So I know it's not something we here at Serenity Blue have anything to do with, but I thought I would let you all in on what has been consuming most of my waking moments these days. I bought this game during the holiday Steam sale thanks to a few friend's validating the purchase value and the persuasion of a private server to play on (I abhor games where people gank each other for sport- so yes, my online gaming is very limited). Also-dinosaurs. And as Infinity night last week didn't go off (life happens, even to well intending nerds), I figure, some blog is better than no blog.
Now, to truly appreciate my love of dinosaurs, one has to know that as a child, I had a pink She-ra duffle bag full of stones that were either pretty, or that I whole heartedly believed were fossils (probably really they were just bunged up by any myriad of things). My brother and I spent what seemed like forever saving up to buy the Jurassic Park Adult T-Rex toy which we bought at the nearby Sears pick-up location. They were the crowns on our Jurassic Park dinosaur menagerie. My dollhouses were Dinosaur barns. I was that girl. I wanted to be an archaeologist. Two problems with that desire were my not insignificant heat intolerance and the ease to which I could be distracted from puzzles. Spending years putting a dinosaur skeleton together... very much not in my wheelhouse.
This game though... it's Minecraft without the blocks and with dinosaurs. Within my first five minutes of logging into the game I had died twice. The first time I made the mistake of thinking the compy was cute (apparently Jurassic Park was right about those little buggers!) and the next I ran smack dab into an Argie. I finally found my husband and stuck with him until I could put together clothing and a few weapons. My first dinosaur was an ankylodon that had the misfortune of being stuck between a few trees for about a week of in-game days before I gathered enough berries and friends to tame her. Her name is Annie Oakley. I will cry the day I lose her. In fact, I've had nightmares about it. I have lost two other animals. One of our triceratops apparently took a swim while we were returning home from an adventure at night. He got eaten by a megalodon. There was no saving those materials. The other was a dodo that I spent and hour and a half (in real time) making sure it was warm enough to properly incubate just to have it die because I couldn't figure out how to feed it quickly enough. There is now a wooden sign memorial garden at our base. RIP George and BB-1.
I've since taken to never leaving our base without Cletus the Carnosaur, Annie and my Pachycephalasaurus Penelope Garcia. Yes, I give my dinosaurs last names. I don't know why. Cletus I found upon logging in one day, a higher level friend having tamed him while I was away. Since the acquisition of our fleet or airline monickered Pteradons, I've become a little more adventurous in my trips away from our home base. I took to building a homestead on an island not far from our base, where my brother is currently in the very dangerous process of building a bridge across from the mainland. I have died a few times while trying to erect a seapen to keep sharks from eating any future Icthyosaurs (RIP Echo).
The game has proven to be addictive for us, but it is not without it's shortcomings. Just yesterday, after drowning, I dragged my body from the water only to have it float away when I released it on dry land so I could procure my inventory. To say I was perturbed is an understatement. My friend fell of a cliff and apparently, through the world, with no trace of his body left for us to find. All of us have had at least one experience of our corpses being unattainable. I find the "snap to" system for building to be rather mind-boggingly horrid. My first house, one has to crawl into the bedroom because the wall below apparently clips in just enough to bother. The underwater seapen I mentioned earlier... looks as if a drunk built it with its zigs and zags. And the breeding system... I spent at least an hour incubating BB-2 (yep, after BB-1 I tried it again) and then had to have my brother stand there with me for the first fifteen minutes of the little Dodo's life cramming berries into it to keep him alive. He ate all the fruit and veggies I had (which, seriously, I don't even want to know what raising a baby carnivore is like) and survived to adolescence. Now he is a juvenile (or I may have those backwards but you get the idea) and I anxiously to await his becoming an adult whence he will receive a real name and hopefully more levels than he currently has or I cannot see where this process has been remotely close to worth it. We had thought of penguin farming for their drops but after this, I wouldn't be able to kill them after that much work to raise them!
Even with its bugs and glitches though, the game keeps us coming back and with every patch, the developers add more creatures and fix a few more issues. It feels like a game still in beta, which it may very well be. I'm not a Steam aficionado (nor fan really as it's been nothing short of a series of struggles to get it to work half the time) so I wouldn't really know if by buying the game I was let into the early stages or what, but I do enjoy the game and hope that it keeps evolving and getting better. Full disclosure- I bought the game during a Steam sale, and am not quite sure that I would have actually paid full asking price for it. For $15, though, it was well worth it and economical enough I bought a copy for my nephew as well. I look forward to exploring more of the island and building more bases and hopefully, a permanent residence somewhere on the island in the near future.