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

Wasteland 2 (inXile Entertainment)

Wasteland 2 (inXile Entertainment)

Ask anyone to mention a role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and chances are they will reply Fallout. In truth, the original Wasteland came out more than ten years before the first Fallout title, and set a new standard for the genre. The Fallout games were great in their own right, but when the series ventured into first/third person territory with the release of Fallout 3, it left many gamers hankering for the isometric games of old.

FortressCraft Evolved (ProjectorGames)

After a very successful run on the Xbox 360, FortressCraft is now available on PC in an "Evolved" form. The developers have recreated the game in Unity and while it is still in Early Access it is clear to see that this is going to be a very ambitious title. To make things a bit more tempting the game is available for a very low price which will gradually increase up to the final retail price as milestones are met so jump in early to save some cash.

Dungeon of the Endless  (Amplitude Studios)

Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios)

Dungeon of the Endless opens with two random heroes exiting the wreckage of their crashed escape pod and finding themselves deep within an alien dungeon. Each hero has different stats and some favor melee weapons while others wield guns. Your basic goal is to carry the crystal from the escape pod to the exit of the dungeon to complete each level. Unfortunately there are plenty of dark rooms with closed doors standing between your heroes and the exit.

Organic Panic (Last Limb Games)

Set in a topsy-turvy world where the fruits and vegetables are heroes fighting back against the evil forces of meat and cheese, Organic Panic is a puzzle platformer with a healthy dollop of physics thrown into the mix. This is definitely the first time that I'm rooting for the healthy food over the tasty stuff, but the whimsical art style from Last Limb makes it hard not to like the characters.

Wrack (Final Boss Entertainment)

Wrack is an arcade style first person shooter that provides you with plenty of guns, aliens to use them on and then lets you get on with the fun. It is also a game that doesn't believe in weapon carry limits, hiding behind cover or regenerating health. The result is a lean and mean shooter that doesn't get bogged down in scripted sequences or boring quick time events.

Steam Bandits: Outpost (Iocaine Studios)

Steam Bandits: Outpost (Iocaine Studios)

Some Facebook games can actually be quite fun until you encounter the horrible, soul-grinding mechanics that have been implemented to part you with your money. Turn limits, harassing friends, purchasing crucial items with real money and more is enough to deter anyone from playing these games. Steam Bandits: Outpost is a game that aims to take the best elements of the Facebook-style games while stripping away all the annoyances.

Leave a comment

18 + 5 =