Starsand Gameplay Preview

Developed by Tunnel Vision Studio, published by Toplitz Productions – November 4, 2021 (PC)
*MSRP: $19.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1380220/Starsand/

Starsand is a survival crafting game set in a vast desert. Not everything is as it seems as underneath the sands lie…a swarm of giant, man eating centipedes!

Starsand has the usual staples of survival crafting, chopping trees, mining rocks, and fighting off giant centipedes.

Starsand is out in early access and the game has the standard staples often found in other survival crafting games. You craft tools such as axes and pickaxes to cut down trees and mine rocks and metals. You craft weapons to hunt animals to harvest precious meat and hides. You also craft weapons to attack the angry centipedes. Building structures will protect you from the elements, allow you to store resources, and avoid the ever present insects.

Feed a camel twice to tame it. Camels make life convenient in the world of Starsand.

You harvest resources at oases and since the number of oases are few and far apart, you have to do a lot of traveling. The map is quite large so I highly recommend taming a camel as soon as possible. You can find a camel near oases and they path from one oasis to another. Taming is quite a simple task, you simply feed the camel twice. You do have to wait a bit before you can feed the camel a second time so just stick around.

Once you tame the camel, you can zoom around the map. The camel does need to be fed every once in a while or else it will wander away so check back every so often to see if your camel needs food. You can walk up to it and there will be an option to feed if the camel is hungry. Before setting out to explore the map, I would recommend making sure you have enough water, antidotes, and food for both yourself and your camel. I would also highly recommend crafting the backpack and the camel bag as soon as possible to increase mobile storage space.

Some Oases have different resources so make sure to explore!

As you explore, you’ll find many structures and ruins. These ruins often contain items, a lot of crafting resources, and new blueprints. Some are in scrolls lying around chests, and other blueprints can be learned by finding that structure in a ruin and walking up to it to research it.

The game is pretty fun for me. Aside from the normal survival crafting mechanics, there is a sense of exploration and mystery. You find a giant pyramid. Inside the pyramid are some blocked passage ways. You need to unlock the proper tech and gather enough crafting resources to navigate the pyramid and unlock the secrets within. Some resources are located on the far sides of the map so it incentivizes you to explore.

Overall, Starsand is a pretty solid survival crafting game. The element of mystery and the necessity of exploration make it a compelling game for me. Others may find it a bit janky and obtuse. For those wanting a more casual experience without having to worry about constant attacks, the relaxed mode lets you freely explore for the most part. You still need to eat food and drink water, but way less frequently.

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