I stumbled across a cute little indie game over at Desura called Samphi. The game is in it’s Alphi so it is a little early to be passing judgement but seems very promising and I enjoyed having a 20 minute play with it. The game starts off a little like Terraria in that you play a little character in a randomly generated world that starts equipped with nothing but an axe and a shovel and have to start crafting things. I’m not a huge fan of Terraria, I find it a bit hard to do anything without constantly checking Youtube, but Samphi has a more elegant and easy feel to it which makes me want to stick around.
Whenever I start a crafting game I like to play without a full tutorial or guide for the first couple of hours just to see what I can discover on my own. I find however that most crafting games are just too complex to work out on your own and you soon hit the web to find out how to play. Not many games have found that sweet middle ground, The PC version of Minecraft is probably the closest to being able to discover things yourself but you still need some promoting to work out that you need to hit a tree for some wood. Even though it is early stages Samphi looks like it might hit that sweet spot, which is great considering I found Terraria a hard game to get in to without help. It took me 5 minutes or so to get used to the controls and how to craft, after which I was building houses pretty quickly. With the game being early Alpha crafting help on the web is pretty thin, but I’m sure help will spring up soon and until then its not too hard to get going.
For those looking for help with the controls, here are some pointers:
- Use the middle button to scroll through your items
- If the cursor has an L or R on it then you can press the Left or Right mouse button to itneract
- Press C to bring up backpack. you can do basic crafts here, the first thing you will want to do is discover how to make a crafting table
The interesting thing about Alpha games, particualy by indie developers, is seeing where they end up. I looked the developer up and they seemed very active in talking to the community, especially on Youtube, which is always a good sign. I noticed that even early builds show the dev trying out new and interesting gameplay methods, I was particularly interested in a video of a build that had a tower defense mode built in. I think a crafting style Tower Defense game would be great, there were some interesting features in the build such as choosing where on the map the enemy waves attack. I might go and hound the developer to see if it is coming back. Until then you can check out Samphi on Desura or if you are quick enough get it cheap in this brilliant indie bundle and feel good about supporting Indie Devs.
I know its not really fair to give a score to games in Alpha, but I believe that indie devs are finding it hard to stand out in the crowd with juggernauts like EA making people give positive ratings to their games for free in-game items. So in the spirit of the Rate Friday Initiative (you should check the link out, lets take back the app stores!) I give out Alpha/Beta Scores and add some metadata to the review on how promising they look to try and increase coverage. I think this one looks great.
I sent the dev a Tweet asking if the Tower Defense mode will be back and got a reply. This closeness to the community is one of many reasons why you should support the indie guys:
@PaddytheRabbit Hi David 🙂 Thanks! Yes, but to what extent I’m Not certain. It won’t be the main focus but more a optional mechanic 🙂
— Greeny Games (@greeny_games) April 25, 2014