Surviving the Aftermath is a post-apocalyptic survival colony builder developed by Iceflake Studios, a new genre for the company whose previous works include Lice Lakes and Race Arcade. Putting you in the seat of the leader of a small band of survivors, you must expand your base, sort out supplies from food and water to guns and clothing, and scavenge the local area for new materials and research. With so many other entries in this genre, especially on flash websites and mobile, does StA meet the mark?
Starting off calmly, the game beings with a short tutorial on its basic controls, as well as setting up the world with its apocalyptic scenario. Creating tents for people to sleep in, as well as create new members, scavenging posts to pick berries or break down rubble and crafting new items. It’s not long before the handholding is dropped, leaving you in the main part of the game with little to no guidance.
After the tutorial, StA becomes more of a colony builder than any sort of story game. You must micromanage your colony, its people and the tasks being undertaken every day. A lot of your time will be spent in research, unlocking all the different tiers of buildings and upgrades, with this being the real end-goal of the current portion of the game. Hopefully, down the line, the story will be expanded more than just “the world is post-apocalypse”.
StA feels really hands-off at times when it comes to controlling your colony, as with other games you can control people to every minutia of their daily lives, however in StA you mostly set their job and let them go at it. There are some points when you can select a survivor to send them to a certain spot, but most of the time they are set to auto. You can set up survivors in any of the buildings you create, making them farmers, gathers, crafters or guards at watchtowers.
Aside from the survivors, you’ll also be controlling several hero-like units who can give major bonuses to the camp as well as set out to explore the overworld. The overworld is set up into several plots of land for exploration. When out exploring, the heroes can find abandoned cities, caches of supplies or even inhabited towns that you can trade with. Exploring will be the main way of acquiring supplies, as well as research points to unlock new tools and upgrades.
As you progress through the game you will get attacked by bandits at your gate, though often enough you’ll have a peaceful option of giving them supplies. These grow in strength very quickly and can contain a bit too much randomness for my tastes, with victory being a coin flip at times. You have no real direct control over the skirmishes, rather letting your wall guards do the work, and hoping that you win. Losing the skirmish will have the bandits invade your town, where your heroes and guards can deal with them, though no without loss to your survivors inside.
StA has a nice variety of radios to swap between for music selection, with a style for almost every player. The loop of songs could be a bit longer in my opinion, as you’ll hear the same track several times in a session. Thankfully none of the music feels out of place, with most bringing with them a sense of dread and weariness that your survivors will be feeling as you try to protect them against radioactive creatures.
The difficulty of StA is a bit haywire at times, taking skyrocket jumps when you’re not prepared or throwing a catastrophe of meteors or plague that can wipe out a good portion of your camp. To defend against the disasters you can build early-warning facilities to give you more time to prepare, though you’ll still be required to build more medical facilities for the wounded. These random events can feel quite unforgiving at times, though it is more than likely how they are meant to make you feel, with even the world and outside of it trying to tear you down.
There were a few bugs with StA, aside from the insects, that did halt play at times. I crashed once or twice and even had dome survivors get stuck on terrain. While there are some issues, the general play is smoother than most early access titles.
Overall, Surviving the Aftermath has a good start of a survival colony-builder. It has some unique takes on normal mechanics though feels very underdeveloped in several areas. The game falls into classic gathering loops like others in the genre, becoming a chore to keep some buildings or survivors going. The map itself can also be explored with 6 or so hours, depending on how many hero units you acquire. I am excited to see how this one develops and will come back to it when some more features have been added.
Surviving the Aftermath can be purchased here on Xbox One and PC.
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Surviving the Aftermath
Survive and thrive in a post-apocalyptic future — resources are scarce but opportunity calls. Build the ultimate disaster proof colony, protect your colonists and restore civilization to a devastated world. Remember: The end of the world is just the beginning.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 15.49
Product In Stock: SoldOut