Don’t have a 3D printer but want to learn how 3D printing works? Well, I’m sorry to tell you, 3D PrintMaster Simulator isn’t the way to go. Unfortunately this one is a bit of a tough sell for me.

There are quite a number of issues that you’ll run into in just the first 30 minutes of gameplay. First, there’s no Steam cloud support. So, if you play between your old Steam Deck and your OLED, you’re not going to be able to easily transfer your career progress from one device to another.

Second, speaking of the Steam Deck, the game defaults to a keyboard and mouse profile. You’ll have to go into Steam Input and change to the “Gamepad With Joystick Trackpad” layout if you want to actually play this game the right way.

While I was taking notes with this game on Deck, the background music just went awry. Typing on the OSK will cause the BGM to go into this weird frenzy that plays this annoying sound. It won’t stop until you stop typing. And speaking of the BGM, while it has this nice lo-fi beat to it, the track will sometimes randomly stop playing abruptly and move on to the next track. Not sure why that is, but the abruption interrupts the “flow” of the game, so to speak.

3D PrintMaster Simulator 3D object printed

The default stick sensitivity is way too low. If you try moving the camera around with the right thumbstick, the camera moves at a snail’s pace. You’ll have to go to the in-game options menu and put the Stick Sensitivity slider all the way up.

Even after setting the Steam Input layout to “Gamepad With Joystick Trackpad”, the in-game button icons are incorrect. For instance, the game tells you to press R1 to hold and drag an item. On Steam Deck, that’s actually R2. Another in-game action might tell you to hold R1 to unmount an object. Holding R1 down does nothing, and so far, all of the other buttons/triggers I’ve tried doesn’t do anything either.

Trying to assemble your first 3D printer? Good luck. It isn’t trivial. You buy the components with your laptop, the packages come to your door, you unpack them, and try to sort of mash the parts together. You start with the platform – the base stand, and from there, you put the rest of the parts together. The X rotor, the Z rotor, the motherboard, the cover for the motherboard, the frame, you get the idea. You drag the parts together with the right trigger (not the right shoulder button as the game tells you) and move it into the yellow highlighted area. The game won’t tell you this, but you might want to turn the printer upside down so you can install the motherboard and the cover for it. Screw some screws in with your screwdriver, hex in some hex bolts, wrench some other parts, and viola, your 3D printer is assembled, without the game doing too much to guide you in the process. Just drop your tools down to the floor when you’re done, because you can’t properly put them away until you drop them.

3D PrintMaster Simulator assembling 3D printer

If you can get past all of these issues, then I suppose the game isn’t that bad. You’re in your office, and you keep track of customer’s orders via email. You’ll get new emails on a regular basis, with customers asking you to print X object in X color. Accept the offer, make sure you get the right PLA color, and basically just print the thing out in a matter of seconds. Put it in a box, and when the customer arrives at your door, hand it to them. All the while the game does a pretty poor job at trying to explain all of this to you. You don’t even get to design the CAD files or anything along those lines. Just accept the offer, get it printed out, package it, then deliver the package. Get paid a certain amount by the customer, allowing you to repair your 3D printer or upgrade the components.

Thing is, I tried contacting the developer ahead of time with all of these issues that I had, and even after sending a follow-up message, they never got back to me. So, that’s on them for leaving this game in the poor state that it’s in. Not to mention the fact that they don’t even have a press kit as of the time of writing this. They could have spent a few days tidying up some of these problems so that it would leave a better first impressions. But as it stands, I don’t recommend getting this game, at least for now. I do hope in time these issues will get addressed.

Aside from the issues, the game actually runs pretty good on Deck at native 1280 x 800 resolution on High settings. I’m getting around 80 FPS on average. If you want to cap it to 40 FPS, you can set the TDP limit to 6 W and the GPU clock frequency to 400 Hz.

3D PrintMaster Simulator 40 FPS Steam Deck settings

TL;DR

The good:

  • gives you some basic concepts as far as how 3D printing works
  • chill lo-fi music makes it relaxing to play

The not-so-good:

  • no Steam cloud support
  • on Deck, game defaults to mouse and keyboard profile
  • BGM can abruptly end and move on to the next track, or it can sound annoying when typing on the OSK
  • default stick sensitivity for the camera movement is too slow
  • in-game button icons are incorrect
  • you’re basically on your own trying to figure out how to put a 3D printer together, as well as how the game works in general

3D PrintMaster Simulator is available on Steam for $10.

Review key provided by Keymailer.

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