Self-described as a "wholesome sci-fi adventure game that connects laid back exploration with quirky machine repairs and cozy comfort food", it’s not a bad description.
You play as Viz, a human-fox hybrid space mechanic, dispatched on a repair mission in space with her talkative toolbox, Tin. A short time later they crash land on the planet Karamel. The first step to getting off the planet is getting out of the ship.
I am about 3 hours in, and am currently back in space exploring a cargo ship in orbit. I have gone for a space walk and operated some heavy machinery, as well as docked the space ship. There is clearly more to do planet-side, not counting the optional side jobs, and I expect I will be returning.
About an hour of my playing time has been spent exploring the planet. The game uses a top-down perspective, and as you explore, your map will 'grow' to pick up the places you have been. A planetary scooter called Speeeter will make getting around a lot quicker. Day and night happens, and it’s not as easy to explore after dark, so make a camp if you want and sleep till morning.
While you don't have to explore completely, it’s an important part of the game. Not only are you looking to complete your next 'to do' task (locate and power up the computer for instance), you can find and scavenge all sorts of things from cracks and fissures around the place, which will be necessary to complete the mandatory tasks, and even more so if you want to undertake the optional ones.
Those tasks have all been fixing things using whatever you have to hand. Spatulas, coins, band-aids and a banana are all things I have used to date. There are plenty to find, and you can swap and trade with some characters, get stuff out of vending machines, and be rewarded by completing an optional task for the relevant planetary characters. Make sure to show items to the Oracle, as their worthiness as a tool will be revealed to you.
It’s not just finding things but keeping them as well. Pirates can show up and remove items, and an Order policing the unauthorised use and repair of stuff can similarly show up and take stuff. You will identify a way to keep them at bay, but it isn't foolproof.
You get opportunities to have a meal and these can be essential. Your 'to do' list will help keep track of these things. You can also chat with the many bots you come across, and they can be helpful in telling you where you can find locations and some of the more important items and characters. A jobs board is where the optional tasks can be found, which if you accept will point you in the direction you need to go.
All sorts of information is in your data tab, including the map and a log, and right click will open your 'bag' in which you will find your items.
It's lo-fi visually and a bit the same way audibly, but it really doesn't matter. There is no spoken word. It uses a combination of keyboard and mouse, the WASD keys being used to move Vix around.
It’s been a gentle engaging three hours to date.