Klei Entertainment, the developers that brought us Don’t Starve and Don’t Stave Together, are coming back with a new game called Oxygen not Included. This game is already available for purchase, but is still only in Alpha. Players can enjoy the game in it’s current state and help the developers by reporting bugs and giving feedback. While they mention that the game is still in it’s early stages, it already has a lot of content! This review is based on it’s current patch, the Thermal Upgrade. The game is not final and some features might change until the release date.
This game is a space-colony simulator! Help your colonist survive by building structures, collection resources and fight the many dangers of this new environment. It is not only about getting the basic ingredients for food, but also about learning how to provide oxygen and clean water to your people!
Design and UI
The design for the characters and the universe will remind you of Klei’s previous game: Don’t Starve. The characters are cute and look like they just stood up from a sketchbook. They are more colorful than their predecessor, but it makes them very likable. The simple art style really contrast well with the complexity of the game without being too much of a distraction. The tones are well balanced and you can easily keep track of the important elements. The user’s interface (UI) however is a lot to take in at first. The main tools are disposed in each corners of your screen. The lower part and the tips section are pretty easy to follow, but then comes the different kind of interface provided that might be confusing for some at first. It is possible to change the appearence of the game to clearly see where there is a lack of oxygen or the temperature variations. There is also an option to see all the wiring and plumbing on top of everything. So there is a lot of information to look for. Fortunately, after playing for a little while, this becomes more and more simple to understand.
Oxygen not Included is a rather complex game with a lot of different tools, factors to look out for and a lot of people to take care of. When starting a new game, a few tips will be shown in the top corner of your screen. Such as how you need to build toilets or gather food. However, these tips are not there very long as you progress and we have to learn on our own. In itself it is not a bad thing, but some elements such as plumbing can become quite frustrating if you can’t understand why the showers do not work. Luckily for us, there are many guides online to provide all the information needed!
There are many times where I was tempted to start over during the first game, because of the complex UI and gameplay, but starting over ends up being a fun part of the game! As you get to learn more and more about the different items, you will start to think about how you could have done things differently. Then you will be tempted to start a new game, simply to try the features you did not fully understand before. A great aspect of Oxygen not Included is it’s duration. As a single game can last for hours, if the player decides to start a new one, nothing will be the same. We start in a brand new location each time with different colonists , known as Duplicants.
So far, Oxygen not Included is a great indie game, a little gem! There is so much to do and to understand about this game already and it is already really promising. For those who would be interested to play it right now, you can purchase the Alpha on Steam. Please remember that this game is not final and there might be a few bugs here and there. The developers have been very responsive in fixing the current issues and we wish them the best for the future!
All Screenshots are copyright of Klei Entertainment, developers of Oxygen Not Included