Against the Storm

I’ve been playing Against the Storm a lot, since we returned from the holidays. I’ve played roguelikes and city-builders, but never a roguelike citybuilder before (though I have heard of Dwarf Fortress).

The game mechanics took me a while to get used to. For the first few rounds, I wasn’t really delving into the specifics of what each building produces, all the various resources needed. I’m still playing things pretty fast and loose, to be honest. And while I’ve been playing on the easiest difficulty setting, I’m now one difficulty level up. And managing to survive.

The gameplay is a bit mesmerizing, and I find a kind of hypnotic appeal to the constant building and re-building of structures and roads, clearing out trees and setting up trade routes. Is it weird to say that it feels somewhat calming?

I’m finding an odd comfort in the repetitiveness of the task, which seems at odds with what the game is meant to do. There are newer challenges that have appeared, as I’ve progressed, but a part of me wonders if my draw to this game is actual repetition I experience, game to game.

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