Turn based strategy games are such a great breather from a busy day. It can be quite cathartic to simply load a game of Civilisation or Railroad Tycoon and just sink hours into an experience that takes its time and has a loose end goal to get to. That’s not to say you can simply sip your tea and watch the games play themselves. You will need to focus just enough and plan ahead to get things in place, all so that your previous works can weather any storm or event that aims to destroy what you’ve built. Seeds of Resilience takes this concept and applies it literally with your castaway survivors trying to endure multiple storms and eventually move on to a new land to explore. With such a high focus of detail for the climate and each area’s ecosystem is it worth the time commitment or is it best to sail away?
Seeds of Resilience feels like a game that could have come out during the Windows 95 era of PC gaming. From its graphics to the gameplay everything has an early Age of Empires feel to it. At its core Seeds of Resilience is a survival simulation, each unique character has a set amount of hours at their disposal to perform actions each turn and after a certain amount of turns pass a natural disaster occurs. Seasons pass after multiple turns and there are multiple meters to keep track of. There is a basic need for daily food and shelter to be kept above the minimum required number and Seeds of Resilience doesn’t do a great job of explaining any of this. Each character has individual good and bad traits, some can result in a boost to specific skills and others require them to sleep alone. These individual characteristics do lead to an interesting balance of people management as well as managing the ecosystem on the island. If you fish too much don’t expect any fish suppers in the future.
There is a strange disconnect in Seeds of Resilience between a feeling of making sure the island can be self-sustaining and caring for your humans. You control the characters actions by the clunky UI and selecting items on the world. They don’t move around or act out any actions, you can select any item on the map regardless of its distance and trigger the use. Everything with the controls is frustratingly clunky and requires you to remember which button takes you to what menu as you’ll be flicking through them to craft tools and equipment often. This is definitely a Switch port that was designed originally for a mouse and keyboard as the controller setup feels forced at best. Seeds of Resilience does function the same docked or in handheld but given the size of the text you’ll be likely playing it a lot in handheld as it’s not super easy to read on a TV.
Visually Seeds of Resilience is a bit disappointing. The Age of Empires comparison is only for the original and not the HD remaster, everything can be fairly cluttered and when zoomed in the sprites become blurred. There are animations for the fish moving and trees being chopped but they are disappointingly basic. Seeds of Resilience has a bigger issue with the Switch port than simple UI issues, the performance is choppy at best. There is a mouse cursor on screen but you can only use the analogue stick to move it and circle buttons to go to shortcuts. It feels like a missed opportunity to use the Switch’s touch screen. You’ll find a Loading box popping up often once the middle of a game starts to get underway, each turn pushing the limits of the system and taking longer to resolve. At times it felt like the Switch might have locked up and when the days are scheduled with tasks you can find that short turn times lead to long loading between turns. There are ambient noises and effects but nothing memorable about the sound-work.
To unlock characters in Seeds of Resilience you first complete missions and this is one of the few highlights of the experience. Each mission is a structured small island with multiple goals and acts as a hands off tutorial to the games mechanics. There is a lot to take in and these missions become puzzles, making sure to get to grips with skills and the surroundings before a disaster strikes. The survival mode where you take your characters and simply endure until you leave again on a new ship should have been the core mode you spend most of your time but I found myself barely using it. The mission structures lend themselves to more enjoyable moments and the loading times for Survival are longer made it clunky slow and incredibly dull. It was a real shame as the early missions really do tap into that early PC strategy feeling incredibly well.
Seeds of Resilience is a game out of time. If it had come out back in the day this could have eventually evolved into an interesting take on the survival genre. Unfortunately as it stands now there are better games out there for sinking hours into. Everything is either too clunky or bland and dull to keep the interest in the survivors well-being continued. Adding in the performance issues and frustrating UI, you end up with a game that has a core concept with a lot of potential but very little else to back it up. There are a few moments to enjoy with Seeds of Resilience but it would need a drastic overhaul patch to improve things further.
4/10 – Seeds of redundancy
Review code provided by Forever Entertainment S.A check out them out here
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