Stripping down the survival genre perhaps a little too close to the bare bones, Nova Lands comes up short overall
Survival games have always been a bit of a toss-up for me, if the balance of mundane tasks to exploration to crafting doesn’t feel quite right I can find them quite dull. One way developers have tried to avoid that issue is by stripping down the experience to a simpler level, keeping things generally more quick rather than plodding, and hoping that simplicity can win the day. Nova Lands has absolutely been created in that mold, forgoing more elaborate graphics, complex systems, and deeper menus in the name of simplicity. To a degree I do appreciate this, but some of the stripping down feels like it came at the cost of being user friendly, at least for people less accustomed to the subgenre. I have no doubt that the more experienced survival game crowd can work out what needs to be done, how different buildings and resources are needed in one area to develop another, etc. But I can pretty easily see where the overall lack of structure and direction would be overwhelming to people less accustomed to how these things work. If you know the ropes you may appreciate how quickly you can get rolling and building, but if you’re more of a novice in the space you’d be better off picking something that provides a bit more direction.
Justin Nation, Score: