(This is part of my journey going checking out Planetfall. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Yesterday’s adventures in Planetfall left me thinking about how interesting it was that even though this was a turn-based text adventure game, the whole sequence with escaping the ship (and then the escape pod) was tense and gave the impression of a clock ticking down.
But now the immediate danger is over and silence reigns. I’m on an island on an alien world, standing in the middle of a courtyard with only a few meager possessions — a survival kit, a watch, a towel (’cause you should never leave home without a towel), and an ID badge.
So what is this place? It’s a huge castle, although it has elements of higher technology (including a moving walkway). It’s somewhat in ruins and obviously deserted.
So fun — well, not really — Planetfall fact. Apparently the game has a rather limited inventory of six items, which might be realistic but it’s also incredibly annoying. So to make progress, I guess you have to keep dropping stuff to pick up new things. That bugs the part of me that loves to collect EVERYTHING in adventure games.
Another fun Planetfall fact (not really) is that your character has an internal hunger/thirst timer that’s always counting down. Once the game starts telling you that you’re hungry, you better darn well eat one of the three globs of goo from the survival kit soon or that’s it for you. What do I do when I’m all out of goo? Goo ‘R Us?
Can’t say that I’m too fond of this castle so far. There’s not a lot happening to entertain me here, so mostly it’s wandering corridors, picking up and dropping stuff, and trying to set events into motion so that I can progress.
But hey, magnet gets the key. Gotta be something good, right?
What’s kind of weird is that there’s lots of labels and numbers here that are in semi-English, like “spam and egz” or “sistums moniturz.” What’s that all about?
Another thing that must occasionally be done is to sleep. Which you can only do in beds, of course, and this game is very finnicky about how you go about doing it (you can’t say “sleep in bed,” you have to get into the bed first and then type “sleep”).
Oh you know what else Planetfall does? It strips you completely when you sleep, meaning that I ended up waking up then walking around naked for a while until I needed to use something and discovered I had no inventory. All of the items were neatly piled up in the dorm, probably applauding sarcastically when I came back to get them.
After getting up, the game informs me that I’m feeling “weak and slightly flushed,” which I’m sure marks my imminent doom. Radiation poisoning? Who knows.
I fill up my canteen from the kitchen’s goo faucet (it’s high protein!) and then explore around some more. I come across a robot room, where there’s one whole specimen that’s waiting to be activated. And activate it I do.
Hi Floyd! Good to have a companion at last!