Last Days of Old Earth is the Early Access turn based RTS game featuring the last remnants of humanity in a desperate struggle for survival against a dying world and a ferocious and relentless threat. Developed by Auroch Digital and published by Slitherine Ltd, it’s been available since March 3rd, with full release expected to happen at some point within the next few months.
Straight off the bat, I was impressed by the tutorial. For the kind of game, and what I expect the development budget to be, it looks really good. It looks very clean and crisp, you can easily tell what you’re looking at and there’s a really nice aesthetic that seems to run through every design decision that I’ve seen so far. While the game is detailed and has a lot of different facets, it’s really well presented and the information is given in portions that are big enough that you learn a good amount, but not so much that your overwhelmed. It’s a fine balance, and I was pleasantly surprised by just how well the tutorial was handled.
The game works very simply, and it’s part of the reason it’s so effective. The game is effectively deck based, with your units initially being represented by cards, each of which has a different cost in Action Points, which build up slowly over time. The only real issue I had The main part of the game is focused on exploring the map, which has different terrain types, each of which offers different, and in some cases significant, benefits and draw backs. Each of your armies has a limited amount of movement allowed.
My one problem with this game is more one of curiosity than any actual issue with the game. As of when I was playing through this game, there was no story to it. While the Steam page explains the basics of the story, that’s all there is right now. There are ton’s of Hero cards available for both factions, each of which has powerful stat boosts and so on to make them somewhat unique. However, there’s no back story to any of these Hero’s. I would have really liked to see something, maybe just a few lines of text about each that explains who they are and why they are so important to their side. The same goes for some of the random encounters that happen on the maps. I came across a group of “Dwellers” and was given the option to help them, to attack them or to ignore them. I chose to help them, thinking there would be some kind of benefit, or an explanation of what I helped them with, but there wasn’t anything. Again, this isn’t really a big deal, and with plenty of time left before the game’s full release, I’m very comfortable knowing that Auroch will be working to add this in. I do think, however, that with a new IP, it’s important that people understand the game world, and where they fit in to it. It’s my only real complaint about this game, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s more down to the fact that I like the game a lot, and wanted to find out some more about it.
The battles also work well, based purely on the elegant simplicity that seems to run through this game. They’re another thing that I didn’t expect to work as well as they do. You place your units in the slot that you want them in, each of which allows an attack range of a couple of squares either way, and then use the different abilities and skills, as well as the attack strength of your troops, to overwhelm your enemies. For the time being, the battles are fairly simple, but there’s some real potential there for some truly great online battles, if the community gets the right kind of support.
All in all, this is a game that, for my money, does Early Access right, albeit not quite perfectly. It’s the kind of game that you can imagine getting addicted to and one that I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing the finished article.
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