Monday, May 20, 2024

Farworld Pioneers Mashes Minecraft With RTS Mechanics In Space

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Farworld Pioneers, from Igloosoft and tinyBuild Games, is a fun pixel art survival crafting game with colony building elements where you play as the survivor of a crash-landing on an alien planet who must try to survive, build a new ship, and colonize the nearby planets!

If you’ve played Minecraft, or honestly most other survival crafting games, you have a basic understanding of how Farworld Pioneers functions. You run around a map, exploring, gathering resources, and building things with the resources you gather.

Farworld exploration

Where Farworld Pioneers differs from the others is that if you choose to go the PvE route (Player vs Environment, aka dealing with NPCs rather than other hostile players) you will gain helpers controlled by the game, and you can order them to go collect resources, much like in a RTS. The emphasis is on building up groups of workers with their own stats, saving them from the hostile planet and getting them to work together for you.

They will gather resources, defend your base(s), and help in construction as you direct them, so they’re fairly useful if you’re looking for more expedience in base management than is typical for a survival crafting game. It actually reminds me of Fallout Shelter in a lot of ways, except you’re playing an actual character.

Combat is present as well, but more sci-fi and projectile based than is usual for this genre, with an emphasis on the destructibility of the environment and making physics work in your favor.

Farworld combat

Now, so far as plots go, Farworld Pioneers leans more in favor of Minecraft than Subnautica or The Forest. This is about exploring and building up on a series of sandboxes, and that’s about it. No grand quests or villains, though there are boss enemies to do battle with.

Artistically speaking, everything is solid. The pixel art, while nothing groundbreaking, gets the job done, as does the sound design. Nothing about Farworld Pioneers’ visuals or sounds are amazing, but at the same time none of it is bad, and that’s not something every indie pixel art game can say. Everything on display here is solid.

Gameplay is, in general, of that vein. Solid, but not especially groundbreaking. There were some serious bugs at launch, as is unfortunately common nowadays, but an official apology was issued and a patch put out, so hopefully those have all been take care of.

My one complaint is that the UI of the game was very clearly made with a mouse in mind, a lot of cursor use, which makes the console ports a bit…off and unwieldy. I played this on the Xbox One and my suggestion would be…get the PC version. It’s not a nightmare, and the success of the Jurassic World Evolution and Age of Empires games on console tells me that some people do prefer these games on console (or at least don’t mind it). That being said, my recommendation would definitely be to get the PC version.

Ultimately, Farworld Pioneers is a very stock but very well handled survival crafting game whose greatest strength is in how it merges RTS elements with the basic Minecraft inspired formula. Those looking for something new and groundbreaking won’t find it here, but those looking for a solid survival crafting game will find that here. There’s nothing more to it than that, but there’s also nothing less.

You can find Farworld Pioneers on Steam and Xbox for $14.99, with a PlayStation port on the way!

Farworld Pioneers
6.6 Reviewer
Mechanics8
Narrative3.5
Performance8
Visual Appeal7
Summary
Farworld Pioneers provides solid survival crafting mechanics and gameplay. The visuals and sound design are solid, with no major flaws, and the addition of lite RTS mechanics are fun but the lack of a developed narrative may not work for all.

Images and review copy courtesy of Igloosoft and tinyBuild Games

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