The best way to describe Deiland would be a blend of minor elements from both Minecraft and Super Mario Galaxy with a strong focus on more modern survival mechanics. While I wouldn’t say the game is extremely similar to many other titles, I can definitely see the inspiration of those two games I mentioned. To explain, Deiland opens up by introducing you to a story about princes being sent to small planets to unlock crystals within and give way to life in the universe. In this, you are introduced to the character Arco and told you will assume control of him on the planet Deiland, the Tiny.
With a cute story adorable artwork and laid a laid back relaxing soundtrack the game starts with a really strong atmosphere. Upon starting you are placed on Deiland and are given control to look around. The planet is just a small sphere you are able to spin in any direction you want with touch controls and you just tap a location you want Arco to walk to or an object to interact with. The tutorial is short and a little vague, but it gives anyone familiar with survival games enough information to dive right into playing.
The mechanics of play in Deiland are fairly simple and easy to pick up if you’ve never played any survival games. Arco comments on items to tell you what he needs to properly interact with them to get new resources, and there are dedicated spots for farming as opposed to the usual process of preparing farm-land that is common in this genre. What you will quickly notice is that there is no mention of Deiland‘s map expanding, meaning you are given a very limited space to work with. Initially, this is concerning because there aren’t a lot of resources available, but I noticed that asteroids were hitting my planet and actually formed into rocks on the surface I could harvest resources from. This is an extremely unique approach to the survival genre as most games have large expansive worlds.
The last bit of gameplay introduced is the combat. Every so often monsters can spawn on your planet and they have to be defeated for you to be able to perform any other actions. This is also a good time to mention the stats you earn with level ups. There are four stats, Strength, Intelligence, Agility, and Resistance to help with the various in game actions. So a quick boost to resistance and I was able to easily clear my planet of monsters each time they appeared without too much trouble.
Overall Deiland was a very pleasant experience. Having played a large number of games in the growing survival genre Deiland offers a unique experience that is easy enough for anyone to pick up, but rewarding enough that veterans of the genre can enjoy it too. I also feel it is important to note that the game does have microtransactions, however when given the usual prompts to “watch this video now for general rewards” I was actually instantly rewarded in my game for less than a minute of my time, which is another pleasant surprise compared to the lengthy process other App games may force on the player. I strongly suggest this game as a great way to relax while still feeling immersed in the game as a whole.