Posted: November 14, 2014
Early Access Review
, no other way to say it. I first fell in love with it while watching the Early Access Trailer: the fact that you could build your own village and follow your peasants' lives was too much for me to resist. If you like sandbox and citybuilding games with fantasy elements, this is the game for you.
How will it work?
The way it's planned to be played is simple, but very deep at the same time: there will be different zones
, the Grassland
, the Swamp
and the Snow zone
are already in the game. Desert and Lava
zones are also planned. Each zone will have two opposing races
driven by the AI, the Swamp has Goblins and Toads
, for example. You'll be able to build your village, explore the world
(yes, there won't be just a map, but multiple maps with different zones connected to each other like in RPGs) and choose to ally with one of the two races to try and plot against the other. All of this while you try to build a solid economy
(the game has countless resources and multiple economy chains, like wheat -> flour -> bread/cakes). You can also explore dungeons
, where you can find loot of differents rarities to equip your units with
. It's a sandbox game, but it will also have campaign elements thanks to the Encounters System
: different characters will give you quests to complete, that could be necessary to ally with a race, which will contribute to building your own folk tale (this feature is not yet in, though). What's even better is that you will be able to download and play maps that have been created by the players, using the Game Editor
(which already contains almost 1000 pieces to create anything you want
) and there are already a bunch of them! The hand-painted objects and textures
give a tale-like look to each of those maps.
As you may have noticed, Folk Tale is not meant to be a war simulator, instead it focuses more on the lives of your paesants (but don't tell this to those goblins trying to climb your walls). Indeed, the first-person view allows you to walk your village's streets and go inside the buildings where your peasants live or work
(you can already do this in the tutorial, but interiors are pretty limited; once they're added in sandbox, they'll be much larger).
To make a summary: this game will be HUGE
What can I do right now?
At the current stage you can:
- Play the tutorial: it's extremely old as it's not been updated, since all the effort has gone on building sandbox mode. It will be updated in the future to bring it up to date with the sandbox engine. That doesn't mean it's not exquisitely fun. "Innit" you'll learn the fundamentals, from managing resources to fighting. It's a story-driven tutorial, sort of a mini-campaign where you'll soon discover the humour that makes this game truly unique. Overall, it is just a glimpse of what you can expect when the game is complete, but some people might find it a bit more enjoyable than sandbox mode, as it is finished and complete.
- Play sandbox mode: there are enough buildings, professions and resources to build your village and manage its economy. After the addition of needs in patch 0.2.11, the game has become a lot more playable, as it is approaching the official release of sandbox mode. I had a blast playing the Snow Tundra map: while I was trying to make sure my peasants had enough food (both proteins and carbohydrates) and cloths I also had to deal with the constant waves of wolves in search for food trying to kill all my citizens. After an hour of playing (and struggling), I realized I still had to start exploring the map, especially that massive monastery up ahead; they say it's full of monks... they say. There are 3 maps made by the devs ready to be played, each one shows a different biome (Grassland, Swamp, Snow) and they're filled with enemies and locations which will keep you entertained for some hours. When you're done, you should definetely check the other maps created by the players that have been put in the game by the devs (they had to remove them right now, but will be back in the next patch).
- Create your own map: before going full steam ahead on developing sandbox mode, the devs took the time to develop the game's editor, which is available right now and with whom you can create your own map like many players have already done. There are tons of objects and terrain tiles, but it can be a bit rough and hard to use, so you need to get used to it. Fortunately, the devs have already stated that they aim to improve it in the future, possibly adding a terrain paint feature.
Why does the game have mixed reviews?
This is a hard question and to answer it I'll need to talk about the negative reviews that this game has received. A ton of them are about the game's early stages, when you could only play the Tutorial, and they have been written by people who sadly have no idea what Early Access is. Many have decided to post a negative review to tell people that Folk Tale is not yet ready or playable, but what they did is just quoting what's already in the Early Access Game
box. If you don't want to play something which is not yet complete but want to wait for it to be at least playable, put it in your wishlist and wait for patch 0.3 coming early 2015, when Sandbox will officially be available
(it actually is, but some important mechanics are missing). Some reviewers have said they've been disappointed by the switch (from campaign to sandbox) the game -apparently- had after launch, as they felt lied to by the developers. This is false. From the first day it came out Folk Tale has been advertised as a sandbox
game, as requested by the community after a poll happened in 2012
, when we had the chance to choose between sandbox, campaign and multiplayer. Campaign placed second, so they decided to introduce the Encounters system (the final decision was taken in January 2013, four months before launch). Another point that reviewers have made is about the game progress being too slow. Folk Tale launched in May 2013 and, in a year and a half, the devs have released 21 patches (fixing bugs first, building sandbox mode later), 28 dev blogs, have replied to every single question in the forums (just open the Community Hub) and have recently started streaming a 2-hours Dev Hangout in which they show the latest dev build and constantly answer questions in the chat (can one be more transparent?). I don't think that's slow and you can be sure they prefer quality over quantity
, something that everyone should support.
Finally, I want to point out that Games Foundry is made up of experienced people who know what they're doing and you can be sure they'll make Folk Tale the best fantasy sandbox citybuilding RPG (yes, it'll be all of these) game ever. You can read all their devblogs (they post one a month) on their blog[blog.gamesfoundry.com]
, where they've also compiled a Roadmap[www.gamesfoundry.com]
which shows what they're currently working on. This game is totally worth the money right now and, considering all the content that will be in when the game is released, it will be worth 50$ without any doubt.