I’ve had birds for pets, and they are quite pleasant. This one is different though. For starters, it’s about the size of a bus, and has taken a fancy to causing me serious harm. My options are few, and challenging this beast is simply out of the question. It is time to return as quickly as possible and consider taking a different path forward.

They call this sandbox Planet Explorer. Yet another survival game that’s been in development since January 2014, then released on Steam in 2016. At least that’s what the wiki claims as of this writing. Marketing induced interests are some things I try to avoid, as a result, the hype surrounding this title was ignored. Recently, it sneaked itself into public discourse, accompanied by the keyword “free”, which was then followed by a halfhearted discussion about the reason for its release. Gamer fatigue, I’ve concluded.

Publishers often promise a lot more than they deliver, especially publishers burdened with a CEO type entity, and that problem will not go away. In a nutshell, something went wrong, resulting in the decision to release this sandbox to its fan base, minus the multiplayer aspect. I don’t have friends that play games, so the lack of multiplayer is not an issue. But, a new world to explore is, and I would like to do that.

Boredom is what came to mind, when the game first loaded, and as usual, I quit the tutorial, skipped the story and went straight to adventure. In hindsight, that was a mistake. After banging my head against the wall for a few, I’ve discovered a number of things. The inventory screen is maddeningly small, the ability to sneak doesn’t exist, can’t climb trees, can’t build colonies underground, and audio cues need more work. I suspect there is activity out in the ocean, but with such poor visibility, I’ve opted out of exploring it for now. Hostiles are plentiful, and most can be avoided with a dodge, although this particular birds wingspan and tendency to spew toxicity, is often times not.

At the moment, my health is low, exhaustion high and am wondering if this is all worth the effort. Though I acknowledge the fact that this world was designed to be shared with friends, the missions came across as clumsily implemented and the dungeons felt out of place, as if they did not belong there. I hated the dungeons at first. That is until I began to view them as another loot box challenge, with a chance to earn something cool at the end. A silver sword was the reward from one of those randoms. Useless though, as this flying monstrosity is way too fast for a melee response. Also, have a copper bow, another item discovered, though useless without arrows. Running, the only solution at this time and that is what I’ll do.

As I make my retreat, my avatar begins to show signs of wear and the need to reach somewhere safe fast, imperative. The little village I left, is not too far away. I just need to keep moving towards it. I am, in real life exhausted and am about ready to say, “to hell with it”, and quit this game. But, I can see that village in the distance now. Good, there is a chance I may survive. Finally, the villagers respond. Some with rifles, others with arrows. They all seem impervious to the creatures advances, as a result I let them do the work, and save my resources.

I’ve spent some time exploring this sandbox, and it is not terrible. Skipping the tutorial was a bad move on my part and I would not recommend it. But, to be fair, the tutorial is dull and I much prefer banging my head against the wall. The developers have since moved resources to an alternate project, and as a result, the difficulties encountered with this sandbox will most likely remain. That’s ok, as the world as it is now, can be entertaining. Hope the developers have better luck with their next attempt.

Fingers crossed, for that option to sneak.