Weekly Round-Up Wednesday - 15th June 2022

Screenshot of Urbek City Builder Demo
Voxels galore in this city builder

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Wednesday to update readers on what I've been playing during the week (this also includes games on my "Pile of Shame"). The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and myself. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

The Oil Blue

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 95%

Made some minor progress with this. All I'm doing now is working my way to unlock two more islands and then be finally done with the game.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%

This is the main game I played over the last week. I started a single-player game and went from start-to-finish with the Cree. The Cree receive this neat ability to capture hexes around your city whenever a trade route goes through them, so I made sure whenever a new city was built, I'd relocate a trader or two to the city in order to grab some territory. Towards the end of the game, I was a very wealthy, scientifically-advanced nation that had befriended almost every city state. I wasn't first in terms of score though, the Mongol Empire was the one to beat. It's probably no surprise they had the most territory (they had captured many cities from other civilisations and city states) but what was surprising was that they were in the lead for culture too! I guess the world can't get enough of that throat singing. Russia were in the lead for a Religious Victory and they hit me hard mid-game with a bunch of Apostles attempting to convert nearby city states, but they eventually backed off and weren't a threat for the rest of the game.

I eventually won the game with a Diplomatic Victory but only after I restored the game to an earlier World Congress meeting. I somehow had heaps of Diplomatic Favour in this game, way more than any other civ but I was always conservative in using the Favour during World Congress meetings, even for resolutions that could potentially win me the game. Anyway, I only did so after Mongolia suddenly won a Diplomatic Victory and there was no warning it was about to occur (a problem I've found in general with Civ VI) and I had no idea how they achieved it since it was out of session (which I think is more infuriating). The only way I can think of achieving a Diplomatic Victory outside of World Congress resolutions is accumulating victory points by building certain old wonders. I'm guessing this is what Mongolia must've done in order to snatch victory from my grasp. Anyway, after I restored the game to just prior to the last World Congress session, I made sure to invest almost all my Diplomatic Favour into the resolution which gave me two diplomatic victory points and it was victory for the Cree.

I did try and go for a Scientific Victory too but Gathering Storm have made it a bit more challenging to achieve this as you have to wait 50 turns before your ship reaches an exoplanet (although you can speed this up with particular projects). It kind of reminds me of the original Civilization where it's not an automatic victory when you launch a spaceship: you still have to wait for it to arrive before declaring victory.

In the game I played, the world was ravaged by climate change. I was the first nation to industrialise and despite switching to more carbon-friendly forms of power generation such as nuclear power and renewables, this didn't stop the world reaching the maximum phase of climate change resulting in a lot of tiles being flooded and lost to the ocean. In future games, it'll be interesting to see if I can just get by without coal or oil power plants but doesn't that feel a bit like cheating in a way as Humanity didn't have the benefit of hindsight like us Civ players do with respect to using new technology. I also found it difficult to power highly developed inland cities with just renewables as each only generates 2 power and if you need 16 power for example, that means you need to sacrifice 8 tiles just for power generation (however, I just read that power plants can apparently provide electricity to any city within six tiles of it which is something I'm sure to take advantage of next time I play). Anyway, as I did not know how else to power my cities, I ended up with a mix of renewables and one nuclear power plant at the end of the game.

Oh, the Giant Death Robots in this iteration of Civ VI look badass by the way. Although their stats are terrifying. Not quite sure how you're supposed to beat them if you don't have Giant Death Robots of your own!

Urbek City Builder Demo

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%

The Steam Next Fest is on at the moment and I thought I might as well give a few demos a go. First cab off the rank is a game called Urbek City Builder. I do like city builders, even if the cities look like something out of Minecraft. Urbek City Builder is banking on the fact you like voxels so much you'll want to build a city out of them. The game does look appealing enough though and it has a kind of cute charm to it. You can even zoom down to ground level to see what the city looks like up close which is pretty neat.

Gameplay-wise it reminds me of old city builder games like Caesar, Zeus or Pharaoh. You know the ones I'm talking about. Those games made by Impressions in the 90s and published by Sierra. You start off with basic huts but as you add more services and generate more goods, the more advanced and wealthy your city becomes. It seems to play out just as you'd expect and the demo is good at guiding you through how the game works. I'm not sure how difficult the actual game will be but the demo was a cakewalk and that's not necessarily a bad thing, if you're looking for a casual city builder game to unwind with after a hard day's work.

It'll only take an hour of your time to make it through the whole demo and I'd definitely recommend giving it a go, especially if you want a modern take on the old Impressions City Building games but with voxel graphics.

LINK: [ The Pile of Shame ]