I really shouldn’t have started playing this game. Workers and Resources : Soviet Republic is an excellent RTS city builder with a lot to offer. I’ve logged 30 hours and have yet to make it past 1 year in game. A few minor issues with a game in it’s early stages of life won’t keep me from logging many, many more as I am already in love with this game. My initial interest in this game was mild. Another RTS city builder that makes you jump through hoops and all kinds of weird stuff. Then I started playing and that changed everything. Despite the initial frustrations of exactly what to do and how to do it I kept plugging on. There’s currently no tutorial (there is a video released by the developer) so I had to go find some information online about the game. Then the flood gates opened and I couldn’t stop myself. I had to find out what I could do next, and then after that, and then again and again.
The menu is without flair or fancy images, much of what you’d expect when looking at something from the Soviet era. The landscape is beautifully rendered with a large open world and interestingly rather GPU intensive. Apparently due to the engine used it won’t run on a PC that uses integrated graphics instead of a card. While detail is of minor consequence since you’ll spend most of the game at arms length and then some, it keeps a nicely rendered feel to it through out. The options for the game are somewhat limited but precise and notable for what the game is supposed to do. Start with or without an existing population and a semblance of interconnectivity. Money can be unlimited, or very limited. The population can be restive or docile. Fires, smog, starting date as early as 1960 with or without vehicle limitations and education requirements. Take warning, once you start it can easily be overwhelming how much you can do in this game.
For now it’s a big sandbox game. The point of the game is to build an economy and see if you can sustain it. Money is more of a measurement of how you’re doing than a necessity at the moment. You start out importing everything, but eventually you want to export goods to either Soviet or Western nations. It even has two currencies, the ruble and the dollar. For now start building. Roads, bridges, factories, farms, mining, more factories, apartment buildings. I mean, what did you expect it’s Soviet Russia, there are no single family homes and plenty of factories. Then you have the offices which control which vehicles are out there and where you obtain resources. By default resources are obtained from import only and you have to build an office and change that setting using that building.
Speaking of minutiae, you have to build conveyor belts between buildings and loading/unloading ramps. You can build connections between work buildings to improve storage and work flow options, as well as walking paths between buildings. To prevent your citizens from complaining about pollution you can build bus stations to transport them to and from home and work, or just kill off citizens on the regular by letting them live in polluted areas right next to their factories. I got tired of dealing with so many bus stations and just deliver them directly to the factories now. As an aside, the bus station thing really does mimic what I’ve seen in Russia. It’s pretty incredible to behold how people get around out in the country there. It’s not always fun sitting at a bus station for an hour or two waiting on the bus but it works well for them. Not surprisingly, much of the transportation system is pretty robust and regularly on time.
Now for the not so good parts. It’s still early so it has some issues, like crashing. It crashes regularly on me, to the point that most of the time I stop playing by method of the game crashing. It has robust auto save settings for a reason though, and I’ve started to save regularly on my own anyway. The landscaping of the terrain is sometimes awkward or simply doesn’t work well or at all. Roads that tell you to adjust the landscape simply don’t, despite the game telling you to do that. Bridges are finicky and temperamental. Conveyor belts don’t always line up the way they should and will often enough not allow you to properly set up more than one in a spot that should allow 2 or more. Then the lack of an in game tutorial makes it near impossible to figure out exactly how to play the game properly. Oh and good luck finding where all the minerals are, that took me forever to figure out! With all that I’ll advise this: It’s Soviet Russia style, you make do with what you’re given. It’s how Lenin would have wanted it.
Despite those issues I can’t stop playing. It’s an open sandbox and I get to play god with it. The details are such that you get to assign vehicles to go exactly where you want them to go. Need more workers, build more apartments. Need something moved somewhere, get the right vehicle there and get it moved. Sell your stuff and the souls of the people who made it for you to another country for rubles or dollars. Worry about fuel consumption and electricity or don’t. The only thing it doesn’t have is war, and as fun as that can be it’s kind of refreshing to be able to just ignore that aspect and create all kinds of fun things in game. You can create a city where the roads spell out the meaning of life, or a heart, or other body parts we won’t mention here. It’s up to you, just try not to get fired from your job when you start playing this game. I recommend this game to anyone who likes RTS city builder games and maybe even if you don’t.