Battle of Polytopia (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 15.03.2021

Review for Battle of Polytopia on PC

4X is a sub-genre within the realm of strategy, which focuses on four key aspects: exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating. It is mostly a term to focus on games where players start with one city/town/planet and slowly expand until they take over everything. The Battle of Polytopia is a very barebones experience that typically wraps up in about an hour per play. Here, Cubed3 checks out the base product, and a DLC of an additional race.

The Battle of Polytopia starts off very fun. One large merit of a game is if a player can figure out what is happening without lengthy tutorials that far too many titles rely on these days. It is annoying as a player, but also shows a very striking lack of game design that instead of things being intuitive, one has to sit through an hour of instructions. Hitting the ground running isn't too hard in here where, players attempt to either get a high score in 30 turns, or to smash out everyone else in a different mode.

You pick one of several different starting races, and begin in a world with only a few squares revealed. From here you manage a simple type of income based on city and tile development, and send units out to explore or fight. One advantage is how simple everything is made. Just click a tile, build any unlocked upgrades, and it is done. No waiting, no extra units, or anything of that sort is needed. Levelling cities is in direct proportion to things like building farms, or harvesting fish. It works for the early stages, but leads to problems late game. Using the resources to either buy these upgrades, or buying fighting units to go take over the world or find new cities - it is pretty fun heading out, and works for the most part.

Screenshot for Battle of Polytopia on PC

The problems that arise from its simplicity are how it doesn't scale well, and how late game is a disaster. One egregious flaw is that all the races (excluding the DLC one) are exactly the same. They start with one different technology, which is nothing more than a single turn of research away. It is a hugely missed opportunity. Likewise, there are very weird upgrades options for cities - lot of minutia that isn't worth diving into, but suffice to say upgrading cities generally feels more of a hassle as things go on for very little reward. The worst part is that the cities, tech and units max out relatively early, in what might be called the midgame.

Pretty soon, about the same time as you even encounter someone else, you are going to be maxed out of tech and upgrades. Units start to be spammed absolutely endlessly. Combat works in a very odd way with damage calculations, but ranged units absolutely dominate. Catapults stomp nearly everything and hit far away. Late game so much money is coming in, nothing can be upgraded, and it becomes a strange game of WW1-style trench warfare. It becomes like trying to assault the Maginot Line without tanks. The DLC races (of which Cubed3 got the insect race to try), is a step in the right direction. It gives some new tech, and the units play far differently. This is a major improvement, but ultimately things still max out quickly, and late game leaves much to be desired.

Screenshot for Battle of Polytopia on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The simple gameplay of Battle of Polytopia is actually a pretty fun breakdown of the genre - the problem is ultimately its simplicity is its undoing. Despite what it says or looks like, every starting race is nearly the exact same, which is a huge missed opportunity to diversify them. Battles late-game are very dry. For some casual players it is a fun romp, but anyone looking for depth or longevity won't find it here.

Developer

Midjiwan AB

Publisher

Midjiwan AB

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie, lukezeppo, Ofisil, Renan, Sandy Wilson

There are 5 members online at the moment.