2019 has a pretty decent lineup of city-building games, and it has kicked off properly with the release of Foundation in Early Access, with more titles to follow. It is good to see developers take a look at a forgotten genre of games and try to carve out their own niche. Another decent entry in the series, Dawn of Man, has made their way into the Steam store recently, and tries to add some new features of their own to the genre.
The game seeks to re-invent the challenges faced by the first men during the very Early Ages. Start out by being one of the newly evolved ‘monkeys’, trying to gather your food from the trees and hunting smaller creatures for their meat. From there, band up with other similar humans and try and survive in a vast cruel world inhabited by all manners of predators.
Band together, survive,expand and evolve – these are your primary objectives. Animals are a vital source of food and resource – their meat satisfies hunger, while their skin and bones provides for clothes and tools. Hunt a wide range of creatures, including Mammoths, Wholly Rhinos, Ancient Bison, Megaloceros, Cave Lions and others, paving the way for the supremacy of mankind. Most creatures are bigger in size, which is where numerical (and sometimes,technological, if you count stone axes and spears as ‘technology’) supremacy of humans keeps them ahead of the animals.
The environment also provides its bountiful resources to harvest from. Collect a wide range of resources including fruit, berries, water, wood, flint, stone and ores. Use materials to build settlements,tools and clothes to brave the many hazards of the world, include Mother Nature herself. Brave the winters and bad weather conditions by stocking up enough resources before the onslaught. The season determines the yield from nature, so it is always necessary to plan ahead to stay alive. Fish are more abundant in spring, while fruit are more abundant in summer.
Construct shelters in the form of settlements. Expand on the facilities to provide more for the people living in there. Despite grouping up, there will be conflicts with rival groups over territory and resources. Proper fortifications and weapons ensure your people are one step ahead of the enemy.
Technologies are the key to making progress. Go back in time to see mankind stoking fire for the first time with flint, or to try and shape wood into wheels. Develop better tools, and eventually learn how to grow your own crops. Build stronger settlements to stay in one place for a longer period of time (crops require constant attention, and those nomadic habits die hard). With the help of technology, build megalithic structures that stand the test of time, and are regarded as Wonders in the future.
The game is being developed by Madruga Works, the talented folks behind Planetbase. The game makes you journey from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, spanning nearly 10000 years of human prehistory. With accurate depictions of ancient humans and their habits, and an entire simulation to play around with while you get educated in ancient history, Dawn of Man is a decent city-building simulation with excellent educational value.