Mistward has you peel back the poison to create a new home

Mistward is a systems-based strategy game that can be played in a variety of ways. This unique edge to the game comes from it being a relaxing game that allows the player to travel at their own pace.

Mistward takes place on an island surrounded by poisonous gas that you have to push back against as you create a kingdom and tame the land. It uses light sources to scare the bewildering, mysterious gas away — revealing undiscovered parts of the island. Each new area gives you more room to explore, but also occasionally grants you new, unique resources to help you progress in your great escape. You’ll have to discover humans in the fog and order them to be the most resourceful to benefit your escape.

It uses a simplistic pixel design with a hexagon-based placement system. It uses very simplistic graphics that keep it simple to understand. This allows you to understand which resources you need to progress. The graphics complement the meaning of the game very well as it doesn’t need to have over-the-top, hyperrealistic graphics to remain compelling. Sokpop’s graphic style is increasingly familiar, and it’s a great fit here.

Mistward‘s city-building gameplay loop is well balanced, with clear direction about what you need to do next and an easy cycle of reclaim, gather, optimise, and repeat. As you build up your area you can build tents and other housing to add new survivors, boosting the gathering rate and the effectiveness of your growth. This can give you complete access to convenience the later into the game you get, it also allows you to become more aware of your opportunities within the game and gets you to apply every piece of strategic information to help benefit the survival of the great poison.

That’s not to say that it’s a perfect game, Mistward can get boring and repetitive quickly, however — as an Early Access game — there’s plenty of opportunity for new features, buildings and resources to be added. Another improvement that could be made would be some sort of guidance at the beginning of the game — even if it’s just a peek at the world as it could be, being destroyed as it is claimed by the gas — as it does not have any sort of backstory. An introduction would also allow for the controls to be introduced naturally, while at the moment you have to instead go through the optional tutorial.

I do enjoy the concepts of the game but do see some changes that should really be made to it to help it. I enjoy the feel of the game but it needs more work on controls and UI layout. Despite this, I still highly recommend Mistward to those who are interested in survival strategy and city-builder games.

Mistward is available now on PC, through Steam or Itch.io.

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