Against the Storm review – here be monsters

Review information

Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC
Release Date: December 8, 2023

Against the Storm is a meticulously well-constructed town builder with a twist of dark fantasy horror. From Eremite Games, this challenging strategy title frames intense bursts of city management within a wider, roguelike campaign setting which tells an emergent story all of its own. Despite a considerable learning curve and occasionally dated visuals, Against the Storm will thrill and delight strategy fans with its meaningful decision points and deep systems. 

The first thing you’ll notice about Against the Storm is its bleak dark fantasy setting. You play as a Viceroy, an expeditionary leader charged by the queen of the Smouldering City to found new towns, gather resources on her behalf, and locate and bolster the seals – mysterious prisons that keep ancient evils locked beneath the earth. 

To make matters worse, the entire land is ravaged by a magical scourge called the Blightstorm. Not only does this storm lead to constant inclement weather for your settlers, but every few dozen years, the storm intensifies, wiping the land clean and forcing you to retreat back to the Smouldering City. It’s dramatic and engrossing stuff, luring you in with a setting full of mysteries and intrigue. Who is the queen? What’s underneath the seals? What causes the Blightstorm? To even begin to answer these questions you’ll first need to embark on missions and gather as much food, machinery, and artifacts as you can before retreating back to the Smouldering City at the end of the cycle.

Inspecting a shelter

(Image credit: Eremite Games)

Each town you attempt to found offers its own self-contained city-building mission, riddled with unique modifiers based on its location in the campaign map. Once you gain enough ‘Reputation’ with the queen to prove that your town is self-sufficient, you move on to your next project. Accumulated by fulfilling her demands and appeasing your villagers, you’ll need to accrue a certain amount to win each mission.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.

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