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Folk Tale (Preview)

“Folk Tale” recently appeared on Steam’s Early Access section, which is something that I was very grateful to see.  There aren’t enough fantasy sandbox city-builders out there for my liking and from what I’ve been able to play so far, “Folk Tale” is aiming to fill that void.  In this particular game, you’ll be tasked with leading a group of peasants to riches and prosperity through various means.  You’ll start with a small settlement and with a little work, that settlement will turn into something grand and wonderous.  Before I share my experiences with the Alpha build of this game, I’d like to thank Simon Dean, the Project Lead at Games Foundry Limited, for providing me with a free press copy.  Like with all Alphas and Beta, it’s important to remember that the content featured in the game and in articles like these are subject to change.

Folk Tale

Folk Tale (Windows, Mac, Linux)

The game is designed to be a sandbox game at heart, but players will have access to a map editor and tutorials to help them spread their wings a bit.  At present (as of 6/5/13), the game’s sandbox and map editor modes are disabled.  I was however able to participate in the tutorials, which did an excellent job in preparing me for what was to come.  The art style and graphics were beautiful to look at and the tounge-in-cheek humor was mildly amusing.  For a game in an Alpha state, the game looks pretty darned good.

I think what I liked best about the game was the freedom I had in customizing my little quote unquote “empire”.  One of my favorite features was the inventory system, which allows players to loot items and equip villagers as they see fit.  You’ll also be able to assign action points to each of your villager’s basic attributes as they level up.  These features give them their own personality and made me care about them more than I normally would.

Folk Tale Preview

You can assign peasants specific jobs to further their unique role in your settlement.

I wasn’t a fan of the static building placement mechanic…that is, you’ll have predetermined slots around your settlement in which to construct buildings.  I’ve played a ton of games that feature static building placement, so this wasn’t a game-breaker by any sense of the definition.  Based on the developer video walkthrough I saw, it looks like the devs plan to address this via the map editor in a future build.  I’m guessing that folks will be able to customize where those plots lie, but I’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

I also like the fact that your choices determine how the settlement will unfold and grow.  You’ll be given the option to rule as a peaceful and gentle leader, though being a ruthless tyrant with an obsession for military conquest is just as appetizing.  If you want to take a break from your managerial duties, you can instead follow your villagers around and watch them go about their daily lives.  Sometimes, you’ll even be able to help them out with mini-quests that serve to break up the action.  Of course, I was often too busy overseeing resource collection to notice these things, even if a lot of it is automated.  I’m a control freak by nature…I can’t help it.

Folk Tale

Each unit has a separate inventory and experience tree. You can even upgrade them with action points.

“Folk Tale” is coming along nicely (despite some obvious bugs) and I’m anxiously awaiting for more content to creep its way into my settlement.  It’s the type of sandbox game that I’ve been waiting for, so it’ll be interesting to see what direction this game decides to take before the final release.  You can gain early access to the game right now on Steam for $19.99, which will update automatically and provide you with a full copy of the game once it is released.  Just be advised that not all of the features are implemented yet.  The official website mentions the price tag as an “early-bird” special / thank you, so it’s possible that we’ll see a price increase in the near or distant future.  If you foresee yourself buying this game later on, you may want to consider jumping onboard now while the price is lower.  Either way, it’s something you sandbox city-builder folks should keep an eye on.

You can learn more about and purchase “Folk Tale” by visiting the following websites:

http://www.gamesfoundry.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/224440/

You can view video play sessions here:

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