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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Before We Leave (2020) is a city building simulation and strategy game. Humanity has been living in bunkers after a great calamity, and are emerging to start a new life by building farms, industry and trade routes throughout the solar system. It's an unusual mixture of both medieval architecture and steampunk spaceships to create a strategy game with no warfare, and where the emphasis is on exploration, learning and trade.

Before We Leave has a lot of complexity to it which is gradually revealed through the tutorial levels. The world is divided up into hexagonal blocks which may be grass, sand, ice, sea or rock. You need to plan out your towns carefully, using the natural resources and the abandoned ancient machinery that is scattered around.

This starts with a single island but gradually develops industry and sailing ships which enable you to explore the world and find new islands to colonise. As you progress you manage trade routes between your islands and discover broken spaceships that can be repaired and used to reach more distant planets. Managing more than one planet with multiple islands is tricky, but there are constant notifications to help you prioritise what needs to be done.

An interesting moment is after you have a second planet you can encounter troublesome space whales. In other games you might expect the solution would be to blast them out the way. Before We Leave takes a more pacifist route with feeding stations and defensive shelters.

Before We Leave has a lot of information and menus to deal with, but gradually unfolds into a streamlined challenge. For those who enjoy building villages, and playing god, this strategy game is one of the more gentle experiences, as you are not controlling armies or attacking neighbours, and you can concentrate on making efficient communities and keeping your inhabitants happy instead.

Our examiner, Andrea Walney, first checked Before We Leave 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 18 months ago.
Too complex for your family? There are lots of games similar to Before We Leave. Here are some easier younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Simulation and Strategy game with Collecting elements. This is a single-player game.


Play Time: This game will take between 10 hours and 21 hours to complete. Time depends on the settings you use, and how many planets you chose to play with.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 7 for Implied Violence.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated General (G) for Very Mild Themes.

Skill Level

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Requires complex planning and resource management skills. But lets young players slow things down to take this at their own pace.


Before We Leave usually costs £14.99 to £15.99. 

Before We Leave

Switch StoreSALE Switch £15.99 £3.99 until 26/07/2024
Steam Store PC £15.99
Steam Store Mac £15.99
PlayStation Store PS5 £14.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £14.99

Before We Leave

XBox Store Xbox X|S £15.99
XBox Store Xbox One £15.99
XBox Store PC £15.99
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 08/05/2020

Price: 75% off

Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Simulation, Strategy and Collecting

Accessibility: 24 features

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Weather

Developer: Balancing Monkey (@BalancingMonkey)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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