As a lover of science fiction, when I saw this video game, I knew I had to try. Your escape pod crash lands on this hostile planet, where the majority of the world is covered in cloud cover. You rarely get any sunlight, and thus creatures that thrive in the shadows have evolved on this planet. These are deadly creatures, so expect to die often. As long as you have a bed in the home you must create, you’ll re-spawn there after every death. This game holds some similarity to Terreria in the sense that you must scavenge for your materials and then craft what you need; however, Terreria was more of a fantasy world. Darkover is pure science fiction. There is no magic in this game; it’s all about the materials you scavenge and the technology you craft from that.
The game is a 2D world, though it gives the illusion of 3D since you must put in a back wall to keep out the nasty creatures. You start out with a basic tool kit, scavenged from your escape pod, and if you want, you can even scavenge the escape pod itself, gathering scrap metal from its parts. The combinator found in your pod is where you’ll do most of your crafting.
In the above screenshot, I showed the inventory screen that appears on the right hand side and the crafting/research menu on the left. Some things you can craft anywhere, but others you’ll need to be within range of whatever device that item requires. For example, I can’t craft any tin bars until I research and craft a furnace with my combinator. Once I place that furnace, then I can start making tin bars. Over time as you accumulate more and more materials, you’ll be able to research other devices such as a chem-lab or a workbench, allowing you to create more advanced items. Some of these things will need to be powered, involving wires to be laid down to connect them to a power source. Your combinator can only power so much before you need to craft a power generator. Finding the materials will be a challenge, but exploring is your friend in this game.
The more you explore the land, the more interesting things you’ll find, but it’s often hard to stay alive. You have only a limited amount of ammo, and thus you need to find the necessary materials to craft more. This means going back to the basics. Save your pistol’s ammo and make a bow and set of arrows as soon as possible. Also make a sword as soon as you can. That will help keep you alive. Build a basic base, tall enough for your combinator, and over time, as you learn to research new devices and equipment, you can expand your base to accommodate your furniture, storage, and the other devices you’ll need to craft better and cooler stuff.
As you can probably tell, crafting is essential. Everything you do involves staying alive long enough to find the materials necessary to create the items you need. Torches will always be your friend. As soon as possible, find some tar, cut down a tree, and craft that torch. Put them everywhere you go, especially in the caverns you find. The shadow creatures hate the light and it hurts them a bit; there’s also the added bonus that the light reveals where they are, allowing you to kill them before they get to you.
Overall, this game is fun. It gives me my science fiction fix, let’s me explore a huge world full of wonders and dangers, and I can craft just about anything I want — if I can find the materials necessary. I highly recommend buying this game if you enjoy exploration and crafting games.