In an empty Universe with uninhabited worlds, there is so much space and time for you to play god. Build houses and industrial buildings, grow crops and get an office to sort out paperwork. In Poly Universe, the worlds are your oyster.
Come Fly With Me
By the developer Pouchmouse, this survival city-building game is designed to test how far you can go with a few colonists and a couple of resources. With your current world under threat through a dangerous leadership, the player and a selection of colonists escape to build their own civilization.
When you land on a new planet, your ship crashes but acts as storage as you begin to collect wood, stone, and steel: the three most important resources you can collect to build industry and residential buildings.
Through building more residential constructions, more colonists begin to appear, and by building industrial ones, you can create schools, weapon factories, and energy resources. If you run out of resources, you can gather more through quarries, forests, and mines.
The layout of the game is very well-structured with the active world in the center of the screen, the building options and menus at the bottom of the screen, and the number of resources you have at the top. That way any option is easily accessible and the numbers are in the right place to keep an eye on. Especially when supplies begin to run low.
What Do You Do?
One of the most important tasks is growing crops, which take up to a year, even making sure that the fields are harvested before winter. The importance of hunger works similarly to happiness and energy, were they to reach zero, your citizens begin to die.
Poly Universe’s main tasks are to make sure your people survive, to build colonies on different planets, and to fight against invaders that threaten the peace of your planets. That’s where the building of forts and weapons come in, as your citizens are forced to fight against the foul creatures.
This Is Too Easy!
One of the greatest features of Poly Universe is that the player has the decision of choosing the level of difficulty at the start of the game.
You can choose which season to start the game besides winter so that you have a chance of growing crops straight away and collecting energy sources. You can choose how often your planets get invaded or how many planets are available to you. There is also the choice of how many colonists you start out with, which helps with collecting resources and constructing buildings straight away.
This introductory feature is a great way to get into the groove of Poly Universe without sacrificing the first few hours of trying to understand everything. It is also a great way to really challenge the player to see how long they can last when the odds are not in your favor.
What Do I Do Now?
However, one feature that would have been interesting to include is a list of different tasks and achievements to aim for when playing the game. At the start, the player is told to reach 100 colonists and to collect 1000 food sources. Then your final task is to inhabit another planet.
Whilst it takes a few seasons to reach that point, this is the last task you are given. It would be interesting to have achievements that you could aim towards such as increasing the education of your colonists to a certain point or to include more interaction and story about the creatures that try to inhabit the planet.
When it comes to assigning different people to different tasks such as working on fishing boats or mining coal, there is a bit of frustration when it comes to making sure people stay in their assigned roles. If there is an invasion or an added worker, different industrial buildings would stop resourcing. This is especially concerning when it comes to collecting food, which decreases faster than you think when you’re around the 100 civilian mark.
Poly Universe doesn’t seem stimulating enough to provide more than ten hours of gameplay, but it’s stimulating enough to get into the swing of things. The graphics of the game are very suited to the kind of simulation it is, with a simplistic design made of cubes, rectangles, and pyramids. If there were more tutorials and tasks, it would give the game a greater purpose. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a simplistic city simulator that packs a lot of content, then make sure to check out Poly Universe on their Steam page.