Review | Stonehearth Alpha 21

Image via Stonehearth

Stonehearth is a game about survival and exploration in a fantasy setting, developed by Radiant Entertainment. Similar to Dwarf Fortress, your job is to assist a small group of settlers survive and set up a small place for themselves in an unknown land. Make sure your people are well nourished, clothed and not homeless, adequately protected from enemies to grow and expand your town, as you will be facing challenges along your journey.

Image via Stonehearth

Starting in a procedurally generated terrain, Stonehearth is a good mix between city simulation and trusty old combat with infinite building possibilities. The game is designed to be moddable at any level, everything from the town people you start with to the enemies you encounter and the items your town starts with, all can be customized and shared with friends.
City Building

Image via Stonehearth

The heart of this game is it’s city management and growth. In the beginning, it may prove difficult to juggle between building your shelter foundation, finding food supply and setting up defenses. However once everything has settled down, the future is in your hands. Do you want to establish an empire that never sleeps? How about a buzzing trading port? A medieval castle? A feudal fortress? The possibilities are endless!
Town Settlers

Image via Stonehearth

Each of your settlers in your town will have jobs. As the title suggests, a job is something your settler is entrusted to do. Different job responsibilities can differ like transporting materials, building, mining, crafting and fighting. As hearthlings work, they acquire experience which will level up their jobs. Certain jobs that have reached a level requirement can be upgraded to a completely new job with new capabilities. Each job has their own unique tool, a Cook has a spoon, Masons, a hammer and so on. They also need to have their own workstations in order to craft specialized items of their trade.

Image via Stonehearth

The bigger your civilization grows, the tougher the enemies you attract. Enemies from bandit camps to zombies and ogres attack to lay waste to your town in attempt to either protect their turf or just to plunder your wealth. Titans, which are epic boss monsters, are not yet available during Early Access, they are coming so you’ll want to be well prepared.

Image via Stonehearth

Modding is a feature on it’s own. Unhappy with the variety of weapons in the game? Add your own, with the stats you want, and then craft it in game. Share it’s design with others so they, too, can enjoy your mods, or vice versa. As a modder, you’ll basically have the same power as developers do: introduce new items and monsters, even write new scripted adventures and influence the AI, anything you can think of.
Alpha 21
As of Alpha 21, hearthlings have feelings! Now you have to consider things like the variety of food they eat, to the size of their living space when taking care of your people. Hearthlings now also have traits, which may affect what jobs you may assign them to.
Or maybe you’re unhappy with the stats and traits of a select few of your town settlers when starting a new game, you now can re-roll individual hearthlings rather than the entire party in your search for a more balanced team.

Image via Stonehearth

All in all, Stonehearth is a fun, city building game. However it is still in it’s Early Access stages, which means you’re bound to encounter a bug or two. Constant feedback will help the developers, so don’t be afraid to drop an idea or two in the forums. Who knows? It may be just what they needed. I definitely recommend playing it, or at least when the game has been released and out of Early Access.

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I eat existential crisis for breakfast. Also loves playing video games in the dark and is very likely to hiss at you if you switch the light on.

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