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Review

The developer states that his game is inspired by The Settlers and Civilization. And you can see that at first glance.  At first, we only see our continent on the planet. Like in Civilization, there is a research tree, and as soon as we have the appropriate research, we can set sail with a small colony ship to explore the oceans. In doing s...

Before We Leave

  • Samanta Blumberg
  • Jun 19, 2021

The developer states that his game is inspired by The Settlers and Civilization. And you can see that at first glance. 

At first, we only see our continent on the planet. Like in Civilization, there is a research tree, and as soon as we have the appropriate research, we can set sail with a small colony ship to explore the oceans. In doing so, we then come across other continents with other biomes where we can establish a colony.

Potato field, cotton field, a few houses - that's what a village looks like, which takes up one-half of the continent.
The colony, on the other hand, works just like in Anno: there is a warehouse on each island, which serves as a port and warehouse. Sent there, you can load and unload your ship and then sail on. There are also transport routes for which you simply connect two warehouses. Then the barges will sail around on their own and take with them what you have previously written on their list.

Later, you can also explore space travel and then use a colonization rocket to set off for new planets.

What sets Before we leave apart from its predecessors is the complete lack of violence. There are no competitors, that is, other races that could threaten you. You can colonize your planets in quiet. However, there are supposed to be space whales that the player should beware of.

Last but not least, you may also deal with environmental pollution and unhappy or exhausted gobblers. If the gobblers aren't well, they'll only twitch around slowly, while everyone else whizzes past them. A special building helps against dirty landscapes, where brooms and buckets are waiting to be used.

The graphics in general don't have to hide. Yes, it's a bit simpler than Settlers nowadays, but it still comes across as very detailed and well animated. For example, we have a small wooden elevator that transports the meeples from the grassy plain higher up into the mountains. Sound and animation match perfectly as a meeple enters the elevator and a winch above pulls the car up. Smoke pours out of the chimneys and light falls from the doorways at night when a meeple leaves or enters his house.

The acoustic background is also worth listening to. Where something is going on, there are noises. Just like in Settlers, there is sawing, hammering, bubbling, blazing, and much more. The closer you get to the action, the more clearly you hear it - if you look at your planet from a distance, on the other hand, you hear a kind of "background noise" of the universe and also see dust nebulae illuminated by stars in the vastness of space. Occasionally, the well-suited, relaxing background music also kicks in during the game.

For Early Access, "Before we leave" already looks good. There is a lot to discover and the interface, animations, and graphics do not have to hide from larger, more expensive titles. Against the backdrop of the small development team, the interface, i.e. the windows for operation and info icons, looks out-of-this-world good.
The game hardly gives the impression of having Early Access status first. You get a well-rounded game and don't stand at the "content border", where only a roadmap puts you off for future content.

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