Sometimes you have to stop and think what the heck did Minecraft start. Early access, survival sandbox games category is packed with games of all shapes and themes right now. So, is Scrap Mechanic just another ordinary game?
Mostly, no. Scrap Mechanic does bring something unique to the table.
Also, potentially, yes. Because at this stage, the path which the game will take is still unclear.
Here we will try to deconstruct Scrap Mechanic – what’s working, what’s not, and whether it’s worth buying.
Early ‘Early Access’
Here’s the problem. Many game developers nowadays use Steam as a financing platform. They will put together a foundation for the game, release it in early access, and see how it does. Many get some funding, but not enough to continue.
We’re not saying that Axolot Games, the developers of the game are doing this. In fact, the game itself has received tons of praise from players while the team keeps it frequently updated.
However, the game is in very early stages. The potential is there, but will the game reach it?
Scrap Mechanic with an emphasis on ‘mechanic’
The strength and uniqueness of Scrap Mechanic comes from the ability to create whatever your imagination allows. The Steam workshop already has hundreds of blueprints you can use as an inspiration: real car replicas, 4-legged monsters, huge boats, and small spaceships.
And the best news is, you can have fun even without an engineering degree. The game takes the time to introduce you to how different levers work, how to set up engines and thrusters, etc. And then, you can let your ideas run free.
The possibilities are limitless.
At this point players can pick from 100 of different mechanical components. When you look at the blueprints and what others have already made, it seems as if no more can ever be required.
But after an hour or two tinkering with different mechanics, you will start wishing the game had a bit more to offer.
Different materials, better weight distribution, more shapes, quicker ways to connect parts, etc.
Feel free to let the developers know what you think it lacks. However, it’s a fair play by Axolot Games as they keep the game updated and patched frequently. The future seems very positive for this game.
As a multiplayer game, Scrap Mechanic is incredibly fun. That you can’t take away from the game. But here we mostly wanted to review the survival aspect of Scrap Mechanic because many players will look to try the single player (SP) mode.
In the SP survival mode, you will find yourself stranded on a planet full of farmbots. The story goes that these farmbots (also called agribots) were robots created to help farmers with their daily agriculture jobs.
At this point it is not exactly clear what happened but these farmbots started attacking people. So, you, having crash-landed on the planet, have to pick food and craft various items like guns and vehicles to survive.
What you will need to do is build some sort of a base where you can grow food. For example, corn and cucumbers. You will also need a gun. Actually, we are very lucky to have tried the game just after the spud gun (aka the Potato gun) was introduced. Not only it’s a fun idea, but your gun can also be modified in a variety of ways. You can convert it into a sniper rifle, a machine gun, or a shotgun and add other modifications.
And lastly, the most boring part of any survival game ever is gathering resources. Maybe we were lucky with our spawn location, but the game seems to be well-balanced in this regard. You have a drill that you can use to get some basic resources. Then you will likely come across various farming equipment. It can be dismantled into parts. And there is a scrapyard which is guarded by large farmbots. Careful!
But again, we must return to the overarching theme of this review. The potential is there. The game is filled with refreshing mechanics and the story is unique. But large parts of it are still very vague.
If Axolot Games continue doing what they are now, by the time of its release Scrap Mechanic should be one of the best survival games of the year. But there is so much work left that all you can do is hope for the best.
The future of the Scrap Mechanic: is it worth your money?
Right now, Scrap Mechanic is a fun way to spend an evening with your multiplayer buddies. But in order to reach the full potential, the game still has a long road ahead of adding much-needed features.
The first thing Scrap Mechanic lacks now, it’s the community. A proper forum for players to meet and give feedback to the developers. Eleon Studios is a great example of how valuable it can be. They are the team behind Empyrion Galactic Survival, a space survival and building game. It has just been released in experimental 8.0 Alpha, while their forum serves as a platform where players can instantly share bugs and feedback on new features.
Secondly, a storyline is desperately needed for this game to be successful in a single player mode. Right now, you can go nuts in a creative mode but you’re stuck if multiplayer isn’t for you. There are no goals to achieve, no challenges to complete.
It’s not even clear why you are building all that stuff.
Here’s the million-dollar question, so to speak, is the game worth your money at this point?
Actually, it is. Even for a single-player version. The game already looks very nice, and the future looks promising, too. It’s hard to imagine a world when with so much overwhelming support from the players, a developer would fail to produce a done product.
We only hope that the developers will continue listening to players’ feedback. Unfortunately, we could name at least 3 highly-rated games that were on a great path just to take a horrible turn. Let’s see how this turns out.