16 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 0.8 hrs on record
Posted: Dec 13, 2018 @ 7:47am
Product received for free

Early Access Review
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Cliff Empire is a city building simulation/strategy game that is still in Early Access. The game currently features three different game modes, including Sandbox and Tower Defense modes.

The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic time, when most of the Earth is uninhabitable. These high-up cliff tops have become the ideal living location instead.

I made a blind gameplay video that went through most of the tutorial in the default mode, and so far the game looks fantastic. You can ignore all of my silly commentary, of course. Video can be found here: https://youtu.be/EHx-c6mn3iY

The tutorial is pretty extensive and seems to cover everything you need to know, but there are still many elements that are rather confusing in the early stages of the game. The game has a fair amount of complexity and there is quite a bit to do.

There is a tourist mode which is pretty fun to look at in first-person perspective, and some of the details you see within will definitely scratch your head in amusement.

Controls
Mouse only, or KB + M.

Graphics
Graphics are pretty neat, nothing outstanding, but some of the environmental details are nice. Plus there are hidden details in the tourist mode that are just kind of fun to look at. That being said, the people in the cities look like flattened pixelated cutouts, just didn't really fit in very well. The construction animations are really basic, looks kind of strange to have your buildings slowly pop up out of the ground.

Music
Music is relaxing and pretty nice, though also not outstanding.

Audience
I think people who enjoy city-building games should give it a try.

Pricing
$8.99 USD/€6.99 base currently in Early Access, which is a very nice price range for people to try it out.

Positives
+Fun city builder
+Very extensive and well-made tutorial (totally optional)
+Achievements look all pretty reasonable by their descriptions
+Very nice price ($8.99 USD/€6.99 base currently in Early Access)
+Tons of research/upgrades in game
+Many tradable goods/materials
+Different game modes (Sandbox/Tower Defense)
+59 updates/progress reports since release into Early Access in April 2018 (currently December 2018)

Negatives
-Some aspects of the game are rather confusing to start, some things are not explained, and you just have to find your way around.
-Some graphical details and decisions are questionable, though priortizing this later compared to QoL and gameplay is reasonable for an EA title.

Conclusion
Cliff Empire is a neat city-building game with a lot of management that will keep you fairly busy as you play. There are parts of the game that seem well-made, though other parts seem rather lacking currently in Early Access. The locations upon which you need to build your cities are definitely space-tight, so resource/space management will be key factors to determine how well you do. There are a lot of research/upgrade options in the game that are not all that obvious in the beginning, but will likely be put to good use the more time you spend with it. I do think that the frequency of updates is really promising for a game in Early Access, it shows that the devs are eager to listen to players and fix any issues. So if you think you might want to try this game while in Early Access, the price point is definitely a reasonable aspect to consider. Though if you want a finished and polished product with full features, maybe you will need to wait a bit longer. I think anyone who enjoys city-building games would probably have a pretty good time with this game. I look forward to seeing where this game will go in the future.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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