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a) How do i play this game? What's the aim?

b) Can I build a shelter or do you sort of roam around?

c) what are the basic recipes I need to know?
This question / problem has been solved by Namurimage
You need to try surviving and figuring out whats going on in this game, surival is the main aim though. This game is hard and you will die, probably alot. I would advise downloading the manual and the whitebook in the gog extras and reading through both of those.
a) Keep an eye out for anything that could prove useful. Explore but be carefull, lots of ways to get sick or hurt (or dead). Your first goal is survival so take care of your basic needs, food, water, health, clothing. Get familiar with your Computer and Medical Kit. Avoid some battles untill you're better equipped, so run away or sneak by (crawl) if you think you're in over your head. Be extra sure about each step on dark places. The aim is survival and ultimately escape.

b) Roam. Choose wisely when it comes to places to sleep to avoid nasty 'surprises'.

c) Unless you're asking for spoilers about the specifics, test stuff out. You can make clothes, rudimentar weapons, fishing rods, traps, etc.
Don't do what I did and try to make the game even more difficult by amputating your arms and legs at the start of the game.
Post edited November 06, 2010 by Talby