ASTRONEER: These are the early stages of the game and the potential is obvious. Just don't fork out your cash if you don't have a lot of patience.
ASTRONEER: These are the early stages of the game and the potential is obvious. Just don't fork out your cash if you don't have a lot of patience. Kieran Salsone

Astroneer - don't forget, you have to breathe

LET'S have a look at some of the deadbeat decisions I made during my playthrough of Astroneer and how they ended in tragedy for my astronaut.

On my first sojourn out from my freshly landed space capsule, I didn't realise I had a finite tank of oxygen. My astronaut skipped merrily through the weird and lurid landscape of another planet and then promptly suffocated in agony.

During my second journey, I was prepared to have to run back to my capsule to refill my oxygen tanks. I kept a close eye on my tanks as I tripped down a cave shaft and snapped everything in my astronaut's body.

I began mining for resources with my handy vacuum-cum-mining gun and made the rookie mistake of mining directly under my feet. I fell into another cave shaft and survived long enough to be killed by a monstrous acid-spewing plant.

I spent so much of my compound resource on building air hoses and tethers that I was unable to constructing solar collectors to power my base.

Astroneer is a craft-and-survive game currently available for $19.99 USD through Steam's Early Access program. The developers make certain to warn anyone buying the game that it is pre-alpha, meaning it's extremely rough at the moment and far from finished, let alone polished.

If you're at all frustrated by bugs or things not looking like they should, you're going to want to avoid Astroneer until it's come a bit further along. If you're used to playing early access, though, welcome to one of the most charming and possibly engaging games to come out in a long time.

You're an astronaut collecting minerals on a psychedelically colourful planet, building a base to craft those minerals into more advanced materials or vehicles, then using those vehicles to get off-world and start the process all over again.

There isn't much else of a point to Astroneer beyond that. Most of the gameplay comes from your interaction with the world as you try to find the minerals you need to craft that next item. It does take a while to figure out what the next item should be or how to craft it without ruining your other options, but that's just part of the game.

The game does support four-player co-op through Steam. There's no in-game menu for it, but you can invite people who have the game to join you or join someone else's game through the Steam friends menu.

Astroneer is a wonderful platform for problem-solving and exploration. If you were one of the first to play Minecraft, it's worth a go.

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