“They seem to float above the ground, their wool ponchos, loving the wind, twirling around their frail bodies. They advance without hurrying, time is a concept that they have mastered to perfection, the latter only flows when you look at it, and they turn their back on it.”
The French studio Unexpected released their newest game As Far As The Eye on Steam. Born from a crazy bet, the studio was created in 2015. They wanted to create video games with only a junior team and they have been creating ever since. Unexpected is also known for developing LooK INside, a narrative game. T̷v̷”̸2̶R̴m̸(̷B̶7̸J̴W̷c̷D̶E̶L̵d̴ As Far As The Eye is a turn based roguelike building/survival played on a hexagonal grid. You will also do a lot of resource management where every action has consequences. The game is procedurally generated so every turn feel fresh.
The pupils are pacifist people therefore they do not know war. They live in perfect harmony with nature and always care for the earth.
You play as the Sigh, a wind “God” there to guide a tribe of nomadic people called the pupils reach “The Eye”. The Eye is at the center of the world, a safe heavens where every pupil will be protected from the coming cataclysm. Before they reach their destination there will be many hardships. On their journey to the Eye, the pupils will make many halts. s̷I̶Q̴T̷d̴W̶T̸%̷P̵3̴n̴O̴I̴w̷s̵(̸l̷K̴I̸d̷/̶1̵x̶O̴j̵ At every halt the tribe will have to settle, make sure every pupil is well-fed, and gather all the supplies that will be needed for the next leg of the journey. Step by step until you reach the safety of the Eye you will have to build, harvest, farm, recruit and prepare for the sometimes harsh journey to the next settlement. Manage the pupils and make sure they stay out of harms way and reach their ultimate destination.
As Far As The Eye is meant to be a relaxing game. There is no fighting. The only way your pupils will die is if they run out of food or get caught by the wave. The artwork relates well to the ambiance of the game. The colors are soft and they stay simple. The soundtrack is also calm and creates yet again a relaxing zen mood. The developers have done an excellent job of setting the mood right from the start.
There is a campaign mode which contains five chapters. You can also choose the custom mode, or if you would rather you can choose out of the different tribe/pupils types and play a whole game with them. The campaign mode offers a very extensive introduction. As Far As The Eye might appear to be simple at first sight, but the strategies can get very intricate once you start playing, so it is not a bad idea to play the campaign mode to start with. h̵4̸2̶/̷7̴v̷1̷I̸c̶r̶*̶m̶M̶y̶4̶%̶g̴¨̴K̷e̴W̷h̸z̶?̵k̷%̸6̶n̴H̶T̷¨̵G̴)̷7̶¨̵u̵b̶C̷F̷=̵s̸u̵g̶8̴X̵B̵&̷2̷y̸G̷ It is not that long but gives you an in depth tutorial on how all the features can impact your gameplay. However, if you choose to play with a specific tribe in the “freeplay” mode, you will also get a tutorial. I have to commend the developer. It is often a critique I have with that type of games, but in this case the tutorial is truly exhaustive. Once you have gone through it, you will know everything there is to know about the game, and you will be completely ready for your adventures.
The mechanics are not very complicated, but there are a lot of aspects to manage. If you want to make it to the Eye, you will have to find the best strategy. The map is not exactly extensive, but there are a couple of different routes you can take. Some involve more risk than others, but might bring a different reward. Most needs can be fulfilled in more than one way. As an example, when it comes to feeding your pupils you can simply gather some fruits or fish but they are not very filling. If you want to increase your yield you can farm grains. 7̴4̵D̶9̷&̵D̵%̶5̷p̵H̶?̵#̵o̸d̴t̵G̴e̵d̷”̷o̸2̷2̵n̴n̷Y̶(̸E̵J̵m̷t̷”̷A̶R̵J̸d̶p̷i̶9̴2̸¨̷V̵5̶d̴”̶F̸w̵P̴x̷*̵h̶ Once you have built a bakery you can then bake bread which will be more filling and more efficient. Some items can be gathered directly like wood, but there are many items that require your pupils to build a structure first. It is always logical. As an example, you need to build a mine before you can get any ore. You can see on the map what supplies the tribe will need to acquire for the trek to the next stop. The supplies needed for the travel depend on the terrain. Of course you will have to complete all that before the big wave arrives and engulfs the land.
The pupils are fleeing a cyclical cataclysm so at each halt you are given a certain number of turns to complete all actions. You need to ensure that the tribe is gone before the wave hits the land or you risk losing every pupil. There is also a considerable skill wheel. Every pupil can gain some skills based on actions they perform. 0̵”̴Z̷c̸u̶C̷t̶n̴9̴T̴i̷%̴O̵P̴#̸4̸H̷O̶(̵&̸3̵V̷6̸C̸o̸ The skills and reward they bring are extremely varied. The rewards range from expanding the yield of what you bake to reaching your destination faster when you are gathering material and everything in between. There are so many aspects to this that it is impossible to list them all here.
As Far As The Eye’s gameplay is soothing and relaxing while also being challenging. There are a lot of innovative features that are waiting to be discovered. You can play for hours at a time but it is perfect for smaller sessions, too. It is a beautiful game that seems simple but can become quite complex, in a good way. If you like this type of games, you should definitely try As Far As The Eye.
Written by Vee