Sumer time and the living ain't easy, because someone else got to the goat pen first

I don’t normally review, much less play, early access games. There are far too many finished games I have yet to try. So why would I faff about with someone’s beta? Just let me know when you’re finished. I’ll wait. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy in the meantime. Oh, look, what’s this? A review of an early access game called Sumer? What gives?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This has been on my radar for a long time, but the lack of any meaningful information (written or video) or what gameplay was actually like held me back. It sounded to me like it was really frantic and reflex-driven, so good to hear I was wrong. On the wish list it goes.

To me and my subpar 362ms reaction time, it was an action game.
Tom’s arguments sound like he is trying to convince his non-action games oriented friends to play with him so he can mercilessly beat them. A variation on something I’d hear him say to lure them into playing an RTS.
I was very disappointed by the setup phase of the game. The auction sequence and the idea of power ups affecting it is really neat, though.

It’s not just the real-time auctions that are M.U.L.E.-like, right? I only dabbled with an adaptation of MULE for a bit many years ago… Wasn’t there a real-time element to picking territories to harvest for resources and bringing your MULEs to market? This seems like an attempt to resurrect an entire, un-mined genre with a lot of creativity and class. Love that they didn’t just default to the space theme. Side-on ziggurat makes a great board.

Aw, sorry to hear that. When I got everyone set up with a controller – it’s a terrible idea to gimp someone by making him play with the keyboard – no one seemed to have any complaints about reaction times. Unless, of course, two people knew they were going for the same thing, as was often the case with getting to the top of the ziggurat to drop off sacrifices. I guess playing against the AI could be pretty perplexing. Were you playing it as a single-player game?

Oh my gosh, you’re absolutely right and I’m embarrassed to say that never even occurred to me! But, yeah, the family servants are totally MULES and the different rooms are plots of land. I can’t believe I was so blinded by the Sumerian theming to not see that.


Yeah that’s exactly what I was thinking! I’ve only dabbled with MULE in the past (I was born the year it was released so, y’know) but reading Tom’s description instantly made me think of the real-time land grabbing and MULE escorting against the clock.

This sounds like a really cool multiplayer game though. Will it be online or local? I’m fine with either but online obviously gives me more options.

My experience was limited to playing with another player, and both of us being destroyed by the AI. I systematically was the last one to take whatever was left. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. I am not saying this because I didn’t win a single game.
Damn it.

I understand the game was in EA because an online component was planned?

Oh that’s excellent, thanks!

I do wonder how many of my friends I could get playing this online with me though.

If I play single player how does it handle with keyboard and mouse?

I don’t see any negatives in the review but only 3 stars?

I picked this up. It’s interesting but a lot gets lost in the hectic moving around.

The hired hand and the bed are by far the best auction investments. (hint: place the bed right under the ritual offering altars for guaranteed first placement every round)

The three stars just mean I liked it. I’m not crazy about it, but I liked it. I guess I could come up with some negatives. No online multiplayer? Needs better documentation? Sucks to play with a keyboard? But it’s not like a game starts at five stars and then I count down based on how many negatives I can think of. :)

Do you really think stuff gets lost? All the information is on the board, and in some cases in a couple of places. For instance, a panel in the upper left shows you each player’s stock. The worker placement stuff is real-time, and you have to think on your feet and be ready for your plans to get shut down (such is the nature of worker placement…). But I never felt like anything was getting lost.

Did you get to try it with friends? I don’t really see the appeal in playing something like this against the AI anyway, so I guess you could call that a negative as well. But it’s at its best when you play it – and ideally learn it – with some friends.


Started playing this tonight and there’s a lot to digest initially but it’s shaping up to be a really cool multiplayer game. Did anyone notice the Sumerian MULE theme on the victory screen? Lovely little touch!

I beat the intro level easily enough but I hear the Real Game gets real.

MULE was fantastic back in the day. Collusions, space pirates, MULEs running off after a bad placement. Not to mention the Wumpus! Nice to see a game like this, looks great. Wonder if it will ever come to consoles or phones.

I should think most games would be improved by a goat bonus.

“You want [to] win the important tiles”