I Was A Teenage Exocolonist: Beginner Tips

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  • Your First Memories Build The Foundation Of Your Character
  • Your Gender And Appearance Can Get Changed At Any Time
  • Each Skill Unlocks Different Activities, Areas, Perks, And Decisions
  • You Can Push Through Difficult Challenges, But It Will Cost You Stress
  • You Can Build A Better Card Deck By Forgetting Memories
  • Prepare In Advance For The Vertumnalia Festival Competitions
  • Playthrough The Game Multiple Times For The Full Experience

Colonizing other planets is a pop culture zeitgeist that has existed for decades. In the 60s, Rod Serling wrote stories of astronauts colonizing Mars. Today, multi-billionaires take space-ship joy rides along the Earth's atmosphere. However, I Was A Teenage Exocolonist examines this trope through a truthful, gritty, coming-of-age lens.

As the first few months of your playthrough will express, adapting to a new planet is monstrously demanding, filled with spectacular highs and heart-shattering lows. So, how can you make it to twenty years old without your colony falling apart? Here are some tips for surviving your life as a teenage exocolonist.

Your First Memories Build The Foundation Of Your Character

Every playthrough of I Was A Teenage Exocolonist begins with the composition of your character. Some of these changes do not have much effect at all. For instance, gender and appearance are entirely up to preference and will not change your skill set or story progression. (Although, a question later in the game regarding puberty will influence certain scenes about your character's biological development.)

However, the early memories you choose will impact your character's skills and card deck. Two choices, in particular, are essential building blocks: your genetic enhancement and first friendship. Both choices offer early stat enhancements and card sets for your deck. For instance, choosing the Absorbent Brain enhancement gives your character a unique blue card and ten reasoning points. Still, your character always starts their playthrough with ten empathy points.

After the Stratospheric lands on Vertumna, you'll begin your monthly school/work life. Starting with activities that correspond to your early memories and skillset is an excellent choice since your cards fit these challenges best. As these foundational skills grow and you gain better cards, you can diversify your interests and try challenges in other skill areas.

Your Gender And Appearance Can Get Changed At Any Time

Just like gender is fluid in real life, you can adjust your character's gender and appearance anytime during your playthrough. All you have to do is go into the Friends menu and adjust the gender and appearance sliders at the top of the drop-down window.

This option is handy when growing into your late teens. If you are not satisfied with your character's new appearance at this stage of development, you can adjust the appearance slider, and your character's portrait will reflect these changes.

Each Skill Unlocks Different Activities, Areas, Perks, And Decisions

I Was A Teenage Exocolonist has a broad gameplay experience, likely because of how your skills affect the options around you. For instance, where you decide to use your time affects activities you'll unlock in the future, facilities you can use, perks you'll learn, and decisions you can make. Here are some examples of this gameplay mechanic in action:

  • Activities: The more advanced activities available in Vertumna require players to surpass skill walls. For instance, having twenty Organizing points qualifies you to volunteer in Auntie Seedant's kitchen.
  • Areas: As you build your skills, you'll also unlock new areas that serve various purposes. One example, the Spa, allows you to exchange kudos to forget unnecessary memories. This facility unlocks after reaching forty empathy points.
  • Perks: Reaching new skill levels unlock game-improving perks. Sometimes, these perks are new facilities, like the Spa. Other times, these perks are challenge handicaps. For example, reaching Bravery Level 1 (forty points) allows you to draw an extra card at the start of a challenge.
  • Decisions: Your skillset heavily influences your personality, including the choices you can and cannot make. For example, one of your first choices in the game is how you react to traveling through a violent wormhole. Each choice has a skill threshold of five Toughness points, five Empathy points, and five Organizing points, respectively.

You Can Push Through Difficult Challenges, But It Will Cost You Stress

Suppose you are pursuing a demanding card challenge, and your best hand still falls several points short of the goal. In this case, you can exchange Stress points to push through and win the challenge. Pushing through is a beneficial option for card challenges that offer greater rewards, such as Vertumnalia competitions. However, relying on this feature too much will quickly drain your stress, resulting in more frequent burnouts.

The stress required to win a challenge decreases the closer your hand is to the goal. Therefore, the push-through button will become available if your character has enough stress points to spare for pushing through. However, if the cost exceeds your current available stress points, the button remains darkened.

Pushing through a challenge requires you to evaluate the risk versus the reward. Sometimes, it's in your best interest to give up. However, you'll still get rewarded for doing your best.

You Can Build A Better Card Deck By Forgetting Memories

Taking time to relax in your quarters provides multiple benefits. The most apparent boon is a complete replenishment of your stress points. Additionally, certain relationships can get built when spending time in the quarters. However, another benefit of taking a break to rest is forgetting memories.

Unlike other card games, there is no apparent limit to the cards you can keep in your deck in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. However, hoarding low-point cards can become a detriment as you earn higher ranking cards. Even if you can manage pairs and straights from zero-point cards like Laughing, Crawling, and Wondering, your total hand will fall short compared to hands including high-point and wild cards.

Rather than waiting through challenges to cycle to your better cards, it's best to forget these low-ranking cards entirely. Unfortunately, resting permits you to forget only one of two random cards. However, after unlocking the Spa, you can exchange kudos to forget cards that are no longer helpful.

Prepare In Advance For The Vertumnalia Festival Competitions

The Vertumnalia Festival occurs each year after Early Dust. This festival is when colonists come together to feast, give thanks for the harvest, and enjoy fun activities. One set of activities, particularly the yearly competitions, is crucial to giving your character significant bonuses.

Like many other parts of the game, each competition has a skill barrier for entry. For instance, there are science fairs, talent shows, physical challenges, cook-offs, trivia, and more. These competitions play out in three-round card challenges. If you succeed in the challenge, you'll win the competition, earning a high-value memory card. Plus, you'll gain a popularity perk that doubles your kudos earned for three months following the competition.

Your first attempt at a Vertumnalia competition will likely result in defeat. However, knowing what competitions are available will inform you what skills are required to enter and succeed in a competition the following year. So if there is a competition you think you can win, make that competition's skills the focus of your activities in the year leading up to Vertumnalia.

The Vertumnalia competition will not take place in later years of your playthrough, so take advantage of them while you can!

Playthrough The Game Multiple Times For The Full Experience

One of the intriguing traits of your character in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is their unexplained dreams. These dreams often allude to future events, different pathways, and more. In turn, completing the game the first time reveals a scene encouraging you to play again and live a new life. Doing so will help uncover the broader meaning behind your protagonist's various dreams.

There are many new storylines to discover and branching paths to unlock. Tragedies that felt unavoidable in the first playthrough may have a solution in the second. Plus, you'll get a chance to explore new relationships and the conflicts that arise from them. However, you won't experience these new adventures unless you wake up again.

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