Recently released, and there’s a demo:
This has been on Apple Arcade since that service launched, I think. I played through it all then, and fired it up recently when I was looking for something new to fiddle with on my phone.
It’s a nice builder, with (unless they’ve made improvements for PC) a tendency to put you in situations where you can only make really slow progress because you’ve overharvested a resource and it only grows back so fast. And often the missions are timed, so…
Terra Nil getting good reviews.
The balance between the first region’s relaxing atmosphere and smooth, thoughtful progression sets a high bar for the following stages - which, as they expand in complexity and difficulty, trade that smoothness for experimentation. There are four regions in total, plus unlockable endgame maps, and each come with their own unique visuals, mechanics and challenges.
There’s a significant bump in lateral thinking required, and while I wouldn’t call Terra Nil a difficult game, later stages hold a more ‘puzzle’-shaped space, where it’s possible to find the wrong solution first. I was surprised to find myself needing to restart phases - and sometimes the entire map - because I’d backed myself into a corner. I could clean soil, or place biomes, but not enough to pass a given stage - or I just straight ran out of resources, although that can be turned off in ‘zen mode’. While unexpected, getting to play detective, and the ensuing 'aha ’ moments, more than make up for it.
It’s hard to tease out that line between satisfying complexity and convoluted complexity. Typically, weighty simulators tend to feel a little more open-ended — even if they have scenario objectives — because the buildings you place interact with one another in real time or chain to form automation. In Terra Nil , it feels stiffer, more set in stone, waiting for you to proceed with your plan. The emphasis is less on interlocking structures and more on building placement and order of operation. There are many ways you could rewild the landscape you’re given, but you’re always building on top of what you’ve already created. Where you might expect a city builder to open up and widen the amount of creative expression you’re given as the game advances, Terra Nil offers a shrinking palette of possibility. What you can place, in the late-game, depends entirely on what you’ve already done to the map. You can run out of space to create certain biomes or to lay down the tramways you need. You can back yourself into corners without even realizing it.
These reviews also have some meta-commentary about the theme of Terra Nil that I enjoyed reading.
Thanks, these were interesting reads. I’ve been replaying the Terra Nil demo every month while listening to music or podcasts and I’ve been looking forward to the release. Hopefully the later levels don’t get too frustrating like the reviewers mentioned.
Fabledom comes out April 13 of this year, so I’ve started seeing a bunch of videos about it on my feed.
I played the demo and thought it was ok, maybe a bit TOO casual (which, interestingly enough, I have also heard about Against The Storm). But casual, (or as the kids call it these days “cozy”) builders have a place in the city builder pantheon too!
If you don’t want to watch the video, Codiak’s conclusion is that what’s there seems very solid, but there’s a lot of content that isn’t in the EA build or is barebones - like the 3rd tier of citizens, trade system heroes, and the romance system. He didn’t say it but feels to me that it’d be reasonable to wait until there is more meat to the game.
Cardboard Town came out in EA today, April 12. It’s described as a roguelite city-builder that uses a card mechanic. There used to be a demo but I think it’s been taken down.
It has a different aesthetic (everything is built out of cardboard).
The developers describe it thusly:
You place Building Cards using Money and control your stats; Electricity, Water, Environment and Safety . Also, your Population determines how much Money you can have in a turn.
Not being able to handle random disasters or failing to manage your stats gets you a Red Alert , get three and you’re out!
With each run you unlock more cards, obtain better stats and options and try to beat your high score!
If you haven’t picked up Against the Storm yet, it’s $15 on Steam this weekend, and will be bumping up to $30 in a couple weeks in anticipation of its 1.0 launch (no word on exactly when that will be). This is the time to grab it!
Thanks for the heads up on the impending price increase. I’ve been avoiding buying much because I’ve got so much to play already, but this is one I know I want at some point so happy to get it while it’s cheaper.
The Exogate Initiate mentioned (by me!) about a month ago, has released into EA today, so it’s popping up in my YouTube feed. Here’s Splattercat’s take on it:
Stargate Base Manager? Seems cool, but I’m kind of tired of early access games.
Scroll all the way up to the 2018, 2019 games, 90% of them are still in early access.
I definitely hear ya. I have become much more selective in my purchases of EA games. Maybe it’s not a new thing but I’ve started noticing a definite lack of content in a couple EA games in which I’m interested. So I’ve become much more willing to throw the game on my wishlist and keep track of it there.
A game still being in EA after two or three years doesn’t bother me as long as they’ve been working on it steadily. Now five or six years and you haven’t given your game an end state (assuming it’s meant to have one) yet? That gets the ಠ_ಠ from me.
Stranded: Alien Dawn (mentioned a while back in this thread when it went into early access) has now hit 1.0.
I’ve been liking this. It’s a better looking Rimworld with hyper-competent colonists. I recommend turning up the difficulty a few notches.
My colonists are inside weathering an extreme heatwave after finally building air conditioning:
Has been out for a little while. From the steam reviews, its just a poor rim-world clone with better graphics.
Has anyone played it? Thoughts?
Maybe more can post their thoughts? I’m getting “You, sir, are no Rimworld” vibes from the videos I’ve watched.
Huh? It has "Very positive " in its steam reviews.
I’d equate that with “Doom” - just a poor Wolfenstein clone with better graphics?
More than one game can do something well, and if the graphics are improved, its just an added bonus.
I put some thoughts in the post above yours. But yeah, I like it, it’s a prettier Rimworld with determined colonists who don’t really have inter-personal conflicts. You have a clear mission and your guys get to it like the astronaut in The Martian.
The simulation level is less Dwarf Fortress and more towards a strategy game. I think you could, if you really wanted, turn off all automatic actions and command your guys like an RTS.
I played it before release so i only tried the stranded mode, and not the new ones. It’s indeed a 3d rimworld and it was pretty fun. It doesn’t have the depth of rimworld obviously, specially in the social interactions.
What i didn’t like was the combat, it feels too much like a tower defense game, atleast in the higher difficulty modes. It spawns like 100 monsters that you end up having to tunnel into your flamethrowers, mines and turrets.