On September 10, 2020 appeared on Steam, GOG and Epic Games As Far As The Eye is another title from the house of des In the-Publisher Goblinz Studio, which is used to the genres of simulation and strategy. Although the game comes in an inconspicuous look, it is a tough fight for survival. As Far As The Eye differs from its genre cronies, however, because here they don't settle down and build an empire, but rather an escape in competition against time.
The calm atmosphere with which the game welcomes us disappears in view of the scenario we are confronted with shortly afterwards. We accompany the nomads, called pupils, on their flight from an impending flood.
We take on the role of the wind, which guides the different tribes and their caravans to their destination, the so-called eye. However, the way there is difficult and tedious, which is why rest is a fundamental part of our journey. These breaks are mainly used to replenish and expand our resources, to refill our supplies and to arm our pupils, who can take on a wide variety of tasks as shapeshifters. However, we only have a limited amount of time to rest before the tide catches up with us. It is therefore important to wash our pupils with all the water as quickly as possible in order to survive rest after rest safely until the eye is finally reached.
The cute first impression is deceptive
Source: PC Games
If everything seems colorful and relaxed at first glance, As Far As The Eye then turns out to be a real challenge. So that you don't have to face one defeat after the other, the campaign with its five chapters can be used as a kind of tutorial at the same time. Each chapter tells a little story that brings us closer to different functions and mechanisms. In addition, the focus is usually on pupils with certain skills who should actively support us on our journey.
Even here, however, the punishing nature of the game becomes apparent, because although you are subject to certain restrictions, you have enough freedom to drive the thing against the wall. Often, even the smallest mistakes are enough, such as building buildings too hastily, the resources of which would have been better invested elsewhere. So it happens that you can also experience one or the other defeat within the tutorials. If you have finished the tutorials at some point, you can call yourself halfway ready for the other modes.
Source: PC Games
In addition to the campaign already discussed, you can choose between "Play" and "Own game". In the first mode you can choose between different tribes, each with their own starting requirements. If you select the southern tribe, for example, you will receive pupils who already start with a random level 3 craft. If you choose the eastern tribe that will be unlocked later, you have to deal with a high level of plague. At the beginning you only have access to the balanced western trunk. When choosing our tribe, there is also the question of whether we want to take a short trip to the eye, or prefer a longer game with several stops.
"Own game" only distinguishes itself through the difference that it offers more design freedom. So you not only decide here about the exact number of pegs, pupils and the amount of your provisions at the start, but you can also customize the look of your pegs. In addition, there is the setting of probabilities, i.e. whether the coincidence should mean good or bad with you. In this way, interesting scenarios can be tried out in this mode, such as the start with just one pupil who has enough provisions to make ends meet on his own for the first time. In all of this, however, a central aspect of the game reveals itself, which often enough throws you a spanner in the works: chance.
The rest as a box of chocolates
Source: PC Games
You never know what you are going to get. Often it is, at least felt, not happiness that haunts you. Plagues or negative effects from examined ruins cause only some of your setbacks. Because even the composition of a rest depends on chance, horror scenarios often arise. Do you need a certain amount of ore to be able to advance to the next rest? Too bad that your current rest does not have a source of the coveted ore and you are therefore dependent on the market and its trade. Trading, however, is usually associated with a disadvantageous course that costs you unnecessarily much time and resources. The rule of chance goes so far that, even with a hitherto smooth strategy, you are so restricted that failure is inevitable. With this, an actually nice aspect of the game, namely the given freedom of decision and action, is greatly weakened.
For some players, however, this could also be a welcome part of the challenge they are happy to face. Apart from this arbitrariness, As Far As The Eye presents itself excellently. It offers a charming indie look with a suitable atmosphere, which is underlined by relaxing sounds and a gentle soundtrack.
The pupils come in a wide variety of shapes, depending on the handicraft chosen, but all of them are cute. However, you have to be careful not to lose sight of the essentials such as the overview due to the many small details. RPG elements such as experience points for the pupils or their skill trees promote strategic depth. This also comes to the fore when it is not just a matter of meeting the requirements for the next rest, but also of thinking about which resources to prepare for safety's sake. Because you never know what to expect. The fact that you only have limited space for additional resources makes the whole thing even more spicy.
A pleasant eye-catcher that has it all behind the ears and challenges nerves and brain cells alike
Compared to classic genre representatives such as Civilization or Anno, As Far As The Eye turns out to be a refreshing change. The sleek look is a treat for the eye and the soundtrack almost invites you to relax in depth, if it weren't for the often nerve-wracking arbitrariness. Apart from that, As Far As The Eye offers a tough challenge that demands a lot from you. It is always important to keep an eye on several things at the same time and to think with the resources not only until the next rest, but beyond. A nice building strategy game that invites you to linger for a few rounds!
As the number of laps increases, so do the demands on your overview. (Source: PC Games)
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