Community Inc. First Alpha Released
The Sims Meets Minecraft in Community Inc.: First Alpha Out Now!
T4 Interactive and tinyBuild have teamed up to create a delightful new game. The first alpha for Community Inc. shows that the scenic civilization-builder has potential, especially for hardcore fans of the genre. With hundreds of different factors to keep each play through challenging and unique, Community Inc. seems bound to keep you busy for months on end!
You play as a manager for the company Community Inc., which produces (you guessed it!) communities throughout the land. Inhabited by little workers called Lings, it’s your job to have the Lings gather resources, establish a village, and build a thriving community to sell—all within 30 game days or less.
Like many games in the genre, Community Inc. has a very steep learning curve. You’ll find that one of the toughest parts of the game involves just establishing your foundations. Forget about building houses in the first few days; you’ll struggle just to pitch up a few tents. On top of the vital resource collection, you’ll get occasional contract requests from one of the eight races that inhabit the world alongside you. When choosing to fulfill a contract, keep in mind that these races have an established history with one another. Helping one culture might alienate you from another, and upsetting a race too much might lead to war.
Aside from the external struggles, Community Inc. throws a curveball by forcing the player to keep their workers satisfied. Lings are not robots; they need food, sleep, and entertainment in order to work productively. Along with the standard hunger and health bars, the game features Happiness and Mood gauges that help determine how well you’re managing the community. Happiness grows through eating meals and interacting with fellow Lings.
The Mood gauge, however, seems like a tougher nut to crack. As Lings work, their Mood gradually decreases until the meter reaches zero. Once that happens, they’ll refuse to work and focus on ways to increase their Mood, like read, play games, or pray. For at least the first week of your community, you’ll probably lack the resources and experience to make Mood-building items, which means you’ll have to deal with Lings suddenly slacking off from time to time. This issue can turn into a serious pain if multiple Lings deplete their Mood meter at once, basically amounting to an in-game strike.
Even in its first alpha, Community Inc. takes full advantage of its rustic and nature-based aesthetic. The forests and grasslands you establish your village in have a beautiful simplicity, while the diamond-shaped portal and eight supernatural races give it a hint of fantasy. The music meshes seamlessly into the “working in nature” appeal and keeps the tone bright and upbeat even when you scramble to complete your tasks on time.
Needless to say, Community Inc. should not be your first civilization-builder. Setting aside diplomacy, trade, and all the effort put into keeping your Lings happy, you’ll also face natural challenges like cold, disease, and fires. Managing a budding community takes tons of patience and multitasking. Unfortunately, you have one month to complete the challenges, so you might find that your first few attempts come up short. As the game approaches its release date, more features will get included to gameplay easier, and more fun. Keep trying, and sooner or later you’ll find yourself the manager of a thriving community of your own!
Community Inc. will release on Steam this summer. You can download the first alpha now on CommunityIncGame.com.