|developer:||Jeremy Kaldobsky also known as Aprone|
|features:||text, sound, visuals|
|last edit by:||Dark|
Castaways is probably the most detailed audio military and management stratogy game yet. Taking control of the few survivers of a shipwreck on a savage, goblin infested shaw, you'll need to build buildings such as farms and mills, gather resources for food and for building projects, and train up soldiers to defend your growing settlement against various enemies.
Unlike some military style games, in castaways your farmers, peasants, hunters and other workers are just as vital and important as your fighting force, sinse even simple resources such as food or wood to build with require the work of several people, and buildings to produce. Thus, to bake bread you first need a wheat farm from which your farmers will harvest grane, you next need your peasants to take the wheat to the mill and grind it into flour, then take the resulting flour to the baker who will bake it into loavs of bread to feed your hungry citizens. Even then, nobody gets to eat until the cook has prepared a meal.
managing these many tasks however, is made easier by the fact that you do not directly control your people. You assign them a job, and they'll do work in that job (or in a secondary job if their first job isn't possible). At any time you can reassign most workers, meaning that maintaining your people requires a very fluid approach, ---- for instance when your trying to do a lot of building, you might want to take another person off wood cutting or farming to help out.
a very flexible approach to assigning jobs is also needed sinse the game has various random events, especially at higher difficulties. Food may spoil, people may become sick or wounded requiring the attentions of a doctor, though on the pluss side your women (or sometimes men!), may become pregnant and have children if you've got enough housing. of course, more people means you can accomplish more tasks such as making various weapons, producing different sources of food such as wine, and on later missions supporting a monastery where monks or nuns copy out tomes which can be used to give a perminant upgrade to your workers.
The game is played on a large map which you can move around with the arrow keys. Resources such as forests for timber, water to catch fish and stones for brick making and mining will be located around the map, as of course will any buildings you make, ---- thus placing buildings like the sawmill close to a forest is usually a� good idea.
Like Aprone's previous game Lunimals, Castaways runs with a clock which you can stop and start with the spacebar. While time is passing people will do their various assigned jobs (assuming they have whatever resources they need to do them), events such as illness or pregnancy might happen, or enemies could encroach on your teretory. Thus, pausing the clock with spacebar while you review the map, reassign workers, start building projects or see how your population is doing is deffinately recommended.
The game features a number of missions, beginning with the shipwreck. Some more advanced elements such as the monastery are only available in later missions, so unfortunately are nastier enemies.
Your first obstacle will be goblins who gradually encroach on the squares of the map from all sides. To beat them back, you'll need soldiers, or better stil Knights (assuming you've got a miner and blacksmith to make the armour for them). Your military units will set off to fight enemies who come onto your land, however you can make their job easier by building guard towers closer to the front lines from which your troops will be able to launch more attacks, and on later levels you can build walls to prevent the enemy from getting to certain squares, as well as put together units of knights, rangers, pikemen and cavalry to form an unstoppable army.
The game is heavily replayable and customizable. When you begin you'll be asked to choose two perks and a fault. These can include things like vegitarian where your people eat no meat, or Trojan man where your people will have children more slowly. Furthermore, though there is a default map for each mission, you can choose to have a randomized map too, and there are three different difficulties which change the speed of enemies and frequency of desasters.
If all this wasn't enough, Castaways is the first of aprone's titles to have a multiplayer capacity. If you have paid 24 usd a year for a Kaldobski account (which also gives access to the multiplayer of SwampWhen playing cooperatively online, your online counterpart (and that of any other online players), will turn up at other people's settlements to lend a hand as an extra worker. furthermore, a recent addition adds the ability to build a merchant cart which you can use to send a quantity of resources to other players online (great for trading and making deals), and you can also send military assistance to other onlline players too.
For those who want something more warlike, an online pvp or player versus player mode is also available, where you can directly raid other players settlements, and even bring back prisoners to work as slaves.
Castaways outputs to sapi, Nvda, window eyes or jaws, featurese some recently installed sound effects (which you can change if you wish), and has full support for graphic tyles nd text making it completely playable with, or without vision, the game is also completely free, though to keep the online server up and running Aprone does accept donations, so if your a fan of the multiplayer aspects of the game you might considder sending one.
though a highly complex game, the readme, jobs guide and buildings guide explain everything you need to know for playing, and the missions are intended not to throw everything at you too fast, pluss in a multiplayer game you can always ask others for advice.
With gameplay that requires both careful planning and on the spot management, a wide range of things to do, innumerable variations on individual stratogy, Castaways is one of the most immersive and addictive games you will find, and is absolutely worth a try even if your not usually a fan of this style of game. .
For more information, take a listen to this audio walkthru by Nocturnus which might also be helpful if your stuck in the game.
Further information about Aprones games can be found The audio archive site
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Updates: entry 25 Jan 17 and description 25 Jan 17