If you aren’t actively involved in the Indie community, games such as Timber and Stone may not be on your radar. For which, I say, “shame!” Timber and Stone combines elements of 3rd Person RPGs, God-like ideals, and civilization-building/sandbox goals. Somewhat of a combination of Towns and Minecraft–oh, that ever-so popular game–Timber and Stone completes the puzzle with difficult gameplay and enchanting graphics. Developed by a single person, Robert Reed, Timber and Stone started off on Kickstarter and received massive amounts of crowd-funding, totaling eighty-eight and a half thousand dollars. With such a budget, we should see clockwork updates for a foreseeable future.
Timber and Stone – Graphics
If any of you have read my reviews before, you’re probably aware of my affection for this graphical style. Although Timber and Stone borrows from the same graphical elements as Minecraft, Timber and Stone looks substantially sleeker and cleaner. By using a 3rd Person viewpoint, all of the graphics need to be crisp from a metaphorical distance. Robert Reed has done all graphics by hand, to the best of the public’s knowledge, and has done quite well with them. At some points, there’s even the quality control of an Archer’s quiver’s contents. If the Archer has arrows, they are displayed; whereas if the Archer uses his or her last arrow, the arrows are removed from the quiver. It’s this attention to detail that will help Timber and Stone succeed.
Timber and Stone – Gameplay
Timber and Stone has a uniquely difficult system to master. Featuring an overbearing amount of professions, you’ll have to multitask about as much as your peasants will. As if that wasn’t confusing enough, keeping track of who’s who and what they’re doing will eventually drive you crazy. Thus, I can’t say that the user interface has been perfected in any way: there is still a long ways to go for a completed interface. Including quirky controlling systems for both the environment and citizens, an overall improvement should be made. However, above all, the gameplay is what keeps your enthralled.
Utilizing a series of building options and a complicated crafting system, you can really develop a beautiful town… if you can survive the first few nights. Keeping all of your citizens throughout the beginning of a new game can be a tough feat to overcome, as you’ll need a fortified defense as well as a collection of food to stick around. There’s somewhat of a connection to the game “Don’t Starve” with Timber and Stone. At night, you stay near the fire and don’t venture away from it. To do so, means death. Having to meet up with random creatures and events, a military is a must, as without one, you won’t last long. To be fair, I would just say that Timber and Stone has a habit of breaking your back while you’re already on your knees.
Timber and Stone – Captivity
Robert Reed has literally stated that he wants Timber and Stone to be a difficult game. He wants it to be a game that pisses you off, yet keeps you within arms reach once you’ve momentarily broken its grip. For too long, games like Minecraft and such have been too easy to play. No longer is a challenge present at all times. No longer do you have to truly worry about food and shelter. No longer are games… games. They’re periods of distraction. Robert Reed has remedied all of that with a game that should–and will–make you tear your hair out when your thriving city becomes smoking ruins by the acts of a monstrous spider. If you want to follow in the footsteps of the current childish levels of gameplay, pass this game right by; however, if you’re looking for a something that will test the limits of your strategies and self esteem, Timber and Stone will captivate you until the end of time.
Timber and Stone – Overall
I expect even greater things from Timber and Stone. While the current state of development is set at 0.5 Beta, we’ve already seen a wonderfully put-together game full of challenges and random variables. As it progresses down the line of releases, there will surely be even more options and choices to play around with. Such as deciding whether or not you want to be a farming town vs. a military town. All will be up to you. At the moment, though, you can pre-purchase a fully released copy through a “donation” consisting of a minimum amount of $15. Read up on it here.