When it comes to the fall of the Roman Empire there are quite frankly not a lot of games out that cover this important period in human history. And really, that’s kind of surprising when you consider the fact that there are tons of different warlords and kings that start to battle it out to gain territory. That’s why it’s exciting to hear of a new Civilization-type of game by Jon Shafer (lead designer of Civ 5) and his new team Conifer Games , At the Gates!
In this game you’re the leader of a barbarian tribe, where you have to outsmart or outmuscle the various other tribes and also the declining Roman Empire and make a name for yourself. However, unlike Civ 5 in this game you’ll also have to contend with nature as winter comes and goes, and various floods and droughts strike your land. There is resource management in this game, and if you stay in an area too long you will suffer ruin as the minerals are all mined from the ground and the aquifers are dried up. Trade will be important if you hope to survive, and so blasting your enemies into oblivion may not always be the best option.
The game currently has a Kickstarter, though I am pleased to note that their modest $40,000 goal is halfway complete with 29 days left to pledge. Unlike most Kickstarters where all they have is an idea and maybe a few drawings Conifer Games does have a rough prototype all made out. I’ll admit, in looks it reminds me quite a bit of Warcraft II and other late 90’s games, but when you consider how there are only 3 people working on it and the game is more than a year out I’ll let it pass.