I've seen the game about on the web for a while and decided to buy it purely because of my love for games such as Starbound and Terraria.
I was not disappointed.
SoL doesn't feel nearly as expansive as Starbound (Which i will try to avoid comparing it to, though the two are very similiar so this will be hard) however what it lacks in explorable planets and the like it seems to make up for in crafting content and the amount fo materials you can collect.
One handy little tool that you have when starting SoL is the HTWLT or Hight-tech-wrist-laser-thingy (I'm almost 100% certain this isn't what it's actualy called), which functions as all the basic tools you need to start out: pickaxe/axe, flashlight, map, object grabber and a lovely home for the AI companion that accompanies the player and provides a few tips. One thing worth mentioning is that your character won't actively pick up any objects you mine or get from a kill, this has to be done manually, an action that is default bound to the middle mouse button. In my opinion this is a good thing, as it means that your inventory doesn't have to get clogged up by dirt blocks being hoovered up by your player's legs. Unless you want it to. Weirdo.
Whilst I haven't amassed a huge number of hours on SoL (yet), it feels far more realistic in some of the systems that it has, for example your inventory. In games like Terraria or Starbound, you have a grid based inventory where every item is stored in a 'slot', in SoL however you simply have a backpack in which everything you pick up is thrown, which leaves in up to you to jig it about and make it organised.
The combat also feels vastly different and improved from similiar games, as the player is able to attack in a full 360 degree circle and left clicking will perform a slash attack whilst right clicking will perform a thrusting attack. You will also find that different melee weapons have different effective ranges and that they all feel weighty and satisfying to use. The bow (I haven't tried any other ranged weapons yet) also feels just as satisfying, almost as satisfying as watching a sheep run in fear as the first arrow hits their backside.
The crafting is pretty similiar to any other game, with one key difference: you can actually take things apart and use their pieces in other recipes. I can't really say much about the building side of the game as i've spent a vast majority of my time hunting chickens and cooking their flesh, though i still have no idea how to eat it (you do HAVE to eat in this game, in case you were wondering).
If there's one thing i'd have to pick on it would be the level of guidance for new players, some actions such as eating and destroying background blocks aren't covered in the few tips your AI companion gives you and I have yet to figure out how to do either of these things. Having said that, this is the first time the game has been playable by the public, so i'm sure the Devs will be adding more tutorials as the game progresses :)
Overall SoL is definitely worth your time if you're a fan of similiar games as it feels familiar enough to not be daunting, yet it has quite a few nifty features that help it feel fresh and new. Please don't be put off by the people that say this is a Starbound clone or anything similiar, SoL has its own legs and it stands on them perfectly well.
Great job Devs, keep up the good work :D
EDIT: I figured out how to eat, you right click on the food and a stomach icon fills up, though the stomach icon was hidden behind the inventory screen so I had to drag that out the way. Still, BACON.
EDIT: You can't destroy natural spawning background blocks at all, but you can place your own over them :) Oh and the HTWLT is actually called the 'Meg Tool'.
Posted: January 27th, 2014