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Astroneer Game Review

When my step Son came to stay this weekend, he said “we have to get this new game called Astroneer”. As young teens ‘demand’, I thought this was another fad that we’d have to fork out for, only to find it’s a disappointment.

One of the many planets in Astroneer
Some of the Astroneer planets are truly beautiful!

I was pleasantly surprised on a number of levels. Firstly, Astroneer is available to download for free on the Xbox game pass (win). Secondly, I’ve found myself spending hours watching my clever teen discovering planets and building spaceships.

Gameplay

Astroneer is a sandbox adventure survival game, but it does things differently. The game was released for early access back in December 2016. Version 1.0 was subsequently released on 6th February 2019.

You play as an astronaut (called Astroneer) and free-roam planets by foot, lunar rover, or spacecraft. There are currently 7 planets to explore, all offering different resources and collectibles. Planets are rated by difficulty, sun and wind. They have different gases and a main primary and secondary resource.

PlanetTypePrimarySecondaryGasesDifficultySunWind
 SylvaTerran Sphalerite Malachite Hydrogen
 Nitrogen
EasyMediumMedium
 DesoloTerran Moon Wolframite SphaleriteNoneEasyHighLow
 CalidorArid Malachite Wolframite Hydrogen
 Sulfur
MediumVery HighLow
 VesaniaExotic Lithium Titanite Hydrogen
 Nitrogen
 Argon
MediumLowHigh
 NovusExotic Moon Hematite Lithium Hydrogen
 Methane
MediumHighHigh
 GlacioTundra Titanite Hematite ArgonHardVery LowVery High
 AtroxRadiatedNoneNone Helium
 Methane
 Nitrogen
 Sulfur
Very HardLowLow

(Credit: Gamepedia)

The game can be played single player and co-op. Co-op can be played with up to 4 players. Rumours are that 8-player support and dedicated servers are on their way. It’s worth noting though that the current co-op isn’t local play. Sadly you can only play with others who have the game, not couch co-op.

Crafting & Mining

You can craft a range of vehicles and spacecraft to explore the world. When you collect ores, you can smelt them into modules to be used in crafting. I must admit, it’s been fun learning what materials compliment others. It feels like a mini Science lesson!

Astroneer on the go!
Upgrade your vehicle with various items across the planets

The key thing to remember when exploring is to use tethers. These connect to your home base or vehicle and ensure you have enough oxygen to continue your journey. We learned this the hard way! Astroneer can die from suffocation and poisonous gas from hostile plants. They may look intriguing but are best avoided!

Astoneer can craft mods to make exploration easier. For example, there’s a ‘wide mod’ which extends your mining area so you can terraform in quicker succession.

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Summary
I honestly wasn't expecting to enjoy this game so much. Not only is it fun to explore planets in a way that doesn't suck like No Man's Sky, there's also a lot to be learned. It's refreshing to watch and play a game that doesn't involve mindlessly shooting people (too much Fortnite in our house). Discovering what can and can't be used in crafting, what ores can be smelted into, and generally messing about with elements and physics has been fun. I'm very much looking forward to multiplayer and local co-op and can see many more hours being put into this game.
8.2
Great
Written by
Co-Founder of unboxedreviews.co.uk - Georgie is a freelance Content Writer specialising in gaming news, reviews, and technology. Georgie enjoys stealth, survival and RPG games. She loves penguins, unicorns and anything that sparkles!

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