So I know a lot of the reviews have been not so kind to this game, but Rowan Kaiser’s review over at Fanbyte encouraged me to check it out. The first couple of hours I was really not having a good time with it, but then something clicked and I really like it a lot now. While I would prefer no tactical combat, I’d say this is the most quick and painless version of it I’ve seen in a 4X. But I’m really enjoying the innovations around settlements and joining territories, it’s doing a lot of stuff I’ve always wanted a 4X game to do.
My main issue is I don’t enjoy the neolithic phase of the game. Rolling the dice to see when you get the 5 influence you need to found your first settlement is just bad in my opinion. In Civ there is this huge debate about whether you should settle on your 1st turn or if it is okay to delay one turn for a more optimal settlement location, so that gives a pretty clear indication of how important those early turns are in these types of games. Would love an option to skip this era.
I’d say the main thing that I’m liking though is that it remixes just enough of the standard things you expect from a Civ game for it to feel like a fresh experience and force me to actually think about what I’m doing. I think for anyone like me that bounced off of Civ 6 because it just felt like it was sort of going through the motions this is worth giving a shot, with the caveat that it is buggy as all hell at the moment so it might be worth waiting until it gets patched a bit.