It’s rare that a game will tell you at the beginning that it will be slow at first. In this game though, slow didn’t mean that nothing was going on and you were just clicking on ‘next’. At least not for very long. There is plenty to do and pay attention to, especially when learning what to do and how the game is played. Initially it seemed a bit less intuitive than some other games in the genre. It doesn’t hold your hand and walk you through all the steps at first, but after a few minutes I felt rather confident in what I was doing and how to make it work. We shall see if I was foolish in my notions of confidence later in the game.
For initial impressions I thought that the artistic architectural graphic style was refreshing. It isn’t entirely refined as a graphical masterpiece, as it pays homage to an older and less detailed but still visually pleasing map. The skill tree GUI is decidedly retro, reminding me of a 90’s or 2k style text box setup. Functional, but not the greatest graphics. If you want the latest in graphical precision and next generation graphics, this isn’t it. Then again, it doesn’t really need it. Either way I thought it was nice, mixing artistic style with useful graphical presentation in a pleasant water color style.
It plays much like a much more popular game of the same genre which was expected considering it’s creator. The focus is much smaller though, with each unit having a role in the work to advance your small piece of the pie. I could see myself pouring over maps of the skill trees once I’m fully engaged in the game. This would help me determine the most efficient method to reach a specific skill for some random encounter I ran into 3 tries back that still bothers me for not having the exact solution I wanted. Those skill trees become involved and spread out very quickly early on. There are so many choices, so much opportunity.
I enjoy the challenge this presents. Just figuring out which one would work best with a combination of what surrounds your settlement, what the clan you’re working on at the settlement can do, and the needs of your entire group of clans to progress, defend, improve, or just survive. This allows a great deal of flexibility almost immediately out of the gate. Adapt and overcome, so to speak. As you move on and become more involved, you start to see a lot of opportunity for synergistic selections.
So as it turns out, I was a bit foolish in my confidence of how to make things work. There was a lot to look forward to as the game progressed. There was a lot to learn even later in the game, though I did eventually reach a point where I saw a path to win the game. I won’t be giving my secret away for that, you will just have to find that yourself. At that point it all made sense and I understood at least the path to win, even if not an easy one to reach. I also tried to find the boundaries to the map. I found the north and east. I didn’t make it far enough south, nor to the west to see the edge and I covered quite a bit of territory.
Some of the game seemed much more simplified than other games in the genre are. Maybe in time that will be changed and updated. For a first off though, this did really well and I really like it. The game scratches just the right spot for a turn-based strategy. A good mix of difficult choices and timing everything so it works out as smoothly as possible. As frustrating as some of that can be, to me it is more of a challenge. I spent a lot of time testing the game, and though it has a few quirks that need some touch up it’s a solid game. This is definitely a game worth checking out if you enjoy RTS games.