Sliding in under the radar of this week's new releases is Shattered Planet [Free] from Execution Labs and Kitfox Games. It's a strategy RPG set in a sci-fi world, and it's peppered with roguelike elements. Your job is to explore randomly generated planets collecting items and gathering information on the various inhabitants. It's set up like a dungeon crawler in that you'll explore one area, find the teleporter, then get zapped into the next, "deeper" area. You'll gain better rewards the deeper you go. There's also a slight element of permadeath, in that each time you die you'll lose all your items gained during a run and get sent back to the world hub, ready to start over from the beginning. However, there are permanent attribute upgrades you can earn that will slowly build up your overall character level.
I've only been playing Shattered Planet for a little while this morning, but I'm really, really liking it so far. I think what I like most about it is that it encourages you to explore. You actually earn "scrap metal" for logging new entries in your journal and discovering new things, and that's what goes towards increasing your character's permanent upgrades. This is an in-game currency that you can't buy with IAP, so I like that it rewards you for actually playing and gives you a sense of progression and purpose with each new run. The second currency, crystals, are earned by exploring deeper and deeper into a planet. This currency you can buy with IAP, but it just goes towards crafting new items and weapons, which already have a sort of "throwaway" feel to them since you'll lose all your items upon death. Basically, there doesn't seem to be any "pay to win" or game-stopping paywalls in the free to play structure of Shattered Planet, which is a good sign.
Anyway, I'm talking far too much about a game that you could simply download for free and try yourself. I'm impressed with the pay model implementation, and more importantly, I'm impressed with how much fun Shattered Planet is turning out to be. On the topic of IAP, for the next few days only you can buy a sort of "starter pack" for two bucks which will give you a little bit of every currency, some items and even a pet companion to help you in battle. There's also a crystal tripler if you're looking to earn those crystals at a higher rate. Give Shattered Planet a shot if you like roguelikes, exploring, and cool sci-fi themes, and be sure to see what players are saying about the game in our forums too.
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