Endzone: A World Apart – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy, City builder
Developer: Gentlymad Studios
Publisher: Assemble Entertainment, WhisperGames
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Endzone: A World Apart – Review

Site Score
7.1
Good: Cool setting, Properly complicated, Fun mechanics
Bad: No story mode, Resource management can be wonky
User Score
6.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Endzone – A World Apart lets you create a settlement in a harsh world ravaged by environmental destruction and nuclear disasters. Starting with just a few settlers, you’ll need to build a village that will be able to withstand savage weather conditions, an enduring battle with radiation, and repel raiders.  

Story

Endzone features a really cool story trailer, setting the post-apocalyptic mood of the game. However, after that intro, there’s not really much story content to enjoy. The tutorial features somewhat of a plot, telling you the group of survivors you lead have left a place called ‘endzone’ and will now try to settle, but that’s about it. This game does have an awesome setting, and you’ll learn bits and pieces about it through the dialogue of the traders you’ll encounter and of the explorers you’ll send out, telling about the ruins they encounter, but there’s no story campaign or anything. This is really a pity, because a story would be really great for a game like this, since the whole setting is already established.

Graphics

Most of the time you’ll play the game, you’ll be viewing an isometric top-down overview of the city you’re building; generally zoomed out pretty far to keep a bit of an overview. Your city looks pretty much like you’d expect a post-apocalyptic city to look like: build out of scrap, lots of browns, pretty run down, etc. However, when you zoom in, you’ll see the details of the buildings, and they all look pretty rad! Up close the buildings actually look kind of colorful; they’re made out of many different materials and each type of building has a unique look, with some buildings you’ll build lots of (like houses), even featuring several unique looks.

Character portraits are really well done, especially the traders have really cool and unique looks. Your citizens also feature unique portraits, which you’ll mostly see when talking to them on expeditions.

The UI is comprehensive, despite it encompassing a LOT of functionalities. It’s advisable to play through the tutorial to learn to access and properly use all the UI functions. The UI features even more functions than the tutorial covers (like scrolling through all buildings you’ve built of a certain type).

Sound

This game features a good soundtrack, and really nice environmental sounds to set the mood. Dialogue is partially narrated, and the voice acting is pretty good. There are several sounds to notify you of certain events, which fit the style of the game and work well to grab your attention.

Gameplay

Endzone – A World Apart is a challenging city-builder in a post-nuclear apocalypse setting. You’ll start out with a small group of settlers, and eventually build a sprawling city if you manage your resources diligently. The main objective is to gather resources through various means, eventually learn to grow your own food, and try to be as efficient as possible in order to handle setbacks.

The tutorial is quite expansive, and you can expect to be busy with it for several hours before you’ve completed it fully. The tutorial teaches you the purpose of all buildings you can build, how to make use of the UI, and how to deal with the events the game will throw at you. Surviving the tutorial isn’t very hard, however, the game itself does offer a considerable challenge. After completing the tutorial, you can continue working on the city you’ve built, or start the campaign.

In Endzone, you can opt to just play a casual game and just build your city, play on several difficulty settings, or even play a map devoid of trees. There’s no way to win these games; theoretically, your game could last forever, although each playthrough does increase in difficulty as your settlement grows, so surviving gets more difficult over time. There are also several scenarios you can choose from to play, which will set your goals beforehand.

There are many different buildings you’ll need to build to cover the essential needs and functions of your society. After the tutorial you’ll be acquainted with the functions of the buildings. However, when starting a new game, you’ll notice that in order to survive, you’ll quickly need to prioritize certain buildings, diligently manage your resources, and carefully plan the layout of your city so that workers don’t need to walk too far to get the resources they need. You’ll need homes, farms to produce food, gathering stations, and water cisterns and pumps. As you progress, you’ll need to explore the world around you, research new technology, set up deals with traders, and of course, battle the elements. You’ll be confronted with droughts, irradiated rain, dust storms, and even raiders! These environmental elements pose the biggest challenge in the game.

Of course, your citizens have needs and wishes as well. You can build them a forum, which in turn will provide you with missions to research certain technologies, build specific buildings, or assign more settlers to a certain profession. Sometimes you’ll get missions that earn you a special reward, besides the regular resources and happiness of the settlers. You’ll also be able to set decrees in the forum, which is a good mechanism to conserve food and water to prepare for oncoming droughts, or to keep population growth into check. The forum is a fun and rewarding building to check out regularly, and it gives you a clear goal to directly work towards. However, it can be very tricky to complete some production targets of certain resources, since there’s generally always something happening that consumes these resources, resulting in failing the mission and decreased happiness of your citizens.

Expeditions will let you investigate buildings in your surroundings, and this gives you more background of the setting through dialogue with the explorers. Explorations are a fun way to get more resources, and even acquire new types of resources. Traders visiting your town can also be a source of new types of resources, but you’ll first have to build a favorable reputation with them through trading.

Raiders will occasionally come to your town, ransack building and steal a massive amount of supplies. You’ll be able to build defenses, but the raiders are still very hard to deal with. They’ll cost you a LOT of resources, whatever you do. Luckily you can pay them off, but that will still cost you quite a lot, and the cost will increase every time.

Weather is one of the biggest challenges of this game. You’ll need to prepare for droughts, which will dry up lakes, halting the collection of water and catching fish. You’ll also encounter dust storms, which will damage your buildings and destroy crops. The most challenging mechanic, however, is radioactive rain. You’ll be able to build a weather station to predict oncoming weather conditions, allowing you to prepare your settlement.

The post-nuclear aspect of the game becomes mostly apparent through having to deal with radiation. You’ll quickly encounter radioactive dust clouds and rain, and you’ll occasionally have to equip expeditions with radiation suits in order to let them safely explore the ruins they’re investigating. You’ll also need to clean food and water from radiation, generally by either processing or filtering them. Radiation will become quite deadly as the game progresses and radioactive storms will happen more frequently. You’ll soon notice that if you don’t adequately prepare, your whole population will quickly die from radiation poisoning. You’ll need to prevent radiation, because curing it won’t be an option if things go bad. The settlers need protective clothing, iodine pills, but mostly uncontaminated food. This means you’ll need to make sure your crops and livestock aren’t fed with contaminated water!

Resource management can be a bit wonky; sometimes resources aren’t getting produced despite setting up production, because the production limits are set per type of building, not per type of resource. So if you produce a lot of cabbages or tomatoes on your fields, you won’t have any room left for wheat, which is needed to craft beer; an important resource for trading, quests, and the general happiness of your settlers. The only way to solve this is to completely halt the production of all types of farmed foods besides wheat, until you’ll have an adequate supply of beer again. This feels like excessive micro-managing which shouldn’t be needed if you were just able to reserve a production amount for each type of resource, especially since many resources have several uses. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to get an insight into why a certain resource isn’t being produced, despite having built the appropriate buildings and assigned enough workers. This might be due to production limits, or simply because necessary resources are too far away for the worker to gather them in a reasonable amount of time. It pays to micro-manage buildings that aren’t performing as you’d expect, to see where in the production chain things might go wrong.

Conclusion

Endzone – A World Apart is a good city-building game in a cool setting. Sadly it doesn’t contain a story campaign, but it offers a ton of fun mechanics to manage while developing your settlement in a harsh and unforgiving world. Endzone can be extremely challenging or pretty casual, whichever you prefer, thanks to the many difficulty settings. This game is recommended for anyone who likes city-builders and resource management games; whichever playstyle you prefer!

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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Endzone: A World Apart - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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