What if the post-apocalypse was enjoyable?
Not the apocalypse itself, thoughts you, however a interval after, when the survivors emerged and issues have been principally OK however they needed to rediscover know-how whereas consuming potatoes till one thing higher was found?
Welcome to Earlier than We Go away, a city-building recreation that guarantees to be “light” and “stress-free” whereas additionally containing some game-breaking bugs in its present model.
So! Collapse of a galactic civilization! A few years in the past! The sport begins right here together with your hearty band of meeples rising from the shelter to find, and rediscover, the island, islands, planet, and planets left for them to discover.
In the event you’re accustomed to metropolis constructing or 4x video games, you’ll perceive Earlier than We Go away; you collect assets, broaden your data, and construct your tech tree so you may discover additional, and additional, and additional.
The sport has a enjoyable, colourful model based mostly round a hexagonal map. It jogs my memory of Settlers of Catan, particularly in the way in which your residents (who greater than something resemble Fisher Value Play Folks) trundle throughout the hexes, going to work and gathering assets.
There are not any different violent civilizations; your solely obstacles are air pollution and protecting your individuals pleased with meals, drink, and leisure. The air pollution drawback may be mitigated (however not eradicated) by constructing “cleaners” who scrub the soot away. The happiness concern turns into an issue as your inhabitants grows greater. It’s not merely sufficient to present them their primary wants, they’ll need luxurious items and musicians.
In the event you don’t hold your individuals blissful, they begin working slower, beginning a vicious cycle the place staff don’t produce the bottom items (iron, stone, uncooked crops) shortly sufficient to show them into stuff you, the participant, need (new buildings). This leads them to grow to be unhappier and unhappier till the sport slows to a crawl.
One other impediment is that each planet is damaged into a number of islands (which you have to construct ships to discover and colonize), and never each island produces each sort of useful resource. You’ll want sand to make glass, so that you’ll need to discover a desert island, which after all additionally has only a few areas for crops.
That’s the subsequent stage of gameplay: commerce (ensuring each island has what it wants, even when it might’t be made). To mitigate air pollution, you may even arrange a system utilizing a number of routes, say, to reap ore on one island, then ship it to an island that may already smelt iron, after which ship the iron ingots to the island the place you want metal to restore the spaceship.
Oh sure, spaceship, as a result of, when you get the texture of the sport on one planet it’s time to discover your photo voltaic system and arrange colonies on new worlds and begin the method over once more. This can let you uncover much more new applied sciences, and, after all, arrange interplanetary delivery. By some means the sport manages to maintain this method manageable and principally enjoyable as you switch analysis and assets to maintain your little star system blissful.
After which…you discover out why issues collapsed within the first place. I gained’t spoil it for you—it was far an excessive amount of enjoyable discovering it for myself—however regardless of being “nonviolent,” Earlier than We Go away has a number of horrifying secrets and techniques up its sleeve. However even these are unusually bizarre and enjoyable.
I favored this recreation loads. Till I didn’t.
Right here’s the issue; there are recurring game-ending bugs within the Swap model. I reached out to Team17, who did the port, and acquired some recommendation that was momentarily useful (clearing the Swap’s information cache), however the bugs stored returning, and ultimately the save recreation information wouldn’t load even after 10 minutes of ready.
Hopefully Team17 points a patch to right these points, as a result of they frankly break a recreation I used to be actually loving. That the issues appear to build up late within the recreation, after I was on the peak of constructing, solely made it extra irritating.
However earlier than I gave up in frustration, it was a pleasure simply to observe my civ broaden and broaden, in a comparatively low-stress marketing campaign to assist individuals survive and be blissful. Hopefully there’s a bug repair on the way in which.