As Far As The Eye
Publisher: Goblinz Studio, Maple Whispering Limited
Genre: Strategy, Building, Survival
Platform: PC (Steam)
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: 10.09.2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
As far as the eye is a solo player, turn-based strategy game where you play as the wind guiding your pupils to ‘The Eye’ before the great flood consumes them. On their journey, you will make decisions that will impact the caravan…
The Eye of the World
The game is based around the idea of you creating your own story and narrative as you travel through each stage on the map. There is no real plot so if you are looking for a game with a set story with various plot points and character development this may not be for you. With that being said, the game gives you the chance to create your own narrative based on what happens on your journey which I found to be a fresh take.
The world is bright, colourful, and optimistic. The character models are simple and offer basic character customisation which is limited to the colour of the balloons each disciple carries. Each stage has a greyed map which you can discover as your disciples explore uncovering ruins, mountains, forests, and lakes. Each biome is easily distinguishable however resources are not infinite which means that it is important to explore the map to ensure that there are other sources where resources can be gathered as in my playthrough, I ran out of meat as I used up the resource on the map which prevented me from being able to progress- it is important to keep this in mind.
An Eye for Resource Management
The focus of the game is resource management as each time you travel to a different location you are required to collect a certain amount of a resource to be allowed to progress further. You get a set number of turns to achieve the goals, if you do not meet those goals and move on by the time your turns are up the great flood will sweep your tribe. Game over. You also need to manage hunger as your disciples will eventually starve if enough rations are not saved. Resources will be required to build buildings to produce the necessary materials to complete the stage or simply sustain the tribe.
Throughout each stage, it is important to gather food. The further into the game you get the less food you will be able to find which calls back to my earlier point where I ran out of food. I am not the best at managing my resources, but the game really pushed me to try and be better which I really appreciated. Your pupils while assigned to different tasks like collecting wool or chopping down forests will gain experience which contributes towards their personal skill tree. This allows them to gain better tools and structures increasing productivity over time. Gaining experience can later lead to job upgrades which allows them to specialise more.
Each time you move to each stage you can only bring so many resources with you as they need to fit into the caravan’s grid storage which fits with the idea of a nomadic lifestyle which feeds to the creating your own story idea.
Relax as you play
One thing I really liked about this game is how relaxing it was to play. There is no time limit to each round which allows you to properly think through each decision you will make. The music is always tranquil so wearing headphones is recommended as you can enjoy the round of rustling grass and bird cries which is atmospheric and enjoyable.
Ways to Play
There are three game modes you can try: Campaign mode, just ‘play’ and Custom.
Campaign mode is my recommended starting point for AFATE as it introduces you to the different obstacles you will come across in the game. The only downside to the campaign mode is that it tends (mainly in the first three stages) to hold your hand with no way of deviating from the unofficial tutorial which can feel restricting. One thing that did bother me is that there is basically no instruction on how to control your pupils. On the other hand, once you get past all the tutorial stuff it is very beneficial as you gain an understanding of all the different functions and features. One thing that constantly bothered me was all the pop-up text which tended to drag out gameplay by a lot.
I feel like in the campaign mode the only thing missing is a plot as with there being four stages it would really offer a good opportunity for us the player to get to know these characters a little better and understand a bit more about how they got onto this journey in the first place.
‘Play’ is like campaign except you just jump into the gameplay. Like the campaign mode, you are basically collecting all the resources required to move from stage to stage on the map aiming to reach the eye before the flood hits. You can save and continue from where you left off on this game mode which I appreciated as it allowed me to stop and start when I had time to do so. One thing that did often bother me was the constant pop-ups that a pupil was not doing a task even though I had set one which felt invasive and frustrating.
In both the campaign mode and ‘play’ mode you are bombarded with a tutorial with no way of avoiding it which felt needless as in my opinion this was pointless. Campaign mode made sense to have the tutorial however the ‘play’ mode really did not need it all over again as people are more likely to start with the campaign mode. So I feel that either the ‘play’ mode need a skip button or no tutorial at all.
This game takes a lot of patience to complete- it is not a game you will likely complete in a day. I am unfortunately not a very patient person and I do enjoy some plot to my gameplay. If you enjoy slower-paced games or are simply more patient than me, I think you may really enjoy and get into this game as there is much to explore, much more than I have spoken about.
Overall, I think this game is a unique spin on the resource management games genre. I really like the atmosphere and design of this game as it feels fresh, however, I am not so keen on the controls as it felt quite unnatural at times.
Rapid Reviews Rating
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