Thursday, July 3, 2014

Indie Impression - Shattered Planet

Shattered Planet

Now Available on Steam

from Kitfox Games

Despite roguelikes being just about my favorite genre around, I am admittedly not the best at them. They generally require a level of dedication and persistence I'm just not able to give, but that's what had me so addicted to Shattered Planet. 

The game has a very simple and seamless one-click control system for movement and attacks as well as an incredibly clean and easy to use UI. Armed with only your headgear, trusty weapon, and a plethora of helpful and sometimes unidentified and dangerous items gathered along the way you'll be tasked with exploring deeper in to the broken pieces of this strange and ancient planet collecting as much resource as you can for your next trip. You will die and lose your items. A lot. The only question is how far can you make it before you fail, passing this heinous task onto the next unsuspecting clone?

Combat feels nice and easy for newcomers to the genre

 This is easily the most accessible, easy to get into and just plain fun roguelike of recent memory and yet still offers the same complexity and depth of other top games in the genre in terms of the huge scope of items, classes, events, and enviroments. At the center of the game is the Science Lab your cloned characters seem to be born from acting as the hub for your journey. You have tons of options here to prepare for the oncoming descent including the Clone Vat you're spawned from giving you multiple class and character appearance options, a shop to gamble crystals away for new equipment to save for later trips, a training console for using your hard-earned scrap to increase stats, and a pet cloner for storing DNA of found companions all unlocked through your progress on the unknown floors below.

My beloved Crablet Princess.

There are a multitude of modes to tackle all featuring engrossing procedurally generated alien landscapes, starting with the Explorer mode which is a progressive journey that slowly edges you deeper into the fragmented shards of these broken planets as you earn more scraps to better prepare yourself for each consecutive run. Players also have three challenge modes of varying difficulty to test your wits after prolonged practice and equipment hoarding and last but certainly not least the Daily Challenge which gives everyone a new planet generated every day and predetermined gear to try their luck with.

Sporting some spiffy equipment supplied by the Daily Challenge.

Shattered Planet is gorgeous and absolutely pleasing to the eyes to play, thanks to the stunning hand-drawn artwork and rich backgrounds that make you feel as though you've stepped into some otherworldly painting. The game has a very engaging sci-fi setting with a dystopic tale of impending human extinction, and while the overtone and story of your hundreds of re-cloned human explorers is mostly most serious there are some very humorous moments in your adventures. For example, going into battle near the beginning of my career as an explorer with nothing but my Cabbage Helmet and a rolled-up newspaper as my weapon gave me a good laugh.

The  environments look great, and keep you engrossed throughout the journey

Shattered Planet breathes a fresh breath of air into the roguelike genre and is easily recommendable for players of all skill levels, whether it be casual explorers looking for a relaxing bit of discovery and progression or more hardcore roguelike veterans who want to go for that perfect run on the daily challenge. It's only $13.49 right now including the 1-week discount so go check it out!

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