Signs of Life (Sweet Dog Studios)

Facebook
Like Signs of Life on Facebook

Twitter 
Follow Signs of Life on Twitter

Website
Check out the official Signs of Life Website

Discussion
Give the developers feedback on the Steam Discussion Page

Purchase
Buy your Early Access copy on the Steam Store page 

Signs of Life is a science fiction themed sandbox title with a emphasis on survival. At the start of the game, your lone survivor lands his escape pod on an alien world and it is your job to help him stay alive. The genre already has big hitters like Terraria and Starbound, so we were curious to see what Signs of Life had to offer.

The game combines hand-crafted and procedurally generated content with some very nice looking results. The alien planet that you land on is actually a hospitable looking place and has a range of strange, as well as familiar, creatures roaming about. I was surprised to see some chickens and sheep, but it’s nice that not everything in the area immediately wants to chew your face off.

As the game is still in Alpha a more extensive prologue is planned to teach you the ropes, but the “AGIS personal assistant” built into your MEG tool has some hints to get you up and running. Your goal is to explore the planet, gather resources and craft the equipment that you need to survive. There are also some story elements woven through everything as you will discover structures and equipment that were mysteriously abandoned by their occupants.

The multifunctional MEG tool that you start out with is quite nifty as it has the ability to light up your surroundings, project a map of areas you have explored and mine resources from a distance. I also like how you have to manually select which objects you want to collect, instead of everything you walk over just appearing in your inventory. Speaking of the inventory, this game uses a bag and container system similar to classic games such as the Ultima series, which is pretty cool.

The visuals are pretty colorful and I particularly liked the bone based animation system. Any equipment you craft is also shown on your character so if you cobble together some armor out of bits of wood and string, expect to look a little silly. New crafting recipes are unlocked by gathering resources or crafting other items and there are already a lot of things you can create at this stage of development. Working your way up from kicking enemies to crafting melee weapons and eventually guns is very satisfying and we look forward to seeing what else the developers are going to come up with. One of the recent updates added a neat dodge roll which makes combat even more dynamic.

While Signs of Life doesn’t have a multiplayer feature yet, it is in the pipeline and will definitely be added to the game. The developers are also taking their time to properly implement a playable female character and polish up the audio with some more sound effects. Even after putting in quite a few hours on other games in the genre, Signs of Life still felt fresh enough to keep us coming back for more. The developers are pretty committed to creating a great game and have already added a ton of new content with each update. The genre might be getting pretty crowded, but it would be a mistake to overlook Signs of Life.

Related posts

Hero Defense – Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Hero Defense - Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Grab your crossbow and put on your garlic aftershave because it is time to hunt things that go bump in the night again. This time the opportunity to thin out the freaks comes courtesy of Hero Defense – Haunted Island from Happy Tuesday. The most powerful vampire in the world, Count Necrosis, is making a menace of himself and his brethren, so you must gather your merry team of slayers to take him down. While this sounds like the perfect setup for some good old fashioned role playing, Hero Defense is actually a tower defense title.

Crest (Eat Create Sleep)

Crest (Eat Create Sleep)

Mention the words “god game” and chances are players will immediately think about either Populous or Black & White. There have been others of course, but these two titles exemplify what people typically expect of the genre. It is also a very niche genre, but now developers, Eat Create Sleep, have stepped up with their take on things. Their credentials include the free ecosystem simulator, Among Ripples, which is also a very unique title, but Crest raises the stakes by putting you in charge of guiding humanity.

Blockstorm (GhostShark)

Blockstorm (GhostShark)

First person shooters are a dime a dozen these days and Minecraft has spawned its fair share of imitators. There have even been a few titles that combine the two genres, but Blockstorm is definitely the first time that the combination has been pulled off this well.

Valhalla Hills (Funatics Software)

Valhalla Hills (Funatics Software)

Vikings are normally associated with fighting, pillaging and sailing, but Valhalla Hills from Funatics Software drops these Germanic Norse seafarers in a city building setting instead. In place of raiding and trading, the Vikings are trying to get into Valhalla after Odin decided to close the gates. The Norse god was clearly in a bit of a bad mood as he also exiled his son Leko for being more interested in building than the family business of battles and booze. This is good news for the Vikings though, as with the help of Leko they might attain enough honor to get to Valhalla.

Fancy Skulls (Tequibo)

Fancy Skulls (Tequibo)

Seeing how modern shooter are either heavily scripted or skewed towards multi-player gaming, it is refreshing to find something like Fancy Skulls. This Unity powered first person shooter throws you into a world with procedurally generated levels and surreal enemies plus the threat of permanent death hanging over your character. It makes for a challenging experience, but one that changes each time you play, so you will find yourself coming back for more.

Friendship Club (Force Of Habit)

Friendship Club (Force Of Habit)

Young Timmy Bibble is a boy with a very active imagination and he uses it to make his four imaginary friends battle each other. Ranging from a mountain beast and crazy old prospector to a duck and ninja-bandit-skeleton-thing, these characters are ready to kill each other for their spot by Timmy’s side. As far as storylines goes it’s pretty wacky, but then again who needs an excuse for some good old fashioned arcade action.

Leave a comment

two × 3 =