LuckCatchers is a social-economic sandbox MMORPG, inspired by the works of Russian Author Alexey Pehov. As a result, The world on the Edge of the Inside Out has an incredibly detailed backstory and lore, taking place around three hundred years prior to the events in his novels. The overall aesthetics of the game is a combination of the high fantasy and steampunk sub-genres. This creates a beautiful yet terrifying world, where your choices can allow you to grow and become prosperous, or be snuffed out quickly like a candle in the wind.
It is a high-risk trading simulator, with fundamental flight and air combat mechanics. This concept intrigues me, as it is not very common. Most of us who enjoy RPG’s don’t usually expect this kind of gameplay, and I respect developer DiP Online’s decision to make a game that they want to play. There is something fascinating about being in this world.
With the source material, it could have easily been just another generic hack and slash role playing adventure. The in-depth trading market is influenced by a reputation mechanic. To begin, you’ll choose between orcs or humans, and your reputation with each race will determine your relationship with other players online. If your reputation is negative, you will be perceived as an outcast and denied permission to access their cities, and will be shot on approach. You can also tag other players as enemies or friends.
In the beginning, you are given a small ship to make your deliveries, which looks like an old eighteenth-century Frigate attached to a blimp, reflecting the steampunk design of the world. From there on, it’s up to you to stamp your authority and carve out a piece of the world as your own. Eventually, you will earn enough to afford other aircrafts and build your own settlements, which allows you to gather more resources to trade with others, and continue with your push towards global dominance. But before you can use the other aircraft, you must first learn how to pilot them. A pilot’s license and other skills can be acquired from the game’s skill tree.
There is no real tutorial, but you are given hints and tips and an open chat room to converse with other players if you’re stumped. After flying out to the wrong location, I realised that I had read the map wrong, but it didn’t bother me because it’s a simulation, and it made the expedition more immersive. Once I finally made my first delivery, I started to get a firm grasp of how to progress, but a forewarning, this game is very slow paced initially with its point and click style gameplay. If you stick with it, soon you’ll be able to battle dragons in the sky, officially hire other players to work for you, and participate in regular events, such as races and lotteries.
LuckCatchers is currently in Early Access and is free to play. To succeed, you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort. I recommend the game for those looking for something uniquely different, but it might not be suitable for those after a casual gaming experience. Some of the menus can be confusing but not frustrating, and it can take some time to get your bearings.
The open world is quite detailed and the day/night cycle can create some breathtaking imagery, combined with the sounds of nature and the rumble from your ships overworked engines helps to build the atmosphere. There can be minor flickering in the graphics, and can seem like it’s running at a low frame rate, but for a game of this scale in Early Access, it’s nothing to fault, and I never encountered any game breaking bugs.
Other players in the chat were very friendly and helpful, even our Russian counterparts directly messaged me with their best wishes. So, LuckCatchers has a lot to offer those who are willing, it has plenty of potential and a thriving community, and is a good effort from the first-time developer DiP Online.
You can check out the game here.
Tim Pearce is a freelance journalist and writer for PN2. You can find him on Facebook.