Trawling the lists on keymailer is like an unending sea of potential fun to be had, this game caught my eye because I love crafting & resource management – so with a Christmas theme I got a bit squee!
You can watch my first playthrough here, I say first because since playing it live on stream I have gone back to it several times because there are multiple endings depending on the faction you either help or do not. Yes, a demo of a game was that well polished it has multiple endings (I’ve found at least 4!)
You are basically working as a blacksmith mining ore and smelting down and turning it into whatever your customers want. Its a simple and basic premise with additional features like needing to watch hunger & fatigue levels and with the ability to learn new skills by reading books.
As someone who plays a lot of Anno is used to the ore/smelting process, this felt like a zoomed in look at what my peeps get up to as I manage the rest of the island.
For the purposes of this demo it is Christmas themed, and you either help Santa, the Snow Queen or Krampus.
As you would expect, Santa is the nicest of the lot – his main mission (should you please him enough to be asked) is to make toys for the kids. Ah nice. As much as he might want to ‘win’ Christmas, when he wins – we all win!
The Snow Queen is seriously stuck up her royal ass, and should you meet her impossibly high standards, she asks that you make a mirror – essentially to entrap Santa. As I didn’t like her when I completed this order I also sabotaged it with some of Santa’s magic, meaning we finally melted her icy heart and she took the blizzard away.
Krampus wants to piss everyone else off and, and any work for him annoys the other factions and you start to lose favour (side note, a pop up say this rep meter at at the bottom right but its actually the top right. Minor issue). His final quest you have to make two cages to entrap both the Queen and Santa, and yes the first time… I was bad and I did it.
Its a brilliantly executed game. I am SO excited to play the full version next year.
I got SO engrossed playing this on stream that it took me longer than what I would have liked to realise a publisher had come in and said hello – this was a Shiney stream first and it was AMAZING to have that literal live interaction.
The only issues I found playing this are minor. I had a few launch crashes I could easily recreate and I think the fact *every* time you launch the game it asks you to confirm your display settings is a little frustrating. But this is a minor issue and could be easily fixed or, I could just not care as much… but its a review and there is always at least one thing!
I honestly cannot remember a time I played a demo that was this good – the attention to detail is amazing, I love all the game mechanics and playing it for different endings felt worthwhile. If you, like me, go down rabbit holes with resource management games – this is so for you. Considering I played through Deathloop and found out there were multiple endings and never bothered to go back for them, but I did for this game should really highlight just how addictively brilliant this is.
5 paws out of 5
If this demo is any indication of what the full game will be like, sign me up immediately. Games that make you lose track of time are everything in a world of games where you just run, gun, spawn and die. Its really well made, the game mechanics are amazing and I adored the Christmas theme. This is such a good benchmark fore what resource management sims should be like.