Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MewnBase - From The Gaming Enthusiast

It's strange that with all the time I spent playing video games in 2018, it's been longer than a hot minute since I've written any video game-centric posts. Luckily I've been kicking off this next year of video games right with this early-access title that is enjoyable, easy to play, and incredibly adorable. Ladies and iggles, may I introduce to you, MewnBase!
I came across this game while browsing on the Steam store recently, looking for games that were still fairly-priced despite the Winter Steam Sale being over. This game has been in development since 2016 and has recently become available on Steam Early Access, whereas it was originally available exclusively on Itch.io. It's being developed by a single developer named Steve Ford, aka Cairn4. He's also the solo developer on the game Pombie Zong and has worked on other titles such as Glitch's Trip and Zombie Scrapper.

So, back to the awesomeness that is MewnBase: It's described by Cairn4 as "A Space-Cat Survival and Base-Building Game" and it fits right into my wheelhouse of favourite games; simulation, crafting, base-building, indie, resource collecting & management, casual gameplay, and also there's the obvious adorbs factor πŸ˜ΈπŸ’•
These pictures are from an earlier stage in this game's development; the graphics are still the same, aka equally adorable, but the UI has been updated to be more functional and easier to read & understand at a glance
The game has a great tutorial to teach players about the basic controls and mechanics of the game, although I did find there was a small period of time between the end of the tutorial and when I figured out exactly what I was supposed to do in order to progress with the game's technology tree. So while I feel the tutorial could possibly be a bit longer, perhaps lasting up until the moment that a player finishes analysing their first artifact, which earns technology points, but otherwise this game is very easy to grasp even for the most casual of players.

There isn't currently much in the way of a story arc for this game, but quite frankly at this point it doesn't need one in order to enjoy the game; you play as a space-cat who works to survive on a deserted planet by building a base that will provide your space suit with power and oxygen, you collect resources out in the world while finding and analysing various artifacts (which turn out to be super-cute cat-related items) which gives you tech points, which give the player access to other buildings that improve your base as well as other areas of gameplay.

Aside from the tutorial (which you can continue playing for up to a total of 15 in-game days), there are two play-modes available at this time - a basic mission mode which require you to survive on the planet for a set number of days, which increases each time you complete a mission, as well as an endless mode where you can take your time and work on unlocking every node on the technology tree.

Yes, you can build a space vehicle for your cat-stronaut to travel in. What could be cuter than a cat in a space suit driving around in a little range rover, am I right?
So, I actually have a funny story to tell about my experience with this game, which I attribute mostly to my own dysfunctional brain and, to a tiny extent, the lack of controls listed in the game's Controls tab of the options menu: Once you unlock the vehicle tab of the tech tree, you are able to construct the garage and you can build yourself a vehicle to travel more quickly across the planet's surface, and you can also build a trailer that attaches to your vehicle that allows you to carry more items with you than what is allowed within your personal inventory. Anyway, during one trip away from my base using both the vehicle and the trailer, I accidentally let the vehicle run out of power. Because of this, I had trouble getting the trailer to re-attach to the vehicle. For some reason I got it into my head that the trailer also had a power level, and once it ran out you couldn't get it to re-attach to the vehicle.

Long story short, I used my cat character to push the trailer all the way back to my base - which was not easy, and it took quite a while. Turns out that I just didn't know what button to hit in order to get the trailer to re-attach to the vehicle (all you need to do is left-click on the trailer while you're in the vehicle XP). So, partly the reason for my faux-pas which probably added an extra 30 minutes to my play time was partly the cause of this particular was because this button was not listed in the Controls menu, but I'm guessing that this was also because my brain is weird and didn't think to try clicking on the trailer while my cat was sitting in the vehicle XDD
So my first play-through of this game (which consisted of the 15-day tutorial, a 10-day game in mission mode, and a long session in endless mode where I worked to unlock everything in the tech tree) lasted about 90 minutes - and that includes the extra time it took to push the trailer back to my base and then figure out how to re-attach it to my space vehicle XD What surprised me was that the next day, after playing another current favourite game of mine called Frostpunk, I found myself wanting to boot up MewnBase and play it some more, despite the fact that I had already experienced all of the content that the game has to offer. It was just SO FUN that I wanted to play it again! I enjoyed the art style/graphics that the game had to offer, exploring new & randomly-generated planets (although the game does create a seed generated code for each new planet you play on, similar to Oxygen Not Included, so if you play on a planet layout that you really enjoy and want to start a new game with the same planet, you can copy and paste the planet's seed code when you start a new mission or endless mode).

This game is currently available on Steam for $5.99 USD / $6.69 CAD, and the reviews are Very Positive so far :) It really is a fun game, and whether or not you play through all the game's available content in a short amount of time, you'll still find reasons to return and play some more. The majority of the game's reviews on Steam recommend buying this game because they feel that the developer should be given a chance, because despite the game being made and updated by a single person, it receives updates and bug fixes on a regular basis. I highly recommend this game to all gamers, hardcore and casual, to cat people and dog people alike 😻

Try out MewnBase and let me know in the comments about your own experiences with this game! Wouldn't it be awesome if one day in the future this game introduced a multiplayer mode? Imagine a bunch of space cats working together on building a base and collecting resources - that would be so fun and so cute! πŸ’– Anyway, that's all from me tonight! Happy gaming, and I'll keep you all posted!

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