Life Is Hard

Genre: Strategy / Village Builder / Side Scrolling
Developer: Pirozhok Studio
Gamemode: Singleplayer

The nostalgic looking side scrolling game is a little village builder game that asks you to take care of building up an economy, protecting your village against bandits and skeletons, multiply your citizens and supplying your workplaces. The game has a sandbox and a campaign mode and 3 difficulty settings. You can also choose to run a little tutorial in the beginning.

You start out with 4 villagers and your landlord. First you need to build a farm, a mill and bakery, a mine to get stone and metal, a forge and blacksmith for weapons and a casern to train soldiers. Most importantly you need to prepare for the winter, collect food and wood and produce medicine and warm clothes to make sure your people will survive the cold.

Every building needs to be supplied with resources and a worker needs to be hired to run the production. You'll need to go melting copper or order to grind corn or bake bread, because only the very basic buildings like farms do produce automatically. Production buildings will need upgrades to produce advanced goods. Houses will need upgrades to hold more people. There is a day and night change in game and the enemies can arrive at any time.

There is a mini map available to scroll the map and you can build two towers and man them with 3 archers to shoot enemies. Additionally you will have magical spells to get rid of them and even revive people if needed. The game will force you to find out what to do first, because it will be impossible to develop everything the same time and you can not just go building fast a village, but need to watch what you'll need most and first. It is hard to find the right balance and strategy.

The graphic is nice and simple, I would classify it as medieval comic graphic, and there is also some nice background music. The buildings are prebuild objects you can drop after making room by chopping trees. You might want to also watch the berry bushes before placing buildings to farm them at first. There is a bit of story going on in the game, events can happen and not only enemies will come to your village. You will also get a few quests and your decisions will affect the game. The god you'll need to choose in the beginning of the game will of course give you different starting conditions. You can save the game at any point and go back to this save if you fail. The attacks might need to get reduced, because even on easiest mode it is indeed too hard at the moment, but you can feel that the game aims into a fun direction. There will be still some bugs because it is early access, but the developer reads the steam forum and reacts to it. He fixes things pretty fast although he works almost alone on the game it seems.

We recommend: Yes the game is not finished yet, but if you like hard village builder games, you can buy it!