The Rule of Land: Pioneers – Preview
Follow Genre: Survival game
Developer: Horgee Games
Publisher: Gamera Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Rule of Land: Pioneers – Preview

Good: Addictive and diverse gameplay
Bad: Soundtrack could use some work
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

After a devastating accident leaves the entire earth radiated and uninhabitable, humans are forced to retreat into underground shelters. Many years later a few survivors return to the surface to see if it’s worth the effort to rebuilt society. This setup might sound familiar already, but Horgee Games manages to make it truly their own with The Rule of Land: Pioneers. In this survival game, you will have to excel at resource management to outlive your opponents.

In Pioneers, Fifty years ago the world saw a coronal explosion of a magnitude we can hardly imagine. Aside from causing an end to all electrical networks and the death of a large number of people, it also left immense traces of radiation in the atmosphere. Whoever was left had no choice but to take shelter underground, waiting for the planet to restore itself. This has now happened but not just anybody can be sent up top. A contest is being held where five survivors have to show off their skills at gathering, hunting, and crafting by holding out longer than their opponents. Chaos obviously unfolds. The game does not have much story or lore to discover beyond this, and the characters themselves lack a certain kind of background, but clearly, that’s not where the appeal of this genre lies.

Visually Pioneers looks quite interesting. The style is a little rougher around the edges than we’re used to, but that might just be the only complaint. Because the visual design itself is top-notch, with interesting characters (including a single mom carrying her little kid around with her across the wasteland) and a very neat, simplistic UI that greatly enhances the experience, we were in for a treat. Instead of cluttering the screen, only a few icons are represented, and hovering over them will supply you with all the needed information. There are also plenty of locations to explore in the game.

In regards to its music, however, Pioneers is a lot duller. The little music that is in the game is bland and most sound effects seem as if they’d belong in a flash player game. It’s a minor gripe compared to all else, but it is what it is. The game does not have any voice acting.

The Rule of Land: Pioneers is a survival game where your goal is not simply to survive. You are pitted against four other contestants, each having their own divided share of land to mess around within, with the aim of staying alive much longer than any of the others can. Aside from this little oddity though, the game progresses like any other resource management experience. After picking a character and which location you would like to start in, you are dropped into this harsh world with little more than some food, a weapon, and not even enough resources to build a shelter. You will soon have to set out to one of the other locations across the map.

Hovering over these locations will tell you what you could expect to find. Stone and wood are what you’ll need to start with, but it will also show the different kinds of animals that live there. Small animals can be killed barehanded but for larger prey, such as deer or bears, be sure to have a rifle on hand. Bullets need to be crafted from scratch, so using them sparingly is the only way to thrive. Doing this will supply you with meat and hides. Edible plants are also a good find and many other lootable objects can randomly cross your path, ranging from cars to corpses. Taking all your finds back to camp you can start making things cozy.

Tents to sleep in and a fire to cook are the basics, but as you advance in the game you can start making your own greenhouse or chicken coop for easy food, better crafting stations, a rainwater catcher, or even a stable to tame a wild horse. The order in which you built things will rely partly on what materials you can find, but other factors do come into play. Weather and seasons are continually changing and alter what your character might need to stay healthy. Their hunger and thirst need to be considered, as well as how much sleep they’re getting and even their mental state. Entertaining them with the occasional adult magazine seems to do the trick.

You’re not entirely alone in this world either. Aside from your opponents, who you can hinder by stealing their resources or messing up their hunting grounds, there are also other survivors not connected to the contest. These people might be interested in joining your squad in exchange for favors. There is also a trader who comes by occasionally. On the other hand, robbers will be glad to steal your stuff if you don’t take care of them, so guard yourself well.


Pioneers is surprisingly large-scale for an indie survival project, with plenty of content to enjoy on a base level and even more to unlock and a different mode for those who don’t feel challenged enough. While not the most polished game in the genre, it is definitely enjoyable in its own right and will not get stale anytime soon. We are quite curious to see how this game evolves towards its full release.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
The Rule of Land: Pioneers - Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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