That of the City Builder it is a genre of video games that has managed, through ups and downs, to resist current trends and the incessant evolution of the market. From the first experiments with Simcity to the most recent return to the scenes with Cities Skylines, the genre has remained a staple among fans. Today, a new title called New Cyclea City Builder with a post-apocalyptic flavor developed by Core Engage and published by Daedalic Entertainment and this is his review.
Important premise before starting, at the time of writing this review, the game is in the Early Access phase. This means that before its publication, the game will be subject to important changes, additions and patches, what you read may not correspond (unfortunately or fortunately) to the state of the game.
With that said, let’s get started!
Our review of New Cycle
As anticipated, New Cycle is set in a post-apocalyptic world. As usual, when it comes to the future, humanity is on its last legs. An environmental disaster, caused by particularly intense solar flares, has wiped out much of humanity and nature on the planet and the survivors drag themselves from one area to another. The situation changes when they decide to build a solid foundation to return to living as a community and survive once again.
We will obviously be at the head of this arduous undertaking. With the few (very few) resources available we will have to be able to make the inhabitants of our village live in the best possible wayprovide him with food, water, a roof over his head and the possibility to prosper and overcome a thousand difficulties. The post-apocalyptic world is in fact full of risks and dangers and between droughts, storms and other unforeseen events, surviving will not be easy at all.
Starting from nothing and with few resources, we will have to make our way through a narrow map with few resources to rebuild a city, return to producing electricity and start offering citizens increasingly complex goods and services, but be careful. We’re not the only ones trying to survive!
Like the most classic of city builders
New Cycle doesn’t particularly stand out from the rest of the City Builders, offering very classic gameplay but with a touch of originality. The management of the city is obviously at the basis of everything. Constructing roads, buildings and administering those buildings will be the only way we can have direct control over the inhabitants who will continue to do their work uninterrupted. At the beginning we will have few resources available to collect which will provide the citizens’ primary goods. Food, water and a roof over our heads will be the first things to take care of while a particularly developed skill tree will allow us to create new structures and resources to progress as a society.
The inhabitants will obviously be the body and soul of the village and we will have to keep them happy if we want them to make many beautiful children to save humanity. This is where it comes into play morale/workforce mechanics. Very simply, the higher the morale, the more productive the inhabitants will be, but it’s not that simple. Morale is affected by many elements and resources and how these will be distributed. A period of food shortage can be solved halving rations to the workers, but obviously they won’t be happy. Likewise we can manually increase the workload to increase production, but this will also damage morale. Finding a balance will be extremely difficult.
Particularly interesting is the division of workers between Workers, Craftman e Specialist. The former are the basic workforce while the later ones can be trained by Workers and offer greater work output or work in exclusive structures for the more advanced classes. Each of them can be administered separately for even more in-depth resource management.
Resources, work and unexpected events
We have many resources available. From the simplest ones such as Wood, Stone, Food and Water to the more complex and specific ones such as milk, cement or coal. Each of them will be necessary to reach the pinnacle of our new world, all without considering unpredictability!
In fact, they are present in New Cycle lots of random elements that in addition to increase the level of challenge, they managed to offer an interesting level of immersion, despite the genre. In fact, it will very often happen that citizens turn to us when there is an important decision to be made, decision that could completely alter the way we play. Some of them are dictated by the trend of our society. For example, during a food crisis we will be asked to act accordingly, limiting consumption or increasing production. Other times, however, some contemporary facts will lead us to make a choice that can offer buffs or advantages to our society for the duration of the game. A text sequence with choices to make will guide us through each event.
Obviously they also add to this totally unexpected eventualities like a violent storm or the visit of a massive military ship (enemy?!) or even a serious climatic event to which we dedicate all our attention. This made New Cycle very difficult by its standards but also particularly challenging.
The New Cycle Style
From a graphic point of viewNew Cycle boasts a peculiar style that is very reminiscent of the “Future/Past” mix of Fallout. Settings and buildings have something of the industrial revolution combined with the devastation of a post-apocalyptic world, as well as the predominant color palette which absolutely conveys a climate of devastation that we like so much. It must be said, however, that despite the efforts, going forward with the game, it will be difficult to recognize the buildings and we will waste a lot of time wildly clicking on the various structures before finding the right one, perhaps a few more distinctive points wouldn’t have hurt.
Except for this detail, the general performance is really excellent and although the game is still in the Early Access phase, the stability was excellent and we have never encountered bugs or glitches of various types even in the most advanced stages when our village became a real industrial city. Without infamy and without praise the soundtrack which, although it fits well with the climate and the settings of the game, does not remain imprinted in the memory.
In the end, New Cycle is currently not localized in Italian, neither audio nor lyrics.
New Cycle review in brief
New Cycle could become a solid addition to the world of City Builders but its impact will only depend on the attention that developers dedicate to it. Currently, despite the potential, there are many other similar and even more tried and tested titles, first of all Frostpunk, and currently New Cycle doesn’t have the identity to stand out from the crowd.
Despite this, already in these “initial” phases the game offers interesting gameplay and several hours of fun as well as a really good level of challenge. We’ll see what happens in the future!
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