T’s first look- Sphere Flying Cities

Reviewed on PC

available now- Early Access

price £14.99 (steam)

Sphere Flying Cities (or Sphere as i’m going to now call it) is a frostpunk style city management game developed by Hexagon Sphere Games UG and published by      Assemble Entertainment its out now in early access, here’s a bit more about the game-

‘Sphere – Flying Cities is a sci-fi citybuilder which combines strategy, simulation, and survival elements in an extraordinary and immersive scenario. Rebuild and protect a society in a unique and hostile environment. Pay the price for your decisions and be prepared to lose everything.’

Sphere is in early access and therefore i dont rate those games until completion, it’s a good thing too because there’s a lot of painful moments with Sphere, but with that plenty to be positive about

The idea and story behind Sphere is pretty cool, you’re thrust into leadership after a pretty major event occurs turning your city from a static city into a flying one. The voice acting and drawn style to the cutscene is good and it’s a generally well polished introduction to the game.  I also like the idea behind your city flying with regards to being able to move it to different areas in order to mine resources. Scouting these areas gives you info as to the resources available and how dangerous the sector is. 

Graphically Sphere isn’t a bad looking game either, its a little hard on my GPU at ultra (2060 super) but as with any early access title its not uncommon at this stage to need a little more work with regards to optimisation. the storms looks good and the different sectors have a slightly different tone about them. although not much different as your city is the focus point obviously.

Unfortunately things begin to fall away with the actual gameplay, the tutorial is very minimal and often you are stuck wondering where you’re supposed to go and how you’re supposed to do something. Simple flashing icons would do the trick here to just make the initial tutorial experience feel a little more like an actual tutorial. The UI is very clumsy and there’s little things missing like for example there’s nothing in the controls to actually let you know that you can move the camera by clicking mmb. This for players new to the genre would be incredibly off putting. I also found the camera itself to never quite be where I wanted it so placing buildings and demolishing felt a little difficult or fiddly at times. Research is also an incredibly difficult concept to grasp, there’s just very little by the means of help so you understand and with the research section of the game I felt a little overwhelmed

Another example is power plants, there’s no mention of the resources they consume. But they consume them and i had no idea, its little issues like this that really mar what could be a good gameplay experience. 

Overall- TBD

Sphere- Flying Cities isn’t there yet and there’s still plenty to improve. I really like the introduction to the game though and the concept is pretty solid. As always i’m happy to change and adjust my reviews especially with Early Access titles and will be monitoring the progress.

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