Vortex the Gateway

Genre: Survival / Horror / Open World
Developer: StormCube Games
Gamemode: Singleplayer

Due to a mysterious dimension vortex, because aliens did create wormholes on earth you find yourself on an alien planet. One of those wormholes absorbed you and did spit you out in a strange jungle full of monsters and foreign animals and creatures. To survive you need to build a shelter or watchtower, a fence and traps to protect yourself from aliens that come in the survival mode by spaceship every night to hunt you down. You will need to choose a place near any water resource, because you can only pick up water from some plant that grows in water.

To build a house you will need leaves and bamboo, to craft spears for your protection you will need to collect sticks, and for crafting some traps you will need sticks, bones and and bamboo. To store food you'll need to craft some shelves and hangers. You will find some plants that you can eat and some animals you can hunt for food or armor. There is also the possibility to craft some medicine, because if you are unlucky you loose health at fights or get infected and will need to cure both, because you'll not just regain health over time.

To be able to run faster and jump higher you can craft some item that you will use up by wearing it automatically after crafting. Stamina goes fast down by collecting materials and fighting. But if you take a rest it goes up again. There are places where the temperature raises or falls, so be careful to watch this, because it has an effect on you. Better also watch out if you go to water, because there is usually a sea monster nearby. If you don't want to hurry up building protection and a shelter where you can save the game, you can also play the story mode where you need to go looking for Mike, your friend that got absorbed by a spaceship in the very beginning when you both ended up on this planet. The story mode is less challenging and gives you time to explore more. You will find some containers with alien guards that you can kill if you sneak up to them one by one. Their guns will otherwise kill you immediately. You can find some interesting technical items in their containers, that you can use, so it is worth to look it up.

The graphics are beautiful and the island is not too huge to explore all of it. In some way the game reminds a little on The Forest by the crafting and very limited stamina. In both games the character got also almost all the time problems with hunger and thirst and needs to watch out careful for enemies. In both close combat is not so healthy for you. But there are also lots of things that are different in those games. For example is Vortex no multiplay game and the environment is also totally different. If you are a fan of the Forest you might not like Vortex yet, because it is less far developed, but it is worth a look. It has less content than The Forest till now, but is in a lot of ways basically similar and still offers a totally different story and experience.

This game is out of early access now and still doesn't feel finished. It has bugs, it can have lag, I could not discover much story in the story mode, the alien bike gets stuck everywhere, there are very few blueprints and items you can build, the bow is kinda wonky, the monsters most of the time don't make any sounds to give you a warning that they are near and the controls are making it hard to play. Once you did build your base you got in survival mode not much to do except to collecting sticks for spears, repair traps and getting water and food. It gets very repetitive then. The developer did not even fix the problem, that there is no health regeneration over time and you need to reload the game every time to get your health back.

Our recommendation: If you don't mind that it is unfinished, you can buy it, I personally wouldn't.