Dwell: Settle & Survive is a very creative Survival Sandbox, you'll craft awesome equipment, build huge villages and explore This amazing pixel world. The game has simple but very creative mechanics with an interesting twist on the classic RPG genre.
Genre: MMORPG Sandbox.
Review on PC.
Developer: Punkdrift, LLC
I was very lucky to be invited by Brady Welch to the closed beta of this awesome adventure. The first thing that called my attention was the sweet graphics and animations of this pixel world. They did an awesome work using 2D pixel artwork to implement a highly interactive environment. This is hard to find for MMO Sandbox games. Developers tend to sacrifice aesthetics in order to maximize features. People love having more to craft, hunt, loot, etc... Those developers could learn a thing or two from Dwell. Using simple but clean and artistic 2D pixel art, Punkdrift managed to end up with a bunch of features without sacrificing the game's aesthetics.
Then you realize that the cool new stuff is just beginning. Instead of the classic grind-based experience system, the guys at Punkdrift took a very different approach. They keep the regular "experience on action", to unlock new technologies. But to find and gather resources you'll have to feed your avatar. It sounds weird, but you literally need to feed your character fruits, meats, and other virtually tasty things in order for him to find more stuff to gather.
You'll have four different skills to level up
Flora will let you find and gather different kinds of vegetation; Fauna will allow you to find more animals to hunt; Aqua will let you gather resources from the rivers; And soil will let you mine new rocks and ores.
At first, leveling up will be slow, but cooking better recipes will make it go way faster. I suggest you invest in cooking tech as soon as possible so you can start building your kitchen.
The crafting and building systems are very complex. You start with a simple hut but can grow into a full village with enough time and effort. You'll have to explore a lot to find the right food and resources to grow. So the recall feature really comes in handy. After you claim a piece of land, you'll be able to teleport back there with a short cooldown.
It's a little weird to have unchallenging combat on an RPG game, mobs literally explode on click. Sandbox and Survival genres have been strongly associated. Danger it's a great motivation to build a house. However, it's a refreshing change to have an open world MMORPG Sandbox that's friendly to casual gamers.
I couldn't really explore the MMO component, the testers are currently off the server. However, it's pretty awesome that the Sandbox is working so well on a multiplayer platform. The controls are easy and the flow of the animations is great. These guys have been working for years on the concept and it's very easy to appreciate that in the resulting game.
The game was greenlighted on steam, it's just a matter of time until we can all enjoy a full version. If you want to keep up to date with the updates of the game, they have all the information you'll need on their site.