Friday, June 17, 2016

Last Days of Old Earth Gameplay Review

I'm playing Last Days of Old Earth, a turn-based strategy game by Auroch Digital and Slitherine.

A spiritual successor to Armageddon Empires, the game features a campaign of skirmish games set on pre-scripted maps, where new cards are added to the player’s deck after each round. Skirmish games against the AI on randomly generated maps are also available, in addition to online multiplayer that is limited to 1v1. There are two slightly different factions in the game, and card decks can be customized for each. There are only a couple of generic starter decks, but making a new one is easy enough. The objective is to capture the enemy base. First, the two sides roll for initiative: whoever goes first gets more action points, so resources can be spent to increase the odds of moving first. Action points are used for recruiting units, moving units, creating armies, building stuff, and drawing cards. Resources are used to recruit units (heroes, units, facilities, and aircraft) and build structures (collectors gather resources while outposts extend supply and allow for unit recruitment). Map terrain can affect movement and combat odds. Units have varied abilities, while facilities grant passive bonuses and aircraft can scout and attack within a large radius from their base. Combat can be automatically resolved, or performed on a square battlefield, where units can use special abilities while attacking the enemy. While slightly improved since the beta, the AI still lacks aggression when they could cripple another side’s economy. Once one side gains a resource advantage, they can afford to win more initiative rolls, giving them more action points to recruit more units and gather more resources, creating an avalanche towards victory. That said, Last Days of Old Earth is still an engaging turn-based strategy game with a variety of minor shortcomings.