As if surviving the blistering days and freezing nights in the desert wasn’t tough enough… aliens
As a self-admitted not-fan of the majority of survival titles out there, I’ve learned to approach pretty much all of them with a low degree of confidence. Thankfully, my pretty low bar for Starsand was at least exceeded, with its controls and style of play at least much more approachable than its average competition, but I also wouldn’t consider it a resounding success by any means either. Certainly choosing a setting of the desert lowers the degree of concern the development team would likely have about performance issues, as it has a bit of a built-in excuse for including sparse environments. My best advice early on is to follow the on-screen help to get you started, my own meandering first resulted in my finding an oasis, but without having hit the basics it was sometimes rough going to get everything caught up. The degree of it being unforgiving as you successfully learn and get further in is consistent with the genre, and I’ll give the developers credit for throwing some real curveballs you’ve never seen before into the mix. That said, the controls and interfaces struggle quite a bit, as does your limited inventory space which serves little meaningful purpose other than to frustrate, especially as the console controls are poor and make management needlessly painful. If you’re looking for something different and don’t mind the warts, Starsand at least delivers something distinctive in the genre on the eShop, just be warned there are some areas where it struggles more than it should.
Justin Nation, Score: