I have a love/hate relationship with early access titles. On one hand, you get to experience what can be some pretty unique ideas from the ground floor, potentially influencing the course of development. On another hand…things can be very broken.
Often, an early access title is not necessarily ready for an audience and there’s usually no tutorial available so things can be more of a learning process than usual.
Workers & Resources Soviet Republic is a soviet themed city builder, released to early access on Steam on March 15, 2019, by the Slovakian studio 3Division.
Workers & Resources Soviet Republic Review
We all know the genre pretty well, right?
Sim City 2000 was a rite of passage for a lot of us and is highly regarded despite coming out in 1993. Minecraft has become huge, to the point where it’s now used in schools to teach subjects from maths to civil engineering.
Cities Skylines is also a force to be reckoned and one of my personal favourite streamers — RTGameCrowd — has become reasonably well known for creating a world only to destroy it to the sound of “country roads, take me home.”
The differences between Workers & Resources Soviet Republic and the legends that came before it is not just in the theme. Though I do love a good theme. In Soviet Russia, nothing comes easy. This game is frustrating, but hard to put down.
Initially, there is a wide range of complexity options.
You can choose whether your buildings need electricity, your vehicles need fuel to run or whether you’d like unlimited funds and an established wide-spread set of small towns. It’s your choice as to whether you’d like to make your civilization self-sufficient or whether you’d like to sell your wares to your local friendly soviet country or western nation.
There are no options for map size yet, so regardless of your selections you’ll wake up on a huge 20km x 20km map. Zooming right out places you among the clouds which looks great but isn’t the most functional feature in a map of this size.
Almost everything is currently unlocked when starting a new game. The choices can be confusing (if you get lost I recommend watching this for ideas – straight from the developers) but it’s never a terrible idea to start with the basics and work your way up.
With stores as well as housing you can import items for a fee, you can also invite immigrants from Soviet nations or the third world to live in your towns for pay.
There’s a variety of industries within the game from clothing to electronics. As this is Soviet Russia there is no easy solution to creating any of these. Food and alcohol are more of a beginner option for my beginner self so here are an example of the many step processes that can be involved in this game:
- Build a farm
- Build as many fields as you can in the surrounding area
- Buy tractors/harvesters/trucks, these good folk will get right on it by themselves.
- Wait for things to grow
- Transport your crops to either a distillery or food factory depending on whether you’re hungry or want to get hammered. Maybe a little of both.
Transport-wise, we currently have the options of buses or rail. Bus stations cannot currently be snapped to existing roads which can be frustrating. Each railway line has to be placed individually too.
This wouldn’t usually be so much of a thing if not for the terrain issues currently prevalent in this game. Accidentally deleting portions of the road can be disastrous and break everything. It leads to you having to demolish extras to try to place it back where it was.
All Glory To Sovietstan
The visuals are all very uniform and well done. It’s not super high-res and it can be near impossible to see hills currently unless you have wire-frame turned on, but it fits into the world 3DIVISION have created nicely.
The music is beautiful, I could not have dreamt of a better soundtrack for this game and I will definitely be picking this up on Steam. Everything sounds like you’re either attending a rally or watching government propaganda advertisements, it even ventures into 80’s dance club territory at times.
This early in the release we’re definitely missing some features. Your people have stats that depend on their abilities to access culture or churches. Currently, the only way you can access churches in this game is if you start on the semi-built map. You can build movie theatres but I’m not convinced that helps people fulfil their cultural needs, just like in real life.
I’d like to see a few things improved. Building roads and connections can be very frustrating at times, angles that work in other games won’t necessarily work in this as it stands. Levelling terrain surrounding buildings is something I found surprisingly difficult to do apart from very subtle modifications.
Vodka for Breakfast
With the sheer size of the map, I would love to see a mini-map in one of the next patches. If you lose your cities they can take some time to locate again. The map does not show you where resources are. Global events are listed as coming soon in the menu and the developers have a great opportunity to make them fit the world rather than your standard tornado style events.
A parade to bow before glorious leader perhaps?
All in all Workers & Resources Soviet Republic is a very promising title. The complexity of the economy brings something to this genre which has so far been lacking. It’s definitely not as glitchy as a lot of early release titles which should be improving as regular patches keep rolling out.
I’m definitely keeping my eye on this one. I have no doubt that 3Division will create something great.
Workers & Resources Soviet Republic was reviewed on PC using a digital code provided to PowerUp! by 3Division.
- Very decent for early access - 7.3/107.3/10
- Nice Visuals - 8/108/10
- Great Audio - 9/109/10
- Missing features and buggy gameplay - 4/104/10
- Steep Learning Curve and Limited Tutorials - 3/103/10