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Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review – A Relaxing Mech-Farming Sim with Open-World Charm

Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review 5

I am a huge fan of farming simulators. As long as I can spend hours tending to my crops while also building a nice little, I’m happy. The moment I saw Lightyear Frontier I thought that, if the mechanics are implemented right, this game is going to be a lot of fun.

Though slowly farming and getting resources can be fun, making the process faster with a big farming robot sounds like exactly what many players would like to see in this type of game. The question for Lightyear Frontier is how fun can they make farming using a giant robot? 

Graphics – 9/10

Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review
Screenshot by Raider King

Let’s start with the clear thing players can see right when they jump into the game: graphics. Lightyear Frontier is a stunning game, with beautiful landscapes and sceneries that look great no matter the time of the day.

The world is full of gorgeous colors, as the trees, grass, and animals all have beautiful, unique designs, which perfectly give off the alien world aesthetic. The level of detail is truly impressive.  As I roam, I can’t help but be drawn to the details – the way the alien crops sway, the texture of the rocky passes, the otherworldly glow of the flora. It all combines to create an immersive atmosphere that begs to be explored.

The most impressive aspect, though, is how the world transitions between different biomes. One moment I’m traversing fields bathed in sunlight, the next I’m venturing into a more shadowy, rocky area. These transitions feel natural, creating a believable and interconnected alien ecosystem.

Gameplay – 7/10

Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review 3
Screenshot by Raider King

For the most part, I spend my time collecting resources to discover some new upgrades to build on the farm. Though this process is common in farming sims, it can get a bit repetitive at times. For the most part, you will use your farming robot, the Farmech, to collect resources, farm crops, and build structures to upgrade the farmstead further. The robot is the main appeal of the game and it has been implemented mostly right.

One of the problems with the robot, that were fixed after I progressed through the game enough, is its limited mobility. At the start of the game, the Farmech is very slow and can jump only a few feet, which can make exploration take a long time. Since the player needs to explore and discover new resources at all times, the limited capabilities of the mech can be a bit annoying. This is why the position of the base is very important, since you could otherwise end up spending around 10 minutes on runs just back and forth to get some resources.

Though Lightyear Frontier is a farming sim, there are some battle mechanics with the toxic environment of the alien world. During random mornings, I had to battle noxious floating bubbles and raining weeds to save my crops from an early death. Since crops are the main economy of the game, you really don’t want to let those enemies touch them. So, I used my mighty water hose and vacuum to solve the problem. The defensive mini-game keeps the players on their toes while also keeping them engaged in the mornings, before watering or collecting the crops.

There are also occasional moments where I had to jump out of my mech to explore hidden ruins of a past civilization, but those aren’t really something to write home about. There isn’t much platforming to do, since the “human form” can only jump and mine deposits.

There isn’t really a story, since you are alone on this planet if you don’t have friends to join you. There’s PIP-3R, a sentient talking satellite that constantly talks to you to help out and keep you company, but, besides that, there isn’t much interaction with NPCs.

Open World – 7/10

Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review 6
Screenshot by Raider King

The wide, open world had a lot of things that I had to discover. There are 9 regions in the game, with only one that is usable at the start of the game. Each region will have toxic slime or weeds on the ground that will represent how uninhabitable that area is. The player will have to remove these obstacles to claim these regions and gain access to the resources hidden in them. All regions have special resources unique to them and you will have to unlock all of them to progress.

The open world is very large and is impossible to explore properly without upgrading the mech to move faster and fly higher. The main things you can do in this world is look for resources, find hidden treasures, which sell for decent money, and artifacts, which unlock recipes of the old civilization that lived in the Lightyear Frontier.

There are also aliens all over the planet that you can’t really interact with. All regions have around 3 nests with unique animals that players can feed to boost the replenishment of resources. Though the aliens are really cute and have beautiful designs, there’s not much you can do to interact with them.

Building – 8/10

Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review 4
Screenshot by Raider King

Building the farm is probably one of the best parts of the game. Though most of the items you can construct are purely decorative, there are a lot of them and you can place them in whatever way you want. There is almost total freedom when it comes to creating your farmstead and the mech brings a lot of innovation to the normal building process. The buildings themselves are relatively common, but the way you can place them is seamless and feels right.

My main problem with the building in the game is that you can’t move structures. At the start of the game I’ve placed many buildings in the wrong places, and I was thoroughly disappointed to see that I have to recycle the building first and rebuild it to “move” it. Considering most players make mistakes when they first build a base, this type of mechanic can be very annoying. Luckily, you receive all the resources that were used to build the structure or item back.

Performance – 9/10

Lightyear Frontier Early Access Review 2
Screenshot by Raider King

I played on the pre-release version of the game and I was surprised to see that there were almost no bugs, especially performance-wise. The FPS were constant and high, with the highest graphics options, and there were absolutely no FPS drops of crashes.

The only annoying bug I’ve found is one where I keep getting notifications that I’ve discovered new recipes, even though I’ve already seen and used them before, however, this is likely a bug that will disappear in less than a day after the official release.

Enjoyment – 9/10

The game is extremely fun. I lost hours without realizing exploring the world trying to find one of the resources I’m missing or trying to design the farm to look nicer. For the most part, the moment I discovered the trader I fell in love with the game. You can fully customize the way your mech looks.

There are different pieces that you can purchase and you can change the engine, the arms, the legs, and the window of the robot. There are quite a few pieces that the merchant sells and they can all be used however you want. I also discovered a ton of paint that allowed me to change the color of each of the pieces of the mech, allowing me to make the coolest-looking knight Farmech in Lightyear Frontier.

Though I’ve played alone, I can see how enjoyable it would probably be to play with a friend. There are a lot of tasks that I wish I had someone to help me with, since that way someone can collect a special resource we need, while another takes care of the farm, and another focuses on crafting.


Lightyear Frontier

Steam Page

Lightyear Frontier is a relaxing, unique farming simulator that any fan of the genre will thoroughly enjoy, especially with a friend.

Graphics 9
Gameplay 7
Open World 7
Building 8
Performance 9
Enjoyment 9
Based in Munich, Germany, Adrian Oprea is the Founder of Raider King. He is a writer with a passion for storytelling and a love for all things RPG. When not wielding a keyboard, he can be found exploring fantastical worlds, one quest at a time.
Adrian Oprea
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