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I’ve had a look at SynergySince we first showed the city builder in 2022, during the PC Gaming Show. Synergy’s Moebius style art with its pastel sci-fi charms really sealed the deal for me. Leikir Studio’s demo for Steam Next Fest is now available. Until now, I was only able to look at screenshots. It hasn’t let me down.
Synergy is not afraid of novelty, but the foundations of the game are familiar, as they are based on the formula used in the classic Impressions titles like Caesar and Pharaoh. Arriving in an alien, new land, your settlers are only equipped with a limited stockpile, and their determination to create a home. Then, you must build homes, gather resources, and assign jobs until all the basic boxes are checked.
Eventually, however, you will start to notice some pleasing quirks. Your settlers can gather the water and clean it before storing it to be consumed. Gathering more resources from the strange flora also requires extra steps that emphasize the alien nature the ecosystem.
Your settlers will need to study the flora first, as they have never seen it before. Sending out researchers to perform surface analysis will reveal how plants can be used safely. You don’t wish for your new residents to be stabbed by poisonous plants.
A lot of the plants I encountered actually had multiple uses, depending on how they were interacted with—harvesting could net me fruit that could be used in the kitchen, while pruning could give me sticks that I could turn into tools. The two fruit picker buildings I built allowed me to send teams to both pick and cut the plants, which then slowly grew back. Even without buildings, it is possible to harvest a plant’s entire resources, but the plant will be destroyed.
Some resources, such as tree trunks, are only available by cutting down trees. This has a downside, however: the trees provide shade to your settlers, improving their well-being. Maintaining the balance of the ecosystem is important as you try and balance the need for resource with the quality environment. You don’t want your settlement to be overly vulnerable to the weather, so you need to keep a healthy amount of resources.
The change in season can present new challenges. For instance, the dry seasons can cause trees and plants to wilt. Water may also evaporate. A good stockpile will allow you to survive these crises. Failure to do so may lead to sickness and starvation, or even death. Good times.
Learn to Survive
Research and exploration can help you build a more effective settlement that can deal with these problems. You can unlock new buildings and tasks through the former. The latter allows you send out expeditions to bring back new settlers, resources, and even flora which can be planted locally. You’ll eventually be able create wells, irrigation system, experimental labs, and schools while also filling the area with new vegetation.
Once you’ve set up an explorer hut, you can access a world map and choose a location. In the tutorial a narrative event encourages players to visit a cavern where a “chaotic flickering light” was spotted. These adventures can have a story component as well. The language used in this event suggests that you can choose to take a different path.
You can choose the size of your expedition. The larger the group the more resources you’ll need, but the group will also be able carry more and the expedition will move more quickly. The blinking light attracted my explorers to the cave. They never returned home.
This demo ends after a failed expedition. I am left wanting more. My settlement grew to a small village, but I’m sure we’ll be managing a city full of distinct districts. Each district is built around a town square that grants special buffs and requires certain prerequisites. This is not a survival game that’s all about desperation or subsistence living. With the new tech and introduction of new plantlife, you will be able to create gardens and fields and have clean running water in your settlement. This will allow your settlers to thrive, rather than just survive.
You can embark on bouts of beautification, too, plonking down decorations to give your new home a bit more character—not that it doesn’t look striking right out the gate. Every building is rich in character—even more so when you stick workers in it, who make it spring to life, animating previously dormant buildings as they earn their keep. In the demo there isn’t any structure that doesn’t look both beautiful and bizarre, but always with an art style that ensures that nothing looks out-of-place.
You’ve still got the better part of a week before Next Fest ends, and given that a lot of demos stick around after the event, you might even have longer to take Synergy for a spin—and you absolutely should. It’s not yet official, but the release date is expected to be in the first half 2024.
Chris’s list includes other city builders who are worth paying attention. Seven city builders that he can’t Wait to Play This Year.
Original content by pcgamer.com. “Synergy is at the top of this list for survival city builders thanks to Next Fest’s demo”
Read the complete article at https://www.pcgamer.com/synergy-has-shot-straight-to-the-top-of-my-most-anticipated-survival-city-builders-list-thanks-to-its-next-fest-demo