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Early Access Review: Samphi (PC)

I would like to point out that I did receive a Steam Key for the press version from the developer for the purposes of reviewing this game. The game is still in development, so things may change from this review.

Many thanks to Dale of Greeny Games Studio for providing me with the key.

This game first caught my attention earlier this year when I was having a look around for new survival RPGs, and I came across Samphi. This game was billed as a randomly generated survival game, with both a sandbox mode and a story mode. It also claimed to have various RPG elements in it such as skills which can be improved, levelling up and crafting. All in all, I thought it would be worth checking out.

The press release version which I received only had the freeplay mode available, with the story mode being released with the main release of the game sometime later this week.

In the freeplay mode, you’re given a basic character selection screen, where you can choose between playing as a boy or girl, and there are a few options for the design of the character, after this, you get to name him/her.

After the character creation part, your character is dropped into a randomly generated map, with only an axe and spade to their name, and from here, it’s a matter of gaining materials in order to craft objects and keep your character fed and happy.

Although I cheated slightly and had a very sneaky peek at the game manual (thank you Dale for providing me with the PDF!), the controls were fairly easy to figure out – the game uses WASD for movement directional control, or if you’re a Luddite like me, there is also the option of using the directional arrow keys as well. The space bar is used for jumping, and I admit to having a great deal of fun jumping around in various directions. Most interaction with the environment is done through point and clicking with the mouse, and this felt quite responsive.

There seems to be plenty of different materials to collect, and I quite enjoyed building up a vast collection of different items and seeing what was available – from what I could gather, some vary in their rarity of whether they’d spawn or not, and I enjoyed figuring out the relative rarity of items.

The collection of these materials then allows you to craft a large variety of objects within the game, with various uses – from what I could see in the manual, there is a decent selection of different objects to keep you busy with.

One of the final things I had a good deal of fun with on this game was the terraforming aspect; okay, so it’s fairly basic, consisting of using the spade to dig through the ground one section at a time, but digging down enables you to collect more crafting materials. I also enjoyed figuring out how to reach the different objects buried in the ground, such as seeds, without cutting myself off and making it impossible to climb back up out of the hole I’d dug.

As already touched on, there is a basic system for managing the hunger and mood of the character – I can only assume that in the main story mode of the game, when released, will expand on this. As it was, I found it easy enough to maintain a low level of hunger by eating apples every now and again.

There is a day/night cycle in this game, and it progresses fairly logically, with a gradual shift in light levels as the day turns to night, and you can track the progress of the sun in the sky for a rough idea of where you are in the cycle, however, I felt the day/night lengths to be a bit long, although it didn’t really bother me too much.

Finally, the last thing I played around with was the levelling system; there are a couple of different skills available in this game to work on, farming, fishing, amongst others. From my playthrough on the Freeplay, it seemed to be mainly my digging (farming?) skill which was the quickest to improve, and my character soon became a pro digger through gathering seeds and dirt!

Overall, I enjoyed mucking around in the Freeplay option of the game, and I look forward to the release of the main story mode later on once the full release is sorted. This is certainly a game I will be looking out for come the end of the week!

This game will be available to purchase on 18th March 2016 on Steam, at a price of £3.99/$4.99, with a launch discount of 10%, bringing that to £3.59/$4.49 for the first week.

Written by Karen

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