Is this crafting sim built to last?
Sometimes the big AAA games just aren’t what I fancy playing and oftentimes this will take me off console and onto steam. Recently I have been playing a great little indie game “Craft the world”.
The mining and crafting genre has seen an explosion of games in recent years, many forgettable, many little gems. This game falls firmly into the latter camp.
The general premise of the game is to command your ever growing tribe of dwarves into a successful subterranean existence and the game can loosely be divided into three genres all of which seamlessly blend into an engaging gaming experience.
Presented in a side on view the main part of your game will be mining and resource gathering. This is more of a “god game” than a RTS in that you don’t directly control your minions (although you can if the AI gets stuck which although rarely, does happen). Instead as the overseer of your hobbit hole you instruct the tribe where to dig, which trees to fell and which berries to collect. One of your little guys (or gals if you purchase the DLC) will then set about the task whenever they are next free. Whilst this can sometimes cause a little frustration more often it removes the tedium often associated with micro management in these games. As is common in the genre the deeper you go the more likely you are to find rarer ores needed to craft the better equipment of the game.
The second game theme is the RPG element which I find the strongest and most fulfilling reason to come back to the game or play just another half hour. Dwarves can be equipped with a mining tool, a specialty tool (such as an axe, fishing rod etc ) and a weapon. The dwarf will swap from one to the other of these to whatever best suits the order given which again avoids tedium. You can also equip armour and hats which increase your defence or different attributes.
Not only do the individual dwarves themselves level up in specialty areas (such as logging, climbing, swimming etc) but also you as the overseer level up what “recipes” your dwarves have access to. Items fall into small categories in the crafting menu and only once you have crafted a certain number within that group (gaining XP for each item) then you gain access to the next group. For example in order to gain access to metal tools you will have to build a number of stone tools. Your crafting options fall into the following groups which help your community in different ways.
⦁ Advanced workstations
⦁ Building and furniture
The third aspect of the game to keep you on your toes, are the enemy raids. At night, the undead stalk either from portals or graveyards, towards your base above ground. This is where your weapons and armour are testing in defending your homestead. Again this is mostly carried out by the AI but does add another dimension to the game and a ready to craft increasingly more devastating weapons. Some enemies can be looted for weapons far exceeding your current technological skill so it’s worth hunting them.
Graphically the game is a cartoony but lush playing field which is pleasant and makes you care about whether your house is nice or not. Anyone who has played games similar such as Terraria, Starbound or even Rimworld will be at home playing this although I feel the chance to command a group rather than an individual not only makes getting up and running faster but also more rewarding.
Steam is inundated with crafting games currently but if you have a spare few hours then I would wholly advise spending a few hours/days on this game.