In the aftermath of a catastrophic solar flare that brings human civilization to its knees, New Cycle delivers players into a fight for survival. As leader of a fledgling community clinging to life amidst a landscape ravaged by disaster, you must guide your people through the mounting challenges to build a thriving new settlement from the ashes.
At its core, New Cycle is a strategy/resource management simulation that tasks you with harvesting vital supplies, erecting critical structures, and managing villagers to advance your technology tree – all while battling dynamic seasons, calamities, and the many needs of your townspeople. It’s a delicate balancing act where every decision shapes the fate of all.
With core objectives revolving around securing food, water, shelter and amenities for citizens, you expand operations from a humble hunting camp to an established village, township and beyond. It’s a living world where villagers feel the impact of each choice. Maintain morale and health to unlock a civilization’s potential. Neglect seemingly minor issues and face spiraling catastrophe. The cycles of society turn on your judgment calls.
Tailoring The Experience To Your Tastes
New Cycle wonderfully embraces the modern gaming philosophy of putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to customizing your gameplay adventure. With four distinct game modes, tweakable maps and changeable difficulty levels, it hands you the tools to curate an experience that matches your interests and skills.
The Sandbox Mode is the perfect starting point for newcomers, safeguarding your early settlement efforts from environmental hardships as you learn the ropes. When ready to add some bite, the story-driven Campaign introduces resource scarcity, morale issues and disaster scenarios to the mix to provide a compelling narrative challenge.
Veterans yearning for next-level trials can jump into the intense Sanity Mode, taking charge of an advanced town being ravaged by disease, or the desperate fight for survival presented in Old Ways mode after your settlement suffers a catastrophic collapse.
Beyond game modes, selecting from Mountain, Tundra, Meadow or Steppe-themed Maps directly impacts the difficulty of gathering critical resources. Rich forests offer bountiful foraging but brutal winters. Arid badlands provide year-round hunting terrain but greatly limit agriculture. It’s a strategic fork in the road right from the opening screen.
And for those desiring an added degree of control, New Cycle invites you to fine-tune a spectrum of difficulty settings to apply more (or less) pressure across weather volatility, illness outbreaks, villager demands and more. Crank it up to white-knuckle levels or tone it down for more Zen-like civic planning – the options abound.
In an era where many games funnel players down rigid paths, New Cycle laudably empowers you to mix and match layers of difficulty to curate the perfect amount of challenge. Tailor it your way.
Keeping The Wheels of Society Turning
When your fledgling community springs to life at the beginning of a new game, you may only command a handful of nomadic villagers, but the foundations of a prosperous civilization lay before you – if you can survive. As leader, the buck stops with you when it comes to securing resources, providing shelter, maintaining morale and progressing technologies to advance your settlement through generations. It presents a web of interdependent priorities critical to growth.
The nuts and bolts of gameplay revolve around building hunting camps, mines, farms, mills, markets and dwellings to extract resources like food, materials and water from the surrounding lands. Stockpiled assets feed villagers who in turn provide labor to research new tools, domesticate animals, improve agriculture and otherwise push the advancement of your society.
It’s a juggle to keep all gears turning in concert. Allow farms to deteriorate and food dwindles, leading to plunging morale, loss of labor and societal backsliding. Maintain robust resource flows and you may find idle villagers awaiting new research breakthroughs and structures to keep momentum building through eras.
Beyond balancing production chains, the dynamic world of New Cycle ensures changing seasons, weather events and disasters constantly threaten collapse. As resources ebb and flow with climate shifts, you’ll scramble to adjust workflows, stockpile goods and unlock technologies to withstand mother nature’s whims. A journey that begins with little more than campfires may eventually see you commanding steam-powered automatons to build soaring cities, if you play your cards right.
At the beating heart of this resource management opus lies scores of citizens going about their days. View detailed timelines of individual villagers as they eat, work, socialize and rest. Make them mostly happy and healthy, and society flourishes. Neglect mounting problems and risk shocking societal collapse. It’s a level of human dynamism through the ages rarely seen in games.
Ultimately New Cycle gameplay may sound complex on paper, but elegant tutorial modes partner with an intuitive and inviting interface to make running the machinery of civilization approachable for strategy newcomers and veterans alike. Prepare to lose sleep. Just one more turn…
Living And Breathing Settlements
It’s clear New Cycle delivers immense depth under the hood when it comes to dynamic civilization management, but presentation matters too for player immersion. Thankfully the game also stands out for beautifully breathing life into settlements via enchanting landscapes, dynamically animated citizens and environmental FX that grounds you in the world.
Zooming in on villagers as they go about daily routines reveals lovingly hand-crafted character models depicting tools, clothing, hairstyles and age-appropriate looks that evolve across your civilization’s journey from antiquity onwards. Watch as citizens congregate around evening campfires, researchers experiment in workshops and builders haul stone to construct new monuments. It’s a thriving settlement in motion.
The landscapes surrounding your settlement also showcase gorgeous vistas – whether stark, icy mountain peaks or sunny meadows with babbling brooks – brought to life via sweeping day/night cycles complete with diffused lighting and moody sunsets. Dynamic snow, rain, wind and firestorm visuals hammer home the impacts of extreme weather in your world. Even minor touches like flickering torchlight as people work past sundown provide lovely ambience.
Tying it all together, New Cycle promotes strong spatial awareness and city planning foresight via an intuitive settlement interface that clearly conveys resources, topography, area-of-effect boundaries for structures and more behind the eye candy. Helpful build-assist icons even suggest optimal placement based on factors like soil quality and resource nodes. It strikes a wonderful balance between form and function.
While New Cycle undoubtedly shines brightest from a mechanics perspective, the artistry infusing its living, breathing settlements should not be overlooked either. This is one gorgeous settlement builder.
An Intuitively Complex Web To Untangle
Given New Cycle’s intricate intersections of resource management, technology trees, production chains and simulation dynamics, tackling everything in the deep end may seem daunting for strategy newcomers. Rest assured an extended onboarding experience eases players in before ramping up intricacies.
Introductory missions walking you through essentials like gathering basic resources, assigning jobs, constructing infrastructure and maintaining citizen health acquaint new players with the settlement-building basics without overwhelming. Special pop-up tooltips during these early games provide additional tips so key concepts stick. Veterans can disable hand-holding when ready.
By the time seasonal changes, disaster threats and complex villager demands enter the mix, you should have internalized core gameplay loops. Still, New Cycle doesn’t instantly throw everything at players. It smartly folds additional wrinkles like trade networks, innovative technology and political systems incrementally into each new community era to organically expand scope. You’re rarely left spinning plates more than you can handle as the challenge unfolds across generations.
Yet over time, the sheer interconnectedness between elements like food supplies fueling research unlocks for advanced housing and automatons that enable clearing more farmland becomes apparent. It’s a dynamic interplay that may not click immediately. As domains like resource gathering, technology progression and citizen happiness pull at your attention simultaneously, getting lost temporarily in sub-optimal cycles is understandable.
Persevere through early sessions struggling to trace how one troubled domain triggers cascading woes, and eureka moments arise. When the gears start turning in harmony, and you slip into “flow state” marshaling villagers efficiently through milestones, it’s magical. What once seemed opaque crystallizes into a thrilling web of cause-and-effect to master. Both casual and experienced gamers can unlock these climactic beats with some dedication. Just don’t get discouraged before pieces fall into place.
Endlessly Enjoyable Settlement-Building Masterclass
After leading numerous fledgling civilizations from scrappy hunting camps to sprawling high-tech metropolises across beautifully rendered biomes in New Cycle, it’s clear this settlement-builder provides one of the most rewarding and addictive survival strategy experiences in ages.
By marrying intuitive yet expansive resource management systems with enriching world-building and dynamic challenges, Core Engage has created an engrossing sandbox for casual fans and diehard enthusiasts alike. Customizable settings allow both player types to tailor the level of complexity to their tastes as well.
Underneath the eye-catching landscapes and bustling villager animations lies gameplay of almost terrifying depth. Forming critical resource and production chains while balancing worker priorities tests mental mettle. Battling climatic upheavals and disaster scenarios pushes quick-thinking skills even further. It satisfyingly rewards untangling complex interdependent settlement systems.
Yet newcomers can also gently wade into village construction and thrive thanks to robust tutorial modes. This carries remarkable mass appeal. Of course, the game reveals its true excellence when played at formidable difficulty settings that demand peak performance keeping all plates spinning.
Ultimately, New Cycle fires on all cylinders between its charming world-building, strategic demands, range of challenge modes and wealth of customization options. It’s a triumph in the genre and an easy recommendation for all fans of settlement management and survival strategy games.
Here’s hoping we see many more similarly ingenious and meticulously balanced simulation sandbox games from Core Engage in the future. But for now, it’s back to eking out one more era before bedtime for me. My people need me!
With its beautifully simulated settlements, intricate resource management systems, nuanced villager dynamics and ever-encroaching challenges across eras, New Cycle pulls players into a visually splendid sandbox ripe for strategy obsessives to plumb for countless hours. Accessible enough for newcomers yet deceptively deep for experts, it makes settlement-building completely engrossing across all skill levels. This masterclass in balancing casual world-building charms with hardcore economic strategy easily earns a rating of 9 out of 10 for its designs that compel just one more turn every time. New Cycle is simply a must-try jewel for the city sim genre.
- Deep and engaging strategy/resource management gameplay
- Beautiful graphics and settlement animations
- Highly customizable experience across modes and maps
- Accessible tutorials combined with immense long-term complexity
- Dynamic weather and disaster elements keep you on your toes
- Steep initial learning curve to grasp interconnected systems
- Can feel overwhelming for first-time player in early stages
- Lagging performance in late eras on older hardware
- Lack of multiplayer or co-op modes