Make it harder, easier, weirder
Against The Storm provided some of the most fun I had playing a citybuilder last year. That was in part because, despite being set in a dark fantasy world in which you must satisfy an unyielding Queen, and despite being in early access, it’s remarkably graspable. It’s the kind of citybuilder where, if you place a building in the wrong place, it simply lets you pick it up and move it at no cost.
As of its latest update, there’s now a new customisable game mode that lets you make your expeditions even more relaxed – or much harder.
Training Expeditions is “a customizable game mode, where you can freely choose your starting conditions and adjust game settings to your liking,” according to the developer update on Steam. Those game settings include the biome, the three playable species, your starting resources, the difficulty levels, bonuses and modifiers, the win condition, and the Impatience threshold.
Some of that might not mean anything if you haven’t played Against The Storm, but it’s worth noting that this is a roguelite citybuilder. The settlements you’re constructing are relatively small and you have certain specific criteria you must fulfill before your Queen grows impatient with you. Once you’ve fulfilled that criteria (and attained the necessary Reputation Points), you move on to a new area on an overworld map. Far from making it harder, these bite-sized and specific construction objectives are part of why it’s so approachable as a citybuilder – and why it can afford to be forgiving with things like building placement, when other citybuilders may prefer to be fussy.
Letting you futz with all these rules in Training Expeditions sounds like it could extend the life of the game, although you won’t unlock access to the mode until around level 10. The developers write that this is because they want to “not invalidate the game’s core gameplay and progression loops, and to avoid spoiling the fun too early.” For similar reasons, completing your own concocted Training Expeditions won’t grant you any rewards.
You can find more info about Against The Storm in general over on Steam.