Pixels and voxels collide in Nimoyd, a sandbox crafting game with a killer premise and an incredible art style. This combines the voxel-based mining and crafting of Minecraft with the goofy alien aesthetic of ToeJam & Earl. I would have never thought to chuck those two things into a blender and create a gaming smoothie, but now that somebody did, I can’t stop thinking about it.

Nimoyd got a free demo as a part of Steam Next Fest, and I spent about 90 minutes immersed in its strange little world. Basically, when you start the game, you generate a world based on certain parameters. You pick how Earthlike the planet is, what year you start in (current options are 2702, 2720, 2740, 2760, 2780, and 2800), and what the alien and human populations look like, among other things. The game then generates a world and plops you down into it.

Once you’ve been plopped, you’ll need to gather some basic materials, then get crafting. I was barely able to scratch the surface of what the game’s crafting offerings are, but this thing looks pretty packed, from basic necessities to detailed building parts to things I can’t even begin to imagine the uses for.

There’s also a level-up system, which rewards you XP for basically every action you take, then bestows upon you a handful of skill points when you ding a new level. You can invest these points into basic stats, like HP, speed, and backpack slots, or you can buy crafting recipes with them. There’s also a selection of abilities that appear to be unlockable, but this feature seems to just be a placeholder at this point in time and I wasn’t able to invest any skill points here quite yet.


I spent most of my time turtling up in one location, farming materials and slowly working on my skills. This means there’s a whole lot of game I missed out on. Apparently there are some Stardew Valley-like social mechanics, which let you make friends and even woo singles who you might eventually start a family with. There are ruined cities to explore. There was a “political” heatmap that could be toggled in the map menu, and I assume this has something to do with a factions system. There’s even co-op, so you can play with your friends.

There are giant stone heads that can be excavated, but I have no idea what happens if you fully excavate one. There are also alien artifacts and outposts scattered across the world — I’m not sure if these are cosmetic or if they serve a greater purpose.

At one point, I saw a pretty hefty monster stomping its way across the landscape. When it spotted me, it gave chase, huffing flames and smashing the ground to pieces, but I ran out of there as quickly as I could. I’m not sure what would happen if I conquered this powerful foe in battle, but the fact that it exists at all intrigues me.


At another point, the game suddenly started sending waves of enemies to aggressively attack me. I don’t know whether this event is random or if I did something to trigger it, but the enemies seemed easy enough to defeat on my own, even though I wasn’t very well-prepared for battle.

There’s a ton of stuff like this, tiny little things that I didn’t quite understand, yet they seem to follow some sort of logic that I just haven’t figured out yet. It’s had me wondering about the game’s systems and thinking about the game’s world long after I shut down the demo (there are no saves in the demo, so if you shut down the game, you’ll lose all your progress).

Nimoyd‘s aesthetic is great. The world is built out of voxels, but it’s also slathered in a pixelated coat of paint. Because there’s a fixed isometric viewpoint, everything has an isometric pixel-art look to it. And some of the design elements are fantastic.


I do have some complaints, however. My biggest is that you need stone pretty much immediately, in order to craft the stone pickaxe. However, most of the stone in the game requires a stone pickaxe to be able to break it apart. This creates the catch-22 situation where you can’t get stone because you need a pickaxe, but you can’t craft a pickaxe because you need stone. I spent probably my first 45 minutes of game time just looking for stone. There definitely needs to be either a wood pickaxe, or a much, much greater quantity of stones that can be picked up on the ground.

Oh, and in order to craft the stone pickaxe, you also need a workbench, but you need to learn the recipes for both the workbench and the stone pickaxe before you can craft them. This means your first two skill points should probably be invested here. It just seems to me that it would be a better starting experience if those things were unlocked from the beginning. In fact, just about everything in the Level 1 crafting tier should probably be available from the outset.

I also think movement feels really sluggish. You can invest skill points into your speed stat, so I wonder if you’re supposed to start out really slow and build your speed stat over time until you have a super-fast character. If that’s not the case, though, I hope they up the character movement speed a bit to make exploration a bit less tedious.

Now, the game isn’t even in Early Access yet (though that should be coming soon), so I’m sure a lot of my gripes will be addressed. Hopefully these things can be tidied up before Early Access, because the game could be much more playable with some pretty small tweaks.


That said, I cannot wait to jump back into this world with an actual save file so I can progress further and see what I can figure out about its strange world.

Nimoyd should be heading into Early Access later this year, and is planned to hit version 1.0 at some point in 2022 (though the devs also mentioned that they’d like to be in Early Access for 12 to 18 months, so 2022 might become 2023 very soon). You can check out the announcement trailer for Nimoyd below.

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