Friday, August 28, 2015

Lethis - Path of Progress Review

Blaugust Day 26

A few weeks ago I picked up Lethis - The Path of Progress on Steam.  It's steampunk citybuilder, and it just sang to me.  I like steampunk.  I like citybuilders.  It was true love.  I have a lot of experience with citybuilders so I knew what to expect.  It's very similar to games like Pharaoh and Zeus.  It's a really good game and I enjoyed it very much, with a few caveats.

PROS

1. The art

The visuals in this game are stunning.  The buildings themselves are pretty and they all have a unique feel to them.  It's easy to learn visually which building is which.  When you clock on the walkers, an anime-style drawing of the walker comes up, and those are very pretty.  The walkers themselves come in both genders, which I appreciated.You can zoom into the city and when you do nothing, becomes pixelated, just even clearer and more detailed.

2. The music

The music in this game is gorgeous.  It's like listening to a steampunk symphony, and I could listen to it all day. Unfortunately I can't because while the music is gorgeous, there's not much of it.  I'll get into that in the cons section.

3. The maps

Every mission in this game had its own unique map.  I have to say the maps were all very well done and unique.  I loved starting a new mission and assessing the map.  They get really interesting toward the map, like the Devil's Paw map and the one where it's all large islands.  It really helps to plan out your city a little before you start.

4. The flavor text

This is a little thing, but I think it adds so much character.  When you click on a walker or a building or object a window comes up describing the object, and sometimes it's someone saying something clever.  Some of the flavor text is so cute, like when you click on the tax building it references the movie Taken.  It's fun to click on something new and see what the flavor text is.


CONS

1. Only a few songs**

While the music was gorgeous, there wasn't much of it.  If you play for an hour, you end up listening to the same three songs about 5 times.  I wish there had been more meat to the score because the music really was wonderful.

2. No trade in sandbox mode

This is weird for me.  It is very hard to generate an income without being able to export goods.  In sandbox mode, there is no trade.  It makes sandbox mode nearly impossible.  The devs have said that this is something they're working on.

3. No undo button

This is a weird little niggle, but there is no undo mode button.  It costs money to destroy a building or road, so the cost is double if you accidentally misplace a building.  You can't click undo and get your money back.  This really adds up, especially since there seems to be a bug where if you happen to have a road or building selected when you click on the world map, while you're clicking on the world map, that building will get placed in your city.  So when you leave the map, you have 5 breweries around your city that you didn't intend, and you have to pay to destroy them.  I think placing buildings should be disabled while in the map.

4. Shoddy translation

I think this game was originally in French, and it shows.  The translations are pretty awful in some parts, like they used Google translate instead of having a native speaker of English do the translation.  You get the gist of what they're saying, but it's very awkward wording.

5. Vague wording

In addition to the bad translating, the game can be a bit vague.  It tells you to do something but it won't say how.  A few times I had to consult Google for an answer to something and I don't think you have to do that for this type of game.  Also, a couple times I failed a mission and it didn't tell me why, which was very frustrating.

6. No combat

This isn't necessarily going to be a con for everyone, but it was for me.  What all the big citybuilders have is some sort of war and I missed the war.  I really just want to invade the other cities with my army of automatons and drop bombs from my hot air balloons.  I think they should include some sort of war or combat component, maybe in an expansion/DLC.  Steampunk war would be SO fun.


Overall I loved this game.  It was fun going through the missions and seeing what was going to happen next.  Unfortunately it has almost no replay value and I doubt I will play it much again since I've finished it unless they add trade to sandbox mode.  I do think that if you like steampunk, citybuilders, or both, definitely pick up this game.

This game get the faerie dragon seal of approval!

*images taken from Google because I was too wrapped up in the game to take screenies.

Edit 9/4/15
**  I was informed by the devs after I posted this review that the Lethis soundtrack does in fact contain 25 original songs.  I guess I didn't notice?   You can buy the soundtrack on iTunes and other places as well.