Lightyear Frontier Review | Xbox Series X

Enjoy the heart of homesteading with a little modern help while restoring the planet.

By R3GR3T, Posted 31 Mar 2024

In a world that’s so used to everything being fast-paced, rushed, and a little too chaotic, it’s nice to take a break every now and then. It seems that two Swedish-based studios had the vision to bring a little peace and Zen to the masses with their latest creation, Lightyear Frontier, as a first release. FRAME BREAK and Amplifier Studios are the heroes in this tale and they had a vision to bring something different to the chaotic gaming scene. Now, FRAME BREAK was founded in 2020 by three university graduates and Amplifier Studios in 2016, but neither has any releases under their belt… Until now.

Lightyear Frontier, Review, Screenshots, Adventure, Homesteading, Builder, NoobFeed

These two studios brought their creative juices together, along with some help from the Embracer Group, to create and release Lightyear Frontier on 19 March into Early Access. This peaceful open-world homesteading release comes with a lot of heart and everything you could ever ask for when it comes to a homesteading-themed game, but it also brings an interesting story and some great building mechanics that’ll keep you sucked in for longer than you’d like. So, let’s jump into what makes Lightyear Frontier so special and get down to the inner workings.

The world of Lightyear Frontier isn’t quite what you’d expect, the Earth isn’t habitable anymore and you’ve been tasked with many others to find a new home, a place to start over. You’re seen flying through space over a planet, and you’ll also get a very quick glimpse of your Artificially Intelligent friend who is essentially a satellite, PIP-3R (Piper). However, nothing ever goes quite as planned and your ship comes in for a crash landing, sending you and your mech down for an extremely hard landing.

With the rough landing and you having survived, your first objective is to find your Mech and its tools which were scattered all over the Meadows where you landed. This is where Lightyear Frontier brings a little piece of intrigue to the mix with a modern touch because your Mech is technically a tool, you’ll need it for on-the-go storage, harvesting, planting, building, and much more, it’s also a hell of a lot faster than running on foot. However, once you have your tools, the real fun begins as you’ll need to build your little homestead and start exploring the planet as part of the Farmech Project. However, the most notable advantage your mech gives you is the jump jets, great for climbing or crossing gaps.

Lightyear Frontier, Review, Screenshots, Adventure, Homesteading, Builder, NoobFeed

With your tools in hand, or mech, you’re ready to jump in. You’ll have access to the following tools: The Irrigation Hose, Seed Shooter, Sprout Shooter, Spike Saw, and the Vacuum Harvester. Each tool has its use and you’ll need all of them and more to build your new home while restoring the planet, one area at a time. Starting off with the tool you’ll likely use the most, the Spike Saw. It’s your chainsaw and pickaxe in one, a little deforestation or ore mining is always on the menu with this tool and you’re going to need tons of wood and ore for what you’ll be building.

On the topic of deforestation in Lightyear Frontier, what goes down, can go back up again with the Sprout Shooter. Chopping down trees doesn’t just give you wood, it’ll also give you tree sprouts that you can replant with what is essentially a gun that shoots sprouts into the ground with the most satisfying sound ever. This might not seem that important but it comes in handy when you want to have a ready supply on hand of the various types of wood you’ll find for when you need it, the alternative is that you can also plant them for aesthetics as you build what could be a town or just a small farm. The possibilities are endless, and your options will expand even more soon.

Next on the list of satisfying gun-like tools is the Seed Shooter, words cannot explain how important this tool is because you can’t have a farm without plants. You’ll have a massive multitude of plants at your disposal but you’ll only be able to find seeds out in the wild, harvesting the fruits and other plant materials of your labor will take a bit more work. For starters, Lightyear Frontier will take a bit of a slow start here and you’ll only have small seed beds to start with nine mounds each that you’ll need to build, then it’s just a matter of harvesting seeds and shooting them into the mounds. However, you’ll need to water them too or they won’t grow at all and there’s also the more annoying matter of noxious plants popping up in unoccupied spaces in your seed beds.

Lightyear Frontier, Review, Screenshots, Adventure, Homesteading, Builder, NoobFeed

Now, Lightyear Frontier becomes a little tedious in regards to maintaining your garden because it’ll need water. Lucky for you, your mech comes equipped with the Vacuum Harvester and Watering Hose. You’ll just need to find a nearby pond or river to suck up enough water to fill the mech’s tank, then it’s a trip back to your garden to water it with the Watering Hose. This is where things take a bit of a turn because if you made the mistake of building your homestead far from any water, you’ll likely end up running back and forth daily for water or be forced to move your whole operation. There is one slight downside though, manual watering is fine at first but the lack of an irrigation system does make maintaining a farm a slog after a while but this might still be added in later on.

Still on the farming front for Lightyear Frontier, you’re not entirely left without alternative options to maintain your farm or even expand it. The world itself might look a bit small but it has a lot to offer and one of the best discoveries you can make is finding Pondpitchers, these seemingly carnivorous plants are harmless and serve as convenient water sources. However, your mech will also eventually come with a much-needed upgrade that’ll allow you to turn the ground into seed plots for some custom farming and you’re going to need convenient water sources if you want to keep your farm alive and thriving.

Lastly, you’ll have your Spike Saw, mining and digging just became a lot easier. While you’ll initially only need wood, stone, and plant fiber to get your homestead started, that’ll change very quickly with further upgrades and the material requirements changing to metals. This is a bit of a mixed bag because metals like aluminum, iron, and copper are easy to find and you’ll always find them in overabundance, but you’ll have a hard time finding coal when you need to refine some of your metals. The same can be said about certain wood types and it only becomes that much more difficult if you don’t replant the sprouts.

Lightyear Frontier, Review, Screenshots, Adventure, Homesteading, Builder, NoobFeed

So, there’s a lot more to be found in terms of resources in Lightyear Frontier but you’ll have to expand your homestead. Welcome to the wonderful world of processing what you harvest, cut down, or mine. Getting access to the epic buildings or at the very least progressing will come with the requirement of building some of the various machines that’ll process your resources into oil, dust, ingots, and much more. All things considered, life in Lightyear Frontier would be a little boring if there wasn’t some challenge, though this is made easier as long as you build those machines under a shed or in a barn which will give you a chance of doubling the items they create.

Moving on to the heart of Lightyear Frontier, it’s only natural that you’d want to build a cozy little homestead and it doesn’t go unrewarded. You’ll be introduced to the ‘Coziness Level’ quite early on and this is probably the best way to reward some creativity with the buffs that come with it depending on how you build your new home. However, only one instance of a single construct adds to the level, forcing you to vary what you build and you’ll likely end up having at least one of everything. Now, we all love the buffs that it gives such as extra resources from the wildlife for feeding them, mining critical hit chance, and double harvesting change, but you’ll need to get creative with how you build if you want to make the most of the coziness level.

To save the best for last, Lightyear Frontier takes a similar approach to the story as games like Subnautica. You aren’t entirely alone on the planet as you’ll meet Lola (the merchant), and Ulf (the radio guy), but there was also an alien civilization as well and you’ll find the remains of what they left behind scattered all around. Their ruins aren’t just for show, each area has its own set of ruins with artifacts to be found that add to the story from Piper. It might not be much to run with but there is some intrigue and leaves a lot of potential for future story updates, maybe even a different kind of encounter.

Lightyear Frontier, Review, Screenshots, Adventure, Homesteading, Builder, NoobFeed

This is most likely an obvious thing to keep in mind but you’re going to need a place to store everything you gather. However, there are some amazing perks and a few not-so-amazing things to store in Lightyear Frontier. Chests, sheds, barrels, etc. all come with different storage limits which is understandable but one of the best perks on offer is that you can build and produce directly from them as long as they’re inside the homestead boundaries. Yes, there are boundaries and it’s painfully easy to end up making completely separate boundaries, which means your storage gets cut off from other things. As long as you’re mindful of placements and how you build, you’ll likely only have to raid your storage to drop off what you gathered or grab a few things to sell to Lola.

Unfortunately, with the discovery of being able to build and produce directly from your storage, it is missing a component to this mechanic that would’ve been great to have. The component in question is producing directly to your storage, it might sound inconsequential but you’d be surprised at how much stuff you can pick up once you get production started on a much bigger scale and then there’s also the matter of sorting and storing. This turns into a very time-consuming matter that will lead to some unnecessary chaos; however, we can only wait and see if this will be added in future updates.

To save the best for last, you’ll be glad to know that you’re not alone in Lightyear Frontier. While most homesteading releases will usually have you running on your own, you’ll instead get to bring friends in for some co-op fun and to help build your new homestead. Going solo is fun but having a friend nearby will make life so much easier while exploring the world ahead of you, though teamwork is going to be a massive part of making co-op work.

On the visual front for Lightyear Frontier, the developers went all in with trying to make this release as cozy as possible. It’s not exactly low poly texturing and a bland design, there’s quite a lot of detail but there’s also no overbearing texturing or over-the-top designs. What stands out is the nearly endless creative possibilities with building your homestead, and your options will just keep expanding as you unlock or buy new blueprints for decorations and you’ll have an entire world to go at it.


The peaceful and coziness doesn’t end with the visuals though, the background music in Lightyear Frontier adds so much extra depth and builds even further on how peaceful things can become. However, a nice change to see is that the music also fades into the background and you might not even notice it but it’ll still do its thing. For an extra layer to the detail, there’s a clear attention to detail when using your tools and even the background ambient sound builds so much extra atmosphere. Combine all this with the visuals and it just becomes a delight to experience.

Overall, Lightyear Frontier is a cozy delight that’ll have you exploring a lush new world and taking a ride on the more creative side of life. With the visuals and background music working so well with each other, you’ll find yourself losing hours while building your new homestead away from home. Maybe even a village with several massive farms. There’s endless potential for this Early Access release and even though it’s already great, it can only get better going forward.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, XBSX, Xbox One
Publisher(s): FRAME BREAK, Amplifier Studios
Developer(s): FRAME BREAK, Amplifier Studios
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Adventure, Casual
Release Date: 2024-03-19

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