I have learned that Early access that goes well are rare. But I’ve found myself two of them that I really like. The first one is this one : Stonehearth.
The opening page when you boot the game. It changes each major update.
I’ve learned the existence of this little game not so long ago. When I saw the price of the game, I didn’t know if it was worth it ; I mean, 30$ for an Alpha game is a lot of trust to put into a game. But here I am with the game and, why not try it if I have it? Looking into the store page on Steam, I saw that the devs where consistent with updates and patches. Their site is really nice for a little view inside the building of the game. For an alpha, it was playable and not too much bugs ; It has less bugs than a lot of finished games I know ….
So, I started the game. I must say, for a building and management game it’s really cute and the UI is fairly easy to understand. There’s a few options to start a game : your hearthlings – Rayya or Ascendancy; The map biomes : Desert or Forest ; and the difficulty : Peaceful – where no monsters attack you and where it’s easier to learn the basics – , Normal – Mobs will be there – and Hardcore – Are you really prepared? -.
Choosing your options at the start creates a little story. What did you choose?
It lets you randomise your characters and your starting gear. It also lets you choose and randomise your map before starting. You can start where you want and build accordingly. I do not know if they plan on adding new biomes or playable race, but the two that are already there are so different gameplay wise.
The game is basic : Feed your villagers, build your town to earn more villagers to make them have more jobs etc. You have seven villagers at the start that are randomly chosen like said earlier. There is three stats in this game. Body for health and stamina that is represented as the sword, spirit for courage and befriending animals that is represented by the sword – or the cross, I never know which it is -, and will for intelligence – learning things faster – and crafting that is represented by the book. The more a hearthling has, the better he is in this domain.
You can see here the random citizens, the dice to randomize and the shop to buy your starting gear.
At the start, you have 150 gold to choose from the store. I really think you should always take the trapper if you have the Ascendancy. It’s so useful and it takes time before you can have it. For the desert with the Rayya, I’d say take the food and the tools. So now that you’ve chosen everything, you start with seven characters and nothing really else that some food and what you’ve bought from the store.
You’ll want to find berry trees and make your town close enough to have those as food for the start. If you are not playing on peaceful, a swordsman is really useful to keep everyone safe, and start building with your carpenter. He is the key to your town. He will build everything you need going from beds, to tools to make your hearthlings have a job. Build beds and place them outside if necessary, they help a lot the hearthlings be productive, you can place the beds inside houses later.
To have more people join your town you will need to have some requirements mets : Food high enough, moral for your hearthlings – it’s their happiness meter – ,and your towns worth. If you have all of the above high enough – because you need all three – a new hearthling will join your town. For some reason they won’t procreate and won’t have direct relations between them, so lets go with that for the moment, maybe it’ll change I don’t really know.
Also, always keep workers, ALWAYS. They are the working force of your town: they collect berries, cut trees and collect wood, rocks and build your buildings. Always have almost as much worker as the combine other working faction ( fighter, carpenter, blacksmith, you get the point.). Monsters will spawn, be prepared. A swordsman is necessary as a cleric or herbalist, but you’ll quickly understand how everything works with trials and errors.
In this picture you see inside the house. You see the little hearthlings working.
For the moment I will stop here. I really liked the game and I made me 30+ hours and still will. Try it if you want! It is really promising! I will do another review with more picture showing how I build my town!
If there is a game you’d like me to reviews just tell me! If I own it I’ll surely make it 🙂
TLDR : Really nice game. Try it out. Wanna know more? Read the text when you’ll feel like it. 😛