First Impression: Unlimited

My dimensional portals, so far...

Since the first 3D voxel-based game I ever played, I have been completely hooked. The openness, the exploration, the crafting, the survival, along with the Unlimited possibility of things to do, keep me enthralled with these types of games for hours on end. Sometimes, there is a vague storyline, other times not. For me, the lesser amount of hand-holding and guidance, the better. When Unlimited became open to review, I jumped (out of my cube-built-and-shaped chair) at the chance.

Even though Unlimited is in extremely Early Access, I knew at least the basics would be implemented. Before you can get to the chopping and crafting, you must decide on your Game Mode preference. There are already six to choose from! In Survival, you are concerned with health, saturation, and food. Freedom mode is almost the same, but you are only watching your health level, without having to worry about the food and oxygen. In both of these types of games, when you die, you lose everything that you are carrying. However, you can go back to the death location and find a chest containing it all. Hardcore mode is like Survival, except that when you die, your world is deleted! Truly hardcore. Freecam is only for flying around and looking at everything in, and through, the world. There is absolutely no interaction with any of the blocks or creatures, but you have the ability to fly through them all. Creative mode is for complete freedom to instantly destroy blocks and kill creatures with one hit, without any worries about health, food, or oxygen. Finally, in Adventure mode, you cannot mine any blocks without a mining tool.

The mining tools have a natural progression from wood, to stone, to iron, etc. You will need to upgrade the tools in order to harvest harder and harder blocks. I started one in Survival and one in Freedom, meaning I could chop and collect only the basics: grass; dirt; wood; leaves. However it only takes six wood logs to make your first wooden mining tool, to speed up the collection process. Once the wooden one is made, this also instantly unlocks the ability to make a stone mining tool, since you need a wooden tool to gather stone in the first place—as you cannot mine stone by hand. Later, you will use the stone implement to gather iron, coal, etc. Luckily (and of course by design), there are more than plenty of trees in your starting area. In Unlimited, almost everything you make is based on a one-to-one ratio. One log makes one plank, one stone makes one decorative stone, etc. The only exception that I have found so far is that one log plus one coal will net you four torches. Trees also provide saplings in case you want to plant more.

Recipes from the start!

Crafting is simple and instantaneous. Hover over the picture in the crafting grid for the recipe and ingredient list, and if you have enough materials, you simply click on the picture. Done! Easy. There is no memorizing of patterns or layouts. Just as quickly as you make your first wood mining tool, it will only take you four more logs to make a chest for storage, then only six more logs to build your bed. I built both immediately as well, then went ahead and slept in the bed—which set my spawn point to where the bed is located (in what will be my future house). So when you die, you respawn at your bed, rather than where you first started the game. This is especially essential if you build your living quarters/area far away from the initial spawn point. Since you drop everything when you die, you could easily become lost if you had to find your way home in the dark. (They are currently working on implementing a mini-map which would help somewhat, but it would still be a tough journey, in an open world, without torches.)

Start of my house with chest and bed.

As a connoisseur of these types of games, something that impressed me right away are the amount of decorative blocks already available. With logs, you can change them to different colored woods and/or planks. For example, f you’re wanting continuity with your wood and planks, you can easily change them to be all the same. On the other side, if you are wanting different colored woods and planks, once you find the different types, you can change them around as you please. Stones are especially impressive in that there are six different patterns available with the stones in your starting world. Unlimited also has different types of stones as well (no spoilers here). There are also levers, buttons, different types of gates, detectors, and constructors that I have barely scratched the surface of playing with. They are all both fun and interesting. Unlimited possibilities (yes, I had to go there).

My dimensional portals, so far…

You probably noticed that I mentioned “in your starting world”. The highlight of Unlimited is the ability to build portals to different dimensions! You start in the “Default” dimension with the trees, grass, hills, water, etc. However, once you start collecting the correct  type and amount of various materials, you can start to build portals to other dimensions. Each portal has its own required list of materials to seek out. Each dimension contains different components than either your home (default) or other dimensions. Not only can you craft portals, if you dig around enough, you might be able to find one buried. Without spoiling too much, I will only say that one thing I found was concrete in the Concrete Dimension. Is that all that was there? No.

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Again, Unlimited has just released (July 19, 2017) and the developers have already been extremely responsive to feedback. Unlimited had two 640+ MB updates in the first two days I played it! They were already adding things faster than I can keep up with. I can already tell that this game will be on my hard drive for a very long time. I am extremely excited to play through all of the additions that they are planning on implementing. B3 and I will return to this game at a later date to comment on its progress. Right now, though, I have to find some sand that is required for my next Dimensional travel.

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