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I don’t think I’ve ever played a tutorial as long as Endzone’s. At its peak the irrational part of me was certain it would never end. Sure, another part knew the list of buildings and tasks were finite, but they just kept on coming. I honestly wondered how I’d be able to remember all of the systems and mechanics in place. They were relentless, but they were also necessary.
It’s the apocalypse! But it could be worse
Endzone – A World Apart is a base builder set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has spent the last 150 years underground. Following a global nuclear disaster, they emerge into an Earth that is finally ready to accept them again. Provided they can survive the unforgiving conditions, including droughts, sandstorms, and radiation. You are the overseer of a community looking for a new home. And it is hell of a job.
You’ve got people depending on you for everything. You need to organise their shelter, resources, education, defense, and technology among others. Their needs never cease and the weight on your shoulders is immense because of it. You’ve got a lot to keep track of, and a cornucopia of structures to build to ensure not only survival, but success. With so many responsibilities and systems to keep in mind. It becomes clear that a tutorial that covers so much ground is a necessity.
Hell of a tutorial
Despite the tutorial taking me about 3 hours to complete, I have to admit it was a good introduction. In fact, part of what makes it such a good tutorial is its length. It refuses to rush the learning process, it holds your hand in all the right ways and shows you how your community can thrive. It’s a careful balance of everything your people need to survive. When I eventually started my own game, instead of feeling like I was dropped headfirst into the deep end of a pool, I felt like I was gently lowered into its depths.
However, not everyone will feel this way. By the time you’re done with it, it feels like you’ve already played through a game itself. I appreciated all of the help, but by that point it had overstayed its welcome. I was more than ready to get started on my own journey.
If nothing else, Endzone – A World Apart is a comprehensive game. There are a plethora of systems in place once you’ve gotten a budding city under your care. When you get into it, it can be a really great experience. There’s constantly something that needs your attention and keeps the steady pace up at all times.
Work to be done
Once you’ve built up a successful city, filled with happy citizens, bustling roads, and overflowing supplies you may wonder, “What now?”
Once survival is ensured, what’s left to do outside of maintaining the status quo and expanding your borders? Not exactly the most exciting gameplay prospect. Thankfully there are a couple of modes to challenge yourself with. This offers more difficulty when stabilising a region, and then you’ve still got to get it into a lucrative state.
Outside of difficulty increases also comes the inclusion of scenarios. These scenarios offer a multitude of different situations to test yourself on. Such as extended droughts, every passing season bringing a worse one than the last. A scenario where you and a friend make a bet after a night of drinking. You both try to see who can make the best use of tenable land, and collect the most seeds. Even helping a settlement in crisis, with little food and water, no resources and, bundles of damaged structures. It really helps to spice things up, and take it to the next level
Even the apocalypse needs some tunes
I’ve gotta say I love the soundtrack to Endzone. It’s a very grimy synth heavy collection of tracks that really adds to the atmosphere. From the menu music to the ambient tracks of the world. It gives you a feeling of futuristic ruin, and I couldn’t get enough of it. However, there isn’t an abundance of variety. There are only a handful of songs for it, meaning you are bound to hear repeats. If you end up playing an obscene amount, which is entirely possible, it might get a bit repetitive for you.
Endzone has all the makings of an engaging city builder, with enough content to satiate your hunger for management. It’s got something for aficionados of the genre as well as newcomers. I can definitely recommend this title if you’re into the prospect of building your own post-apocalyptic Rome.