Against the Storm is a journey of survival and sacrifice, filled with decisions, and built on strategy and discovery. Failure, death, and starting over are but bricks on the long road ahead, unless you’re me; I’m building a tall tower with my bricks since I’m dying a lot more than moving forward. Against the Storm is the latest game from Eremite Games and the developer’s first title from outside the Android/iOS ecosystem. Shattered Plane, the previous title from Eremite Games, features strategy and tactics but Against the Storm is a different world entirely.
I suppose different worlds plural may be more fitting too actually since a player’s journey through Against the Storm’s world and story is hardly limited to one world or space. Players are entrusted with land, living creatures, and resources by an all-powerful queen that will bless or torment your efforts to expand and fortify. Blessings can come in the form of supplies and priceless blueprints but failure to please the queen and testing her patience will bring disadvantages and ultimately an end to your run. Outside of experience points and unlocks that can provide benefits outside of individual runs, each attempt at guiding life through the dangerous glades is a fresh, new start.
The beginning of each run introduces variables that will provide perks and penalties for the match. These feel like field cards from Magic the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh!, but expanded and there are often many. Eremite Games makes it easy to keep up for anyone new to the city-builder and strategy genres. Helpful hints and informative text are all over the place, which made it easier for me to learn the game. I haven’t played a game like Against the Storm in a long time and I still felt like I was able to pick it up quickly. It's nice knowing why I'm bad at a game instead of wondering.
I’m far from mastering the game’s mechanics and deeper strategies but that’s also part of the point with Against the Storm. It’s a game that’s meant to be simple to start but harder to master, which is true for some of the iconic adventures in games. Against the Storm is about building life and guiding it toward future success. It’s a journey.
Despite my best efforts against the game’s many storms through countless hours (Seriously, Epic, how many?) I've failed the Queen time after time. But each time is different. Not just my failures and shortcomings (those too though!) but the game’s variables. The roguelike nature of the game keeps each playthrough interesting, regardless of ability or playstyle.
As players manage resources, different strategies will become clear when balancing the happiness of the Queen with the needs of Beaver, Lizard, and Human units. Managing the units effectively can lead to bonuses and bigger yields as players push ahead through grass and glade whereas failure to do so will result in them leaving or even dying.
There’s a cost to everything in Against the Storm and players will only succeed if they spend, invest, and plan for the storms ahead. Careful planning is crucial to succeeding and living to see another day since each storm brings about unique consequences and shortcomings before your ultimate undoing.
I haven’t met the success parameters Against the Storm would like me to, and I don’t know when I will. It’s part of the reason I dragged this preview out. I had to determine how important success is for me in Against the Storm, especially because of my fake gamer abilities. And ultimately I don’t think it matters. I know I will succeed in Against the Storm eventually. And you will too if you start playing. Succeeding in Against the Storm takes time, perseverance, and determination but like anything in life, it’s possible if you keep pushing forward.
I’m learning and growing with each restart, and that’s how Against the Storm is meant to work. Like Hades, some players may progress more quickly than others but persistence spends the same as success in both games.
Against the Storm should interest fans of city-builder games, such as the Tropico and SimCity series. However Against the Storm will also likely appeal to anyone that enjoys rogue-lite experiences, like Slay the Spire; the random aspects and strategic elements make Against the Storm equally compelling and interesting. Be sure to check out our Against the Storm guides if you need any help navigating the wet weather and hardships ahead.
TechRaptor previewed Against the Storm on PC via the Epic Games Store using a code provided by the publisher. The game will also be available on Steam at a later date.