Why yes we are going to try something a little dangerous, attempting to play Planetfall without a walk through! When I began playing the game I was determined to try it first without the help of a walk through. I thought that part of the experience should be to play the game as it is intended to be played, not by following step by step directions. Quickly though I realized this is not the kind of game that a non-gamer will enjoy playing without help or an amazing amount of patience.
For the first half an hour or so after landing on the planet and entering the complex, I simply wandered around the place trying to make something happen. I picked things up and tried to open locked doors but because I have not played any games like this before I simply did not understand what it was that I was doing. Later once I had given in to the walk through, I could comprehend more what I as a player could do and more the objective of the game. For that first fateful thirty minutes however, I was simply lost in a labyrinth and getting a little bored. I knew that I was supposed to be looking for Floyd but didn’t quite understand who he was or how I was supposed to find him. The final straw came when I kept dying from hunger. All I could think was SERIOUSLY??? Hunger? I’ve been on this planet for like under an hour… I’m kind of lame. And on that note Google became my new best friend.
Once I found a walkthrough that I could understand and restored the game to a point where I could start to follow its directions, I was a much happier person. Even while following the walkthrough’s very specific directions I still encountered some problems. I had to eat the food earlier than it suggested because I kept dying and also had to sleep at a different time. Sleeping presented a huge problem. I had been playing the game long enough to be familiar with the way it works and was able to successfully sleep in one of the dorm rooms. However, upon returning to the steps of the game I tried to enter an elevator but didn’t seem to have the key anymore. I walked around trying to find they key and eventually had to restore the game to an earlier point. It wasn’t until later when the walkthrough talked about sleeping that I learned that you drop everything when you sleep and have to pick it all up again when you wake up!
When I finally reached the point in the game where I met Floyd I was overjoyed. For the most part I was mainly just pleased to have finally reached a place where I was doing something seemingly productive. Maybe this set the tone for our meeting and interactions because I absolutely love Floyd. I like his random mumblings and love how he bounces up and down whenever I say hi to him. In a game that seemed murky and confusing, he was the only part of it that didn’t seem to be put there in order to cause distress and frustration. It also felt nice after spending so much time wandering around lost to have someone else there for the journey. I did not make it far enough in the game to have Floyd do anything particularly helpful, so for me he was simply a good sidekick. However, after I read the articles about Floyd and Planetfall I was devestated to learn that Floyd dies later in the game. What??? How can this even happen? I suppose it shows the power of the creators to make a scenario and character that causes the player to become so invested in a slightly annoying but loveable robot.
Frankly, after finding out that Floyd eventually dies I am glad I never made it to that fateful moment in the game. Oh Floyd, my ray of sunshine in such a dark confusing world, may you rest in peace.