Deiland was inspired and created Chibig Studios, a small group of people who have worked hard for a year to develop the fundamentals of the game. This antiquated game would not even be available to us if folks in Kickstarter didn’t believe in the story. So, Thank You!
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, PC
Publisher: Chibig Studios
Developer: Chibig Studios
Release Date: February 28, 2018
This review is based on a review code provided by Chibig Studios.
Deiland is an adventure role-playing game combined with a sandbox mechanic. The story goes that a long time ago when the universe was young, little princes were sent to minor planets to discover the power of Crystals kept within the planet’s interior. You will be playing the youngest prince of them all named Arco who lives in the tiniest minor planet, Deiland. You will eventually get to discover the background story upon progressing through the game. Arco upon waking up in Deiland doesn’t really remember who he is or where he came from but that didn’t bother him nor stopped him from discovering new planets, new characters and filling the planet with life!
Initially, you start off with really limited resources and tutorials aren’t really that frequent in this game. It might teach you how to do a certain type of task like you use a hammer to collect rocks, axe to collect wood from trees or use a hoe to sow seeds. But it never taught me that whatever tool you are holding at that time will affect the action available in that given item. Such an annoying moment happened when I wanted to harvest this field of carrots but since I was holding an axe at that time, it only showed me the Destroy action. I thought it was just a bug and continued to somehow reset the action by going back and forth thinking that it would fix it or show me the action that I needed. It took a few tries and determination to understand what is truly happening and it kind of gave me an impression that I would need to discover stuff on my own to really see the potential of this game. I am not sure if that was one of the objectives of Chibig, which is to be fully immersed in the gameplay, but I don’t think that works especially when boredom strikes.
When I mention boredom this actually comes at a later time because just like Harvest Moon you don’t really start with a lot of resources. Patience and perseverance is really a must at this initial point since you really start off without any money on you. So you start collecting essentials such as vegetables and fruits to plant on your limited fertilized soil. Resources such as wood and stone help you create structures to get other resources and food you collect helps satiate your hunger bar. The moment this hunger bar goes way down, it starts hurting you – deducing it further. Not only does it fill the hunger bar but it fills your health bar as well. Yup! It’s not all quiet in the land of Deiland. You will have to defeat monsters which on their deathbed gives you resources that will let you create other important resources or become a key ingredient on another dish. The second blue bar is Arco’s stamina, this will dictate how many tasks he can do, and these actions generate star points which is your experience points that fill the final white bar. You need to fill up the experience bar and go to sleep and once you do you, will get to choose what skill to give to your character. Examples are more stamina to last longer, improve intelligence to wield more powerful attacks or more physical defense.
The first character you will meet in Deiland is called Mûn, who is not only an explorer but also an Interstellar Patrol Officer. She happens to discover Deiland since she was investigating anomalies in that area. Later, this character will help you explore other planets exposing you to more agricultural resources, monster drops, and missions. Other characters will start to land on your tiny planet. They will offer missions, trading products since they do buy and sell resources and unlock stronger structures to help in your daily living. These missions will also help unlock recipes that not only give Arco more health and hunger points but can also be sold at a pretty hefty price to specific merchants. When they visit, you will get a small prompt on your screen and you will have to ‘help’ them land and if you fail to do this – the merchant will fly off, missing your chance to get profits or complete missions. What I like about them visiting is that the background music changes on whoever is your visitor. So for example, when Mûn visits, she is accompanied by a hippy kind of music. While Goliath, a galactic Pirate, is accompanied by a thrilling upbeat music and this only happens for the duration of their visit.
But with good news, comes the bad ones. Aside from the stingy guide, I pointed out, there were a few bugs that I encountered as well. When a merchant character named Brram was about to land on my planet for the first time, the game completely crashed leaving me with an error of CE-34878-0. Another bug incident happened when I was going through my inventory and in a heartbeat, the arrow keys stopped working. I was also walking around my hacienda exploring mushrooms when all of a sudden, Arco froze and I couldn’t move him at all using the left stick. Both scenarios, I had to go back to the PlayStation menu screen, close the application, relaunch and somehow fixed it. Placement of structures such as the fences, gates, and plants need a lot of refinement since the controls are kinda woozy. Especially in placing fences, they looked like the crooked teeth of an ugly witch! Somehow it is difficult to stick both ends together so you end up putting them a few centimeters apart which looks weird. And so you remedy it by putting another fence in between but then it looks completely horrendous. So you will have to start over. I would like to have that functionality where you can easily pick up these structures so you may rearrange them in the future, just like a fire camp. So I placed it somewhere off but in order for me to move it, I would’ve to destroy it and build it again. It still uses the same number of resources but moving it would’ve been easier.
Overall this isn’t a perfect game but there are tiny and intricate details that I really find unique and whimsical. I like the fact that you are able to zoom out of the planet and do a full rotation. This is quite helpful in mushroom hunting and this also helps in strategically landing meteorites that will help you collect Crystals and foreign seeds. I liked looking at my planet from this view because I can see the progress that I am making. The fauna and trees scattered about to look like pimples on someone’s face but not gross at all. I loved the fact that there is a night/day cycle, weather changes that you can take advantage of an unlimited inventory storage. Definitely not for everyone, but players that need a casual, calm, take-your-time gameplay then this is absolutely for you.