Astranon's Rating of Windborne:
Gameplay (Is it fun?): 2/4
Visuals (Does it look good?): 3/4
Originality (Is it one of a kind?): 1/4
Playability (Is it free of errors and other issues?): 1/4Overall Rating: 44% out of 100%
Astranon's Review of Windborne:
With its whimsical looks and open-ended approach to creativity, Windborne gives the impression that it has much to offer. Like Minecraft and Terraria before it, it is a game that invites the player to shape the world he or she is dropped into. You can freely explore, gather resources, or take on quests. Battle is nonexistent in the game, so there is no element of danger that would threaten to destroy you or your creations. The underlying concept is not original by any means, but the game does manage to give it a fairly attractive new face.
Underneath its cute exterior, however, Windborne is not so appealing. Because the game is still in development, it is prone to errors that cause the game to crash. It also contains numerous references to features that do not exist in the game. Does the fact that the developers label this game as "Early Access" excuse these things? No - and here's why. The developers currently charge $29.99 or more for players to purchase what would be called a demo in the early days of PC gaming. For that kind of money, players should be able to enjoy playing a fully functional game. As it stands, Windborne is at best a preview of a game that may or may not exist at some point in the future.
Just yesterday, one of the developers (Steam user Kaboom) made a post to the Windborne Community Discussion. She writes, "Our original plan of three years was temporarily shortened, but now we have to go back to being realistic. Because we’re still out there in Early Access this could change again, but right now we’re back developing at a what-we-can-self-fund pace." Like me, you may ask yourself, "How can the game be described as self-funded if Steam users are being charged to play Windborne?" The obvious answer is that it can't. The bigger question in any reader's mind, however, should be whether Windborne will ever be considered a finished product since it's not expected to be completed for at least three years.
A similar demo
, er, game was released by Linden Labs called Patterns. Like Windborne, it was a sandbox game that focused on allowing players to be creative. It remained labeled as an Early Access game from the time of its release in May 2013 until an announcement was made in October 2014 that development for Patterns was being abandoned. At no point in that time frame did the developers decide to stop charging Steam users $10.00 apiece for their unfinished product. One cannot help but wonder if Windborne itself will turn out to be just another Early Access game taking advantage of Steam users in the same way.
The gaming community deserves better. I do not recommend this game.