For my birthday, my sister gifted me the indie game Craft the World from my Steam wish list. I’m not sure where I first heard about the game, which is still in early access stages, but I was stoked to try it out this past weekend. Not sure what to expect, and having really not delved into any tower defense type games, I found it to be a charming and addicting game worth recommending.
What is Craft the World?
It feels like a blend of several types of games. You have the gathering, crafting and exploring elements of games like Starbound and Terraria. There’s a command system that reminds me vaguely of one of my old favorites, Majesty. Then there’s the tower defense elements, which come on a timer or at night, enough to give a little challenge without overwhelming the crafting/gathering/exploring elements.
I think that the blend of elements work very well. I never found myself without something to do as I lead my ever-growing band of dwarves through their day to day life. Despite the various gameplay styles, I never found the game to be confusing or inaccessible.
At this point, being early access, I didn’t find an in-your-face tutorial. Similar to Starbound, the first thing I noticed was a book that contains a list of quests for you to complete. Finishing these quests pushes you in the proper direction to progress through the game.
However, I didn’t notice until much later that the book also contained a section with all the gameplay information that would help a new player get started. I discovered much of this on my own as I played the game, so the game is pretty intuitive, with the exception of what the game defines as a complete house (I had to Google this, not knowing it was contained in the book).
Building a complete house is important — only then do the dwarves have something to protect them, and a place to sleep to recover life points. The house must have fully-built back walls, side walls and a roof. Once you have that, you can place beds inside to allow your dwarves to rest.
Once I was on that page, the game started moving more smoothly for me. I began to concentrate on building up this house (you can eventually upgrade to more sturdy walls and structures) and defending it from attacks at night and during the timed enemy invasions.
Crafting trees are a nice touch. Similar to tech trees in Civilization, after you craft enough items within one branch, new branches open up. This gives you the ability to craft more advanced weapons, food, skills and housing items/structures.
The overall gaming experience is really smooth and polished overall. I wouldn’t have known this was an early access game from just playing it! The art style is charming and expresses lots of personality. While there’s only a couple tracks of music, I didn’t find the tunes annoying, even after hours of play. Sounds were quite good, and I especially enjoyed the dwarves’ funny war cries as they charge into battle.
This is a fun and excellent little sandbox/adventure/defense game with lots of promise and a blend of gaming elements that come together in a pleasing way. I look forward to putting a lot more time into this game and seeing how it develops in the future! If you’re looking for something new to pick up, and you enjoy this style of gaming, Craft the World may be a good purchase for you!