An excellent addition to the sandbox adventure/miner sub-genre, Planet Explorers is, in a nutshell, what people who fell for the hype over StarForge were and still are looking for.
Where Starbound is basically Terraria in space, Planet Explorers has that same relationship with Minecraft but manages to be better. While Minecraft uses block-based voxels to construct its landscapes, Planet Explorers uses OpenCL. This enables the terrain to be just as malleable as that of Minecraft, but look a damn sight better. Though admittedly OpenCL, being a prototype, has a few bugs, one of which is that vehicles travelling at high speed over rough ground have a tendency to clip through the terrain as of 0.85. That said, the bugs present in the alpha of Planet Explorers, albeit slightly frustrating at times, are easily more forgivable than those in certain AAA games
(*stares viciously at EA and Ubisoft*) and barely put a scratch into the rest of the game.
Story mode is easily the best of the three game modes, the other two being Adventure (basically Minecraft Survival) and Build (creative mode). Beneath the magnificent visuals - not to mention the aliens themselves (which look slightly
less silly than those in Starbound) - there is a surprisingly well-crafted storyline with interesting lore and bright characters to explore. Item crafting in Story is tiered depending on how far you are into the story, with simple wooden equipment available for use at the start and more powerful armour and weapons being available for manufacture later on.
Speaking of crafting, Planet Explorers has what far too few games of this genre have in my honest opinion - a fleshed-out and incredibly detailed item creation system that is easily mastered to boot. One can create a huge amount of useful, fully personalised items and vehicles - swords, guns, bikes, tanks, helicopters, boats and airborne dreadnoughts, to name but a few. Unfortunately, it is not possible to create custom tools or armour, and firearms are limited to pistols, assault rifles and laser rifles (but this might change soon). Nonetheless, Planet Explorers' powerful item creation system gives it a big leverage over other games of its genre.
To conclude: do I recommend this game? Of course I do. If you can forgive the glitches and bugs (take into account that this is an alpha, and not a fully released game yet), a wonderful sandbox adventure that has the potential to surpass even Minecraft in its scope awaits the lenient.