Dropkick Navvy: First Step PAX West Impression

Punching objects has rarely felt so therapeutic as when done with a basket on ones head in order to aid a world tree pal.

Every once in a while there’s a game that comes along that just feels like childish fun.  That game at PAX West for me was Dropkick Navvy: First Step from Ocean Drive Studio.  The anecdotes and amusing stories talked about and seen while playing this game are just a joy, even if the whole thing is a goofy physics-based crafting and survival sim.

Dropkick Navvy: First Step is worthy of conversation through its goofy physics alone.  Picking up anything on the map and tossing it overboard has it land directly on the protagonist’s head.  Overboard is considered by the game to be anywhere in the void that is not attached to the world tree.  This world tree is a thirsty guy and needs rather constant trips to the nearby pond so it doesn’t die.  This time limit is the only sense of urgency in the game as otherwise players can just steal fruit from the world tree and make connections to nearby resource hexes to gather for crafting purposes.  Everything is connected by tossing fruit into the void, which create resource hexes.

The protagonist mentioned above?  He’s just in it for the ride; there’s no real story as he just becomes pals with the world tree and decides to rebuild the universe.  He’s really just a dude with a basket on his head.  This basket head also has a case of the goofy physics.  Running around will trip the poor guy up and have him flop around.  Anything picked up can also be dropkicked… and possible extra pain for the protagonist if it’s kicked too far off a ledge.  Players will just to make sure that the world tree is kept watered while all of this zaniness is happening, or else the timer will run out and the world ends.

Everything connects together in Dropkick Navvy: First Step like a puzzle.  Progression after unlocking the first batch of resources is mostly set as players craft work benches, tools, etc. in a bid to make fruit than can be tossed further away to able to hit up the next step of resources.  How does basket-headed protagonist build? By punching things, of course. Once players have grabbed all the resources, they just toss them on the bench and punch until the desired object is crafted.  Punching objects has rarely felt so therapeutic as when done with a basket on ones head in order to aid a world tree pal.

Kids and grown-ups wanting a break could do worse then with a game of goofy physics and crafting aplenty.  There’s around five-to-six hours of content in the planned builds at this time, but how things progress is up to the players.  The developer is open to adding multiplayer or RPG elements if fans request them.  If silly light-hearted fun is being looked for, this silly basket head and his world tree pal as Dropkick Navvy: First Step gets its first demo build on Steam sometime this month.


Ryan Costa

Friendly neighbourhood reviewer that thinks every RPG should be discussed, because one never knows where a hidden gem can appear.

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