Developer: Gentlymad Studios
Release Date: March 18, 2021
While I know I am personally unlikely to survive any sort of apocalypse situation, there’s something compelling about playing as a character who’s beaten the odds in a hostile world. Endzone: A World Apart tasks you with the responsibility of rebuilding a functional society after emerging from fallout shelters. In other words, you need to worry about all the stuff you need to worry about in any city builder, but also, radiation.
The full tutorial took me over an hour and a half to complete. Part of that is because it assumes you have no idea how city builders work and eases you into the systems. Part of that is because there’s a lot of systems and inter-dependencies.
Upon completing the tutorial, I initially decide to play in the Scenarios mode rather than just survival, as I tend to prefer a mission-based system when playing city builders, but it became clear pretty early on that the scenarios required a much deeper understanding of how the game plays than even a 90 minute tutorial could provide. Instead, I decided to play a bit on the lowest difficulty of Survival, to see if the game would hold my attention without specific goals to work towards.
… and then three hours had passed, so I guess it succeeded in keeping me engaged.
After more than four hours, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. I know I’m not building efficiently (partially because a lot of the buildings you don’t need until you have the basics handled are so outrageously large, it’s difficult to leave adequate space for them), and I have somehow managed to produce entirely too much food and not quite enough of everything else. I do appreciate that even in the “free play” mode, the game provides some guidance in the way of side goals, so there’s something specific to work towards as often as not.
I’m not sure that it’s something I’ll spend too much more time with – it’s certainly playable once you get past the glut of systems, but the details are just off enough from my preferences that I just don’t see myself putting in even dozens of hours.
SteamDB estimates that Endzone: A World Apart has sold significantly more copies than many of the games I’ve been looking at – somewhere between 121,600 and 334,300 copies. However, it also has its share of people who aren’t recommending it in the reviews, and as such, it is ranked 2699 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.