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Planetbase Review

Review Planetbase | Madruga Works brings Planetbase to the Xbox One. This planetary builder and survival game was first published on the PC. Let’s see if the game survived the transition to the console.

 

THE GOOD

  • There are some very simple yet interesting mechanics in place that you need to get in control of. You will have to balance building resources, power (wind and solar), water, food and such.
  • If you fail to do the above correctly and stay one step ahead, your colonists will die, usually resulting in a chain reaction, wiping out your precious planet base.
  • The soundtrack is generally pleasing to listen to. It adds to the relaxed atmosphere of a building game like this where you spent a lot of time watching your little colonists march like ants around the screen.
  • Despite this being about colony survival and mistakes will see your poor colonists die from starvation or asphyxiation or even gunned down by intruders, on the whole, playing Planetbase is rather relaxing. When I was in control of my colony expansion playing was almost trance-like.

MIXED FEELINGS

  • While the tutorial does get you going, it does fail to mention a couple of important things you’ll run into during your first game. Prepare to give it a couple of goes before you manage to get a healthy sized colony. Just don’t get too attached to your colonists.
  • Content wise there isn’t a lot to dive into. You have the main building game, on four different planets as well as a small challenge mode with only four scenarios, one for each planet. While it’s fun to play those challenges, I don’t see myself replaying the ones I’ve beaten. That said, Planetbase is not very expensive, so you do get what you pay for.

THE BAD

  • Once you get the hang of how to expand, there isn’t much excitement to be had. You just need to repeat the appropriate expansion steps, and you’ll be golden. This can ultimately make it somewhat boring to continue after a certain point.
  • There isn’t much variation in the visuals. A big colony looks like links of buildings that look rather similar. Allowing player customization would have helped here. As it stands, it all looks a bit dull.
  • Some minor issues do appear. I’ve had this pop-up inform me that one of my processing plants was low on oxygen, but every time I looked there was nothing to see and nothing wrong. This kept popping up every minute.
  • Sometimes your colonists or robots choose the wrong building to construct or repair, even if you did set priority to the right In one game, this caused me to phase a power failure that ultimately killed everyone. I wasn’t exactly over the moon about this.

 

 

Score: 72% | Planetbase is a base building game where you need to deal with the harsh environment. If you do get the hang of managing your resources and dealing with hazards, the survival aspect becomes far less dominant, and it turns into an almost relaxing experience. While watching colonists die several times before you master the game isn’t for everyone, it offers a decent option for those looking to expand their horizon.

Patrick spent sixteen hours on the game before writing the review, earning 190 Gamerscore. Thanks to Madruga Works for providing the review code.