Night falls. All my little sun-faced soldiers are ready to face off against the monsters that stalk each night of Becastled. They’ve had plenty of time to stand around in the day, watching the peasants chop wood, raise defensive walls, and fill our stores with food.
Becastled follows a simple loop that works very well. By day, you’ll build, farm and expand your territory, assigning townsfolk to work feeding resources back into your kingdom. When night falls, enemies attack to try and undo all your hard work, and in order to survive, you’ll have to balance your expansion with fortification. Focus too much on one aspect of the game, and it’ll all fall apart.
The beauty of Becastled lies in its simplicity. The world is colourful and clean, assigning jobs or building structures is as easy as clicking and dragging – defensive walls and towers snap to nodes around your territory, and expanding into neighbouring zones is governed by resources. Each zone comes with its own set of resources, allowing your followers to funnel even more supplies into your war effort. For the most part, the town takes care of itself – you’ve just got the job of defending it.
Becastled is being developed by Mana Potion Studios, who don’t really have anything like this under their belt so far. They project the Early Access period lasting between 1-2 years, and while there’s plenty of the usual additions – like an actual campaign, changing seasons, more world elements and enemy variants – they’re planning on using Early Access to drive development alongside what the community wants. As it stands, Becastled absolutely feels like something in its early days, and yet it’s still really quite fun once you’ve learned your way around. Watching your little settlement blossom into a thriving town is a simple pleasure the developers have distilled into its purest form.
“Players can access a game earlier and take a part in development process. We want to build community around our game, that will help us develop it and share awesome ideas. You can join our Discord to get in touch!”Mana Potion Studios on why Becastled is in Early Access
There are some issues that weight down the experience, and this mostly comes down to enemy pathing and AI. Further down the line, you’ve probably built up some considerable defenses, and you’ll naturally wait for enemy forces to try and assault your fortified positions. Often, the enemies will just stop dead in their tracks, and you’ll have to go out to meet them in open combat – making all that time spent building siege defenses a bit pointless. This is definitely something that can be ironed out, though, and when building itself is so easy and satisfying, the odd early access gremlin can be forgiven.
Becastled Early Access – is it worth it?
This is still very much the bare-bones of what Becastled could be, and Mana Potion Studios are fully aware of that. They’re not selling this as a finished product, and at the price of £11.99 it’s currently a pretty safe bet for a few hours of simple fun. As with any truly Early Access game (as in, not a mostly finished products that developers just need to tweak a bit) don’t purchase it expecting the roadmap to come to fruition on schedule. But if you like what you see and want to join the developers on their journey to maximising Becastled‘s considerable potential, it’s well worth checking it out now.