Against the Storm (2021) is a construction-based strategy game where you build outposts, towns and villages in an eternally rainy world. Unlike other city builders, this is a game where you attempt and fail over and over. Each run you use intricate gameplay systems and mechanics to construct your city and protect yourself from the various monsters your building awakes.
Set in an ancient world of eternal rainstorms, your population of humans, beavers and humanoid lizards must establish outpost colonies to expand your dominion, establish trade routes and gather resources with the hope of restoring the once-majestic Smouldering City. You battle blights on crops and trees, face off against the three different rainy seasons and more in an ever-evolving and changing world.
The game map has the Smouldering City at its centre, and a series of tiles around it. On each of these tiles, you can attempt a new colony, which can trade with other colonies and gather resources. In each of these you begin in the woods and must expand into other clearings. However, there are deadly adversaries, such as monsters, blight and fungi, that can threaten to end the colony and set you back, so you always need to be thinking ahead.
In each colony, you need to provide food, housing, water and rest for its population, or you risk it collapsing. If you are successful in maintaining a colony, you can expand your reach to new areas, so you can gather more resources and create new trade routes. Each colony also has a series of randomly assigned bonuses and detriments (ie. harvest yield might be higher but wood gathered might rot faster) which adds yet another level of strategy to the game.
Each of the three races - humans, beavers and lizards - also have unique advantages; beavers, for example, are excellent lumbers and woodworkers, making them ideal for expanding your colonies through the dense trees. There are three different biomes to explore and expand into, each offering different resources and benefits, but also unique dangers you need to adapt to.
It's an incredibly complex game, which offers countless ways to play and provides a deeper experience than similar games, allowing you to get deeper into a unique and strategic system that rewards planning and tactics.
Our examiner, Ben Kendall
, first checked Against the Storm 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 9 months ago.