Life in Bunker is a sandbox construction and management simulation game, create by Flox studios. The general back story is that life on Earth was almost entirely annihilated, and the planet reduced to nothing more than a wasteland, in this case by a huge meteor strike. The few survivors retreated to underground shelters, scratching and scraping for existence.
Right from the get go, Life in Bunker hit me as a game that’s intended to be fun. There’s a very brief intro video that shows the meteor hitting the planet, and the combination of the art style and the video itself tells you that it’s going to be a fairly light-spirited game. Generally,the game does a very good job of showing you what you need to know, although during my play time I did encounter a few bugs.
As I mentioned, the game does a great job of showing you what you need to know. It’s very clear that you have X amount of oxygen, food or any other resource. My one small gripe with this it that due to every resource being extremely finite, there’s a lot of different bits and pieces on the screen. While it’s not cluttered, it was a little bit jarring at first. However, once you get past that and get used to the game, it becomes quick and easy to find out that you could do to grow some more fruit or create more electricity.
Another thing the game does quite well is that you have a lot of freedom to develop your bunker as much as you like, in the way that you want.There’s a wide array of options in terms of different production facilities,or bed space, kitchens and so on. There’s a pretty good amount of choices you can make, and it all comes back to deciding what type of bunker you want. It helps reinforce the idea that you’re in charge and that the choices you make will influence how these people live.
I had a bit of trouble with the tutorial though. When I played through the tutorial, it was all going fine. I was learning how to find everything and how to navigate the camera. And then it just stopped working. I was being instructed on how to find out a characters different skills (more on that later) but the game stubbornly refused to accept that I had done what I was told to do. After half an hour of trying, I went back and started it all over again, only for the game to do the same thing at the same point. As of right now, I’m not sure if this bug has been fixed or not.
Anyway, on the idea of character skills. Each character has a different set of skills, such as being a good janitor or engineer or farmer. This helps to inform you on what job you should give these characters. It’s very simply laid out and easy to understand, and it was immediately obvious to me what the game wanted me to do with each of those characters.
Life in Bunker is far from perfect. It has some flaws, although in fairness works better than I had expected. The graphics are cool and interesting, although it’s hardly the prettiest game you’ll see. There are some really interesting ideas and bits and pieces that make this game just different enough from other similar games. While there’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of different things to remember in order to get through the game, from what I saw of the tutorial, it does a very good job of telling you how to do everything. All in all, it’s a decent game, one that’s easily picked up and put down, and while it might not live long in the memory, it’s a perfectly good way to spend an hour or two.
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