Reviewed on PC
Released 13th May 2021
Before we leave is a casual city builder set just after mankind’s demise in the apocalypse. Peeps emerge from their bunkers to colonise earth and you’re in charge! Its developed by Balancing Monkey Games and Published by Team 17, here’s a bit more about the game-
‘Rediscover what was lost and nurture your reborn civilisation in Before We Leave, a non-violent city building game set in a cozy corner of the universe. Grow, gather and manage resources to help your settlements thrive, and share goods between the hexagonal lands and planets around you. Relax and expand the fabric of your growing societies and create a solar system of happy planets at your own pace. Not everything will go your way, though – use your wits and research solutions to overcome the challenges that your ancestors once faced.’
Graphics and Audio
Before we leave is beautiful. It’s a tile style game that focuses on city building and discovery and honestly it’s beautifully presented. The islands you discover are diverse with different eco systems on them. Your buildings and peeps are all well drawn with lush orchards and industrial power plants really illustrating the difference between nature and industry. Panning out to see the planet as a whole is absolutely gorgeous too, with the surrounding space nicely detailed and the ambience that comes with it also followed up with great audio. As you discover planets you almost get Outer wilds vibes as you send your colony ship to undiscovered planets. Everything is wonderfully and thoughtfully drawn with solid audio to follow with it.
Story and Gameplay
Before we leave is primarily top down, the game is easily controlled with mouse and keyboard and you can go from completely zoomed out looking at the whole planet to fixating on one small part of your city. An in depth tutorial also helps you along. It’s a deep guide showing you the basics of the game and it achieves this without making it boring or overly complicated. A Lot of effort has gone into making each aspect of the game easy to grasp so you feel like you’re in plenty of control. There was only one occasion where I felt like I didn’t know what to do and it was down to me forgetting more than the game not telling me what to do.
Story is relatively simple and pretty generic. Your peeps emerging from their bunker to re-colonise the planet. Missing life on the surface its your task to help recolonise and rebuild. There’s also events that can take place like giant planet eating whales. And it’s your job to try to avoid such a threat as peacefully as possible. Because the biggest feature of Before we leave is what’s missing, there’s no weapons and no wars. The objective is to peacefully rebuild society.
To the…… Library?
The Library is an integral aspect of the development of your island. It provides you with upgrades and new buildings to be able to really develop your colonies. That along with the explorers hut really help you to gather the research materials to continually grow and eventually help you launch the rocket and travel to new planets.
Before We Leave is deep but laid back. It focuses on being a relaxing experience, with no wars just building colonies and discovering new planets and islands. The mechanics of each aspect of the game are deep, with research and shipping playing real parts in the success of your colonies. It’s a really great top down city builder that’s certainly not to be missed