Farthest Frontier is a town builder strategy game available for PC. Farthest Frontier combines advanced simulation mechanics, elements of survival and a fascinating desire to create beautiful medieval cities. I bought the game for review with my own money.
Create and protect your city
The game allows you to start playing on a randomly generated map. We have a number of modifiers at our disposal that affect the algorithm for creating the virtual world. In addition to the main type of map, such as plains, lakes, mountains, we can choose the amount of resources on the map, the amount of resources in the starting warehouse, the variety of animals, the intensity of the inhabitants’ diseases, the frequency and aggressiveness of bandit raids, etc. All this makes each game unique and special. If we do not like the appearance of the generated map, we can create a new one at any time based on the same set of guidelines or a completely new one. If we do not want to fight with the attackers – we can turn on the peace mode.
When starting the game, we see the entire map: the distribution of resources, plants, fish shoals, etc. This is the moment to decide where we want to locate the main building of our settlement. After placing it, the fog of war appears and the entire area is hidden from us until it is rediscovered with the help of scouts or simple expansion.
An unusual city builder with the addition of survival
We start the game with a starting warehouse and a handful of settlers. We can assign them the roles of workers and builders. Workers are especially important because from the very beginning of the game they will be dealing with a large number of important tasks – moving goods, cutting down trees, mining stone. They are responsible for a well-functioning economy and recruit employees for specific professions from their pool. Initially, they help build the first warehouse – level and clear the construction site of trees and stone. The game allows you to create special zones with an indication of what is to be obtained by workers in a given zone. In this way, you, in your free time, will collect materials in the designated place.
Food and a roof over head
There are four seasons in the game. We start in early spring. Our task is to build shelters for settlers and provide them with enough food to survive the winter. Initially, we have a small supply, so you should quickly plan where and how we will obtain them for the entire settlement. And here comes the first challenge – the game abounds in animals such as bears, wolves, roe deer, wild boars, as well as numerous plants. Boar is not easy to hunt, but it provides a large amount of meat, skins, and suet. Deer are a great starting source of skins and meat, but the hunter’s work must be carefully managed for two reasons. First of all, too many hunters directed to hunting in one place may thin the roe deer herd to such an extent that they will soon run out and the population will not recover.
In turn, all products in the game have an expiry date. A large amount of meat obtained in an instant will simply spoil quickly and will be suitable for throwing away, and will not even survive the winter. The situation is similar with, for example, a fisherman who can catch fish in selected months, and when a small pond is frozen, fish will not be available at all. A certain solution may be to build a hut of a gatherer who collects plants in a certain area. There is a large amount of them – from typical food such as raspberries, grog, vegetables, bird eggs, mushrooms, fruits and nuts, to those important ingredients for further processing – e.g. medicinal roots, willow, herbs. An interesting fact is that the availability and quantity of these ingredients also depends on the season.
In total, the game has 14 different types of resources such as wood, stone, clay, metal ores, wild herbs and honey. 17 types of food like wild plants, fish, game. 10 types of vegetable food with different characteristics and a total of 32 materials in the economy system.
The needs of our residents
The game draws you in quite a logical sequence of cause and effect. If winter comes and we do not provide our residents with shoes and clothes – they will not work at all during this period, because they will be cold. It can even lead to frostbite and death from it. Their current clothes also deteriorate over time. Lack of hygiene will lead to disease. If there is no water in the well, there will be problems with drainage. If we run out of firewood in winter, we will have a flu epidemic. Lack of fruit in food is a simple way to scurvy, etc. We can increase the shelf life of food by properly storing or processing it. The absolute basis is a smokehouse that will smoke meat and fish, as well as underground cellars. At a later stage of the game, you can create barrels that reduce food spoilage, or build a food conservator’s factory.
If we want to improve the work of workers, we can provide them with special wicker baskets. To produce them, you need to build a special building that will process the harvested willow. At a later stage, it is worth providing numerous transport wagons powered by oxen power. In total, we have 50 different buildings and four levels of advancement available. The more upgraded the building, the more efficient it is and can produce more unique items.
Agriculture and crop rotation
When my inhabitants began to be dissatisfied with the rather poor supply of food, I decided to invest in building a field. These, however, consume a huge amount of manpower and a medium-sized field was leveled and cleared for nearly half a year. When the new season came, the option to plan sowing appeared. This one is divided into crop rotation, and we can sow quite a lot of things. Each of them affects the statistics of our field. It’s super interesting. After selecting fertile land for the field and its construction, the main statistics appear – fertility of the field (the more, the better), its stonyness (the more stones, the worse the harvest), and the amount of weeds (the less, the better). We plan sowing in a simple graphic – we choose what we want to sow and it is automatically transferred to the plan for a given year. This should be done carefully – some plants are more or less (or not at all) resistant to high/low temperatures, mature for a shorter or longer time and affect the statistics of our soil in different ways, e.g. by reducing its fertility. It is worth planning work in the field and sowing clover at least once every 3 years of crop rotation. Farmers’ work removes stones and weeds, and clover has a very positive effect on fertility.
Here there are other unusual dependencies showing how good and well-thought-out this game is. If we sow melliferous plants, e.g. clover, it is a huge, bonus boost of statistics for apiaries when we obtain honey in the vicinity of such a field. Of course, this only works in the season when the field is in bloom. If we want to improve the fertility of the soil – we can decide to graze animals in a given place. Their droppings will greatly fertilize the soil (which I discovered by accident). However, be careful not to do it on a sown field, especially with root vegetables, because our cattle will simply eat them and we will lose part of the harvest. It is also worth enclosing the fields with at least a basic fence. Nothing is so irritating when wild animals (especially deer) decide to invade our field and eat half of the crops.
And if we want to have an even greater impact on the fertility of the earth, it is worth building a composting plant as early as possible. A special worker will walk around and collect waste from residents’ homes, and then transfer it to the composting plant. When the “compost matures” it will produce fertilizer, which will automatically go to the field, e.g. the least fertile.
If the crop rotation is not controlled properly, the amount of harvest obtained can be significantly reduced or even completely lost. The same is true of plant diseases. These appear at different times and can spread to neighboring fields or related plants.
After upgrading the city center to level two, we gain the ability to build new things. It is worth investing in into a merchant building, to which local merchants will come every year (2 or even 4 if the building is further improved). They have random goods with them at a random price. We can sell them the surplus of our products, and buy those that we currently lack. This is a great injection of gold for city investments or the ability to quickly improve the state of the city, e.g. by buying better war weapons or missing resources. At the initial stage, it is worth investing in the production of wicker baskets and pots. They are relatively easy and quick to produce, and the merchants appearing in the trading post often want to buy them. If we have a stock of a given good and do not complain about the lack of other resources (including gold), it is worth waiting the season if the price of a given product is not very attractive (e.g. the cow that we have to buy at the beginning for the barn is excessively expensive, or the mentioned pots currently have very low price).
Barbarians and attackers
When our village begins to get rich, it attracts not only new settlers looking for a safe and new start. On average, every few years in the game and almost always in the spring, our settlement can be attacked by barbarians. There is a random amount of them (always increasing) and they have random weapons. Initially, there may be a dozen of them armed with clubs, without any armor or shields. On one map, the first raid greeted me with nearly 80 enemies and three battering rams, which practically destroyed half of my village. We can defend ourselves against raids by building palisades and walls (which can be destroyed anyway), watchtowers, and barracks. Military buildings shoot arrows which you guessed it – we have to deliver first and they run out quickly. We can control our soldiers (also inhabitants or hunters themselves) by directing them to the right place. The better the weapon and armor, the easier it is to repel the attack. The higher the military building is, the greater the damage bonus it has.
The most irritating thing for me is a certain inconsistency of the creators. In order to protect myself from raids by bandits, I built a wall – on one side to the lake, on the other to a mighty mountain ending in a escarpment. It turned out that over 100 bandits with 3 battering rams attacked me from the mountain side, because the game detected that there was no wall there. I decided that it doesn’t have to be, because the mountain has over 70 degrees of inclination. It didn’t bother the battering rams or the bandits, who managed without any problems
I really like to observe the city built in the game. If the warehouse or basement is provided with materials – you can immediately see what kind. The basement by the apiaries was all lined with jars of honey and wax patches, and the one by the farmland was lined with carrots and cabbage. And this is true in reality, because when checking the statistics of these buildings – these resources visible to the naked eye were in a given warehouse.
One of the basic resources needed by our inhabitants is water. They use it both for drinking and for processing, e.g. in a tannery, brewery, etc. Wells have to be built quite commonly, but if they are too close to each other – their efficiency decreases. The well needs to fill up, it does it faster if it is near a body of water or in the lowlands. If it rains, it also speeds up the regeneration of the well, but you have to be careful – storms can cause fires and the water will be used to extinguish. Not without pleasure, I discovered that when I planted a forest of trees around the well, the area regenerated and was wetter, providing better stats for the well. It’s a small thing, but it makes me happy.