Awhile back I got the opportunity to look at Spiritlands, a game that was in early access, developed by Tall Story Studios – it was a unique clicker game with lots of customization and was a little expensive for what it was. I had about 2 hours out of it, wrote my preview, and went on my way. Since then, Tall Story Studios has become Prey Interactive – They’ve changed a lot of details about Spiritlands, and the game’s out of early access now, as a full release. Any of the gripes I had have been fixed, and – most importantly, it’s actually cheaper now! At $6.99 you’re getting a pretty solid game about expansion, and how you’ll end up developing the world.
Storywise, you’re looking at the legendary 8th continent, a mysterious land that is somehow untouched by the industrialization of the rest of the planet. You start there, and… your mission? To industrialize the land! Or… survive there, at least.
“In this game – you click on tiles and it lowers the amount of resources left in the tile. Each tile has a numerical value, such as “45” and, every time you click it goes down by 1. If you stop clicking on them, they replenish. So, the idea is to click on them to pick up resources and not destroy the resource on the tile by taking it all the way to zero. You do this to get enough resources to build either houses or work points, which, are places that workers go to automate your clicking so you don’t have to ruin your mouse. Upgrade these buildings, defend your land from camps, learn all of the abilities, and, that’s pretty much the whole game.”
But, – something I didn’t even think about before, but, it’s very apparent now that I’m looking at the game again – This isn’t a game to be beaten. It’s about building a world in a way that you’re responsible for. So… before, when I mentioned that you click to pick up resources without destroying the tile… but, that’s not what it is. It’s how much destruction are you willing to deal with? How much urbanization? The game is about responsibility with the environment, not about winning, or learning all of the abilities, it’s about building a world you’re happy with. Also – you don’t just click to pick up stuff now, there’s an icon you can place so that you don’t click a bunch. <– This kills the mouse.
The graphics are simple, but logical. Everything upgrades into more modern buildings, and it’s pretty cool looking. Nothing seemed really out of place or weird. I enjoyed the aesthetics. The last time I reviewed this, the game had placeholder music. It was common royalty free music, and, while it wasn’t terrible, it was very commonplace and made the game feel cheap. Thankfully, they teamed up with Daisy Ale Soundworks who produced some beautiful music to go with the sound effects. Speaking of – the sounds. The sound system is really interesting. From Prey Interactive’s Website:
“The sounds of Spiritlands are designed to be dynamic and atmospheric, combining hundreds of individual sounds create produce telling environments. It is one thing seeing a water tile, it is another to hear the movement of water.
The sounds are based on where you are looking at, and cleverly overlay the sounds from 36 different tiles, making sure they do not overpower each other.
You can seriously be lost in the calm and peaceful world that you can create. And as your settlements grow, the sound will dynamically change with it- from tweeting birds in trees, to cars and machinery. What you build carries more weight than just removing a nature tile. How much that bothers you will affect how you design your civilisation.”
So – when you’re slamming together your base, and you have this industrial wasteland, it’ll sound like that – cars, boots on the ground, industrial engines, et cetera, and, if you want to have those nice nature sounds, you’re gonna have to be responsible and not destroy your land the way the land was destroyed on the other seven continents.
The game’s added a tutorial lady, who nicely tells you how many more screens of text she’s going to share with you. I wish there was a better way to instruct the player, but, this is one of those cases where text boxes are the way to go. Usually, I’m pretty against them, but in this type of game, it would be very difficult to show, not tell.
If you’re a fan of peaceful nature type stuff, or basebuilding, this will probably be something you’re interested in. The gameplay is unique. The music is nice, and it’s a quality game for less money than you spent last night at the gas station buying hotdogs. The lowered price seems like a smart move by Prey Interactive, and the new audio is great. The UI is kind of difficult to figure out, and if you miss what you’re trying to do, it’s easy to get stuck, but, this isn’t a game about slamming out tournament winning cities, it’s just a game to peacefully build in. It’s a chill game.
Disclosure: We received a review copy for free.
Developed by: Prey Interactive