Coffee Table Games
Craft the World is available for the PC through Steam. Let me first say that this isn’t my normal type of game. In fact I can’t remember what drew my attention to it in the first place, let alone purchase it. At first glance it looks as if someone mixed Lemmings, Terraria and The Sims into a single batch and served it. However, this game has set itself as one of my favorite games, and I would easily say it’s one of those games that you show to friends when they visit. Or as I call them, coffee table games.
Now, Craft the World is certainly describable but I feel as though my description will have the same effect as if I were to create a movie based on an award winning book. The movie might be grand, however, the imagination that went along with it has forever been changed, therefor ruining the experience. But, I shall try my best to keep that Disney magic alive (no this is not made by Disney, but whenever I hear magic I think of Disney… or Harry Potter). Craft the World is developed by Dekovir Entertainment and published by Black Maple Games. Both of which are fairly new to the game development arena, which is what makes Craft the World even more remarkable to me. When you first get into the game the graphics are basic, but the great thing about them is that they are SMOOTH, they are well crafted and you can tell that a lot of time went into every detail of this game. I am just as much of a graphic snob as I am a beer snob. So quite a bit. However, I don’t expect high-res crazy graphics, I just want images/graphics that are thought out, unique and they capture the aspect of what they are going for; CtW does just that. I would say the graphic scheme is a mix of the Worms series, Lemmings, Terraria and those classic Grimms’ Fairy Tales books.
Shiny and Smooth
So the graphics are pretty, and the game is well developed. Those are both huge pluses in my book. However, the true perk of CtW is the fact that it’s easy to play and is essentially bug-free! I swear this blog should be the Exterminator of Buggy Games! But, if there’s one thing I hate most, it’s rushed games or half-assed games released for a profit. Luckily this wasn’t the case. Go team.
CtW does a great job with controls; first of all it utilizes WSAD for camera movement. I understand this isn’t a HUGE deal-breaker, but they understand what PC gamers are used to. Plus the seamless integration with the mouse and keyboard allow for an effortless experience. Before each one of these reviews I usually take 1 hour of game time to play it for awhile to keep a fresh perspective. Since my game time is split fairly evenly between the following games:
- (PS4) Destiny: The Taken King
- (PS4) Fallout 4
- (PC) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
- (PC) Battlefield: Hardline
- (PC) Age of Empires III: Gold
- (PC) Starcraft II
And I’m also trying to finish the Batman Arkham City GOTY and Mass Effect before I move onto their sequels that have been collecting virtual dust in my Steam and Origin accounts. Oh and when I get bored I’ll usually play Harvest Moon for the PS1. Needless to say my time is pretty much spent on college, work, etc. then finally those games. Regardless, my 1 hour with CtW made me realize how much I missed it.
CtW is a micro-manager type of game with exploration and city building. You start off with a dwarf (who always has a quirky name) and a blank canvas of natural landscape. You delegate tasks to the dwarf (which becomes many dwarves in time) and essentially you build up your dwarf kingdom, above and below ground; all of which while maintaining a healthy relationship with them. By this I mean you have to have sufficient food, health, etc. Rather than go into their inventory and give them food you have to place it on tables in your created kitchen area. You have to have beds for them, you have to keep them safe and happy. There is a partial control scheme but for the most part if you build it, they will come. Think of a virtual Sea Monkey Kingdom or think Lemmings who can attack, jump, swim and harvest, yet still need a hand once in awhile. The great thing about this is the day/night cycle. At night portals will open with Zombies, skeletons, beholders, etc. all of which want to steal your loot and slay the dwarves. Luckily each dwarf has a (or multiple) classes that you can tailor to your liking. Whether it’s being a harvester, miner, lumberjack, warrior, etc. they all serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things. Back to the point though, when the baddies come and you have your first base, and it’s all lit up in the dark landscape, it offers a sense of safety. Think of the very first time you played Minecraft, when the creatures could only come out at night; you see nightfall approaching and you get a sense of anxiety, but you run into your cozy base, slam the door and look through your window as the monsters await, yet you know you’re safe for the moment. CtW gives you this feeling in full.
Some things that really sold me on CtW was first and foremost the ability to use all three monitors seamlessly, it worked FANTASTIC! The real benefit was that it didn’t use aspect ratios so nothing was stretched near the far sides of the outer screens. It appeared as though I had a giant ant farm on my desk of little dwarves running their little errands.
Next I really enjoyed the soundtrack, it was simple and sweet. It changed with different scenarios and offered a soothing experience in the background not taking away from the various sound effects.
And finally, I loved the tier system. You have to work quite hard to get the biggest and best features for your base. Each tier has certain requirements to move on and get new sets and there are multiple tier levels. Examples would be tool sets for your workers to complete tasks, decor for your base to increase happiness, defenses to stop the baddies and general building supplies to increase your reign of dominance. The crazy thing is, to beat each level you need to get to the top tier, this may not seem like much. But I was moving at a steady’ish pace and it took me well over 30+ hours to beat level 1! Needless to say, you’ll be addicted and it’ll give you days of adventure.
Overall CtW did a great job for it’s price. I think I paid around $20 for it and I would easily do so again. I believe currently it’s $7.49 on Steam but I’m assuming it’s for the Exploration Sale that go till December 1st. But, if you have $8 to spend, I highly suggest it.
Rent or Buy: Highly suggest buying. I hate micro-managing games and this one offered enough excitement to make it worth it. So needless to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Alternatives: I would have to say find yourself a classic copy of Lemmings.