Hello everyone! This is Julio, AKA Sumroad, writing to you from a not so dark corner (too much darkness messes with my eyes) at Tristram’s tavern. I will be your reviewer from now on since Melissa is taking a well-deserved vacation at Bora Bora, well… not really, but I hope she could do that soon. Anyway, I will be taking my sister’s place and I would like to thank her and John (our editor), for this opportunity, you are awesome and I will do my best to make this place a good one for you all, my gamer family!
A little about me: My first memories as a gamer date back to 1990, when my father showed up with a big box, I was curious about it, then he opened it and to my surprise it was like those Matryoshka dolls, yes, another box inside that box, but this one looked different, it was a metallic box with some odd connectors and switches, then a little TV. I was confused, what was that all about? I was sitting next to my father looking at him setting everything up, then he fired it up… green text on the screen, nothing exciting about that! But then he inserted this square in that box, it was somehow flat and flexible square with a punch hole in the middle, he said it was a disk, but it was a square to me… yeah right dad! A disk! Then I turned back to the screen and there it was… you can read: Te… tr.. is. Then he began to play this odd game, rotating the shapes and stacking them, felt like magic. And you know what? I fell in love with Tetris, and Digger, and some other games I don’t remember the names, all in the glorious green screen. After that year I remember playing several games, not only on my dad’s PC, but in my NES, my neighbor’s SNES, ATARI, Sega Genesis, you name it. I love gaming, it is one of my passions. If I had to name some of the games that really changed my life after Tetris… Sid Meier’s Civilization, The Sims, Super Mario 3, Megaman 3, The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars -Rebel Assault-, Prince of Persia, Punch Out! and so much more. I am truly humbled and happy to share this passion with you guys and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
So, introductions aside, if you’re reading this… yes! You made it all the way through Saturday and let me tell you, today, the Modern Gamer (Sumroad?) brings you the DLC review of one of those games that may have been made specially for the casual player, but it brings up challenges that will drive the strategy savvy brains out there more than interested. So, without further due… let’s get down to it!
When I first heard about ‘The Battle of Polytopia’ (TBoP) was around the last Q of 2020, they said it was great and all. I even read a couple reviews telling even Elon Musk was playing it, some even pledged it was (is… who knows?), his favorite game. And I won’t lie to you when I say I wasn’t really sure about it, because the game media wasn’t really appealing to me but I did something that went all against my nature: I decided to give it a go. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it, but oh my! I am biased.
‘The Battle of Polytopia’ is a turn-based strategy game, developed by Midjiwan AB, which means (yes, I’m talking to those who are new to this!), you have a limited amount of moves throughout the turn and unlimited actions on the tiles only limited by the number of available resources. So, if you’ve played Civilization, you know what I am talking about.
You only have to pick one tribe and the map will be automatically generated which means: instant fun right out of the gate. And I think that’s what most people want in a casual game, to get down into the action in a couple clicks, or taps. This game delivers in that department. You start with one city and you have to explore the map, where you can find settlements and build new cities from them. So, exploring the map fast is paramount.
The tech tree is enough to go through it in the 30 turns game, yet you’ll have to prioritize and be quite sure of every move and tile improvement and building.
To be absolutely honest, I wasn’t impressed by the graphics but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like them. Let me explain this to you. At first, TBoP’s graphics could be a turn off for some gamers because there are no realistic cinematics or fancy battles, but don’t get fooled my friends, the artists in charge of the visuals went for one of the simplest yet appealing and functional designs and that’s just terrific. Hard polygonal structures work and keeps your focus on the prize.
Midjiwan AB has released a few DLCs over this past few months after TBoP breaking the hatch, and in this case, we’ll be focusing on Cymanti, which brings a special tribe to the game: The Cymanti, a bug tribe based the original Polytopians but this time, symbiosed with the Ciru Bug. This guy attaches to their faces and merges with the Polytopians brains. The first part sounds like ‘Alien’ but yeah, that’s just the first part. The music and sounds are great, they really takes you to an alien rainforest, setting the right atmosphere for a warmonger session.
New buildings and new ways to increase your population like collecting spores to synthetize fungi, are also packed with these guys.
The majority of the battle units are bugs, but there are a few that are half Poly and half Bug, the Shaman, the swordsman, and the Warrior.
This tribe uses Algae to move through water tiles, making it a great tribe to expand fast. But that’s not all, they have some useful skills too, like Boost, Explode or Poison. Making it powerful, swift and versatile. A very nice addition to the rest of the tribes, actually. You can choose to hit and run, ambush, go all in with your armies, I mean, these guys are really… bugs, you know!
One thing I really enjoyed of the Cymanti is the versatility of the units as well as their unique skills. It really makes you feel you’re an invading force, like in my head I was screaming… “The bugs are taking over!”. Pretty much like the Zerg in a much basic but equally fun scale. All in all, the ability of walking on Algae and a very well balanced set of skills, makes the Cymanti a fearful enemy, so don’t miss out the opportunity to have a bug on your face and eliminate your enemies from the square!
This is Sumroad signing out wishing you a great gaming weekend! See you all next time!