Monday, May 16, 2022
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Review: As Far as the Eye - A Nomadic Roguelite Building Company Launched in A Right Old State

Captured on Nintendo Switch. As Far as The Eye is a nomad city-builder that incorporates roguelite elements. It promises to solve a lot of problems...

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Captured on Nintendo Switch.

As Far as The Eye is a nomad city-builder that incorporates roguelite elements. It promises to solve a lot of problems. We were intrigued by the unique spin it put on Civilization-style strategy, and so we decided to play this indie gem with mobile roots. This otherwise excellent strategy game has been buried by a multitude of technical problems. We cannot recommend it in its current launch state, despite having a few unique ideas.

As Far As Your Eye instantly grabs your attention with its design. Each journey's hexagonal grid is available in pastel oranges and greens. The adorable Pupils characters evoke a sense of humor with their cute animal forms that they can transform into when given a job. These calming visuals can be accompanied by gentle music. It is enough to help you fall asleep after a stressful day.

However, this chill aesthetic doesn't extend to gameplay. As Far As The Eye is a race against the clock. In this instance, it's a huge, all-consuming wave. Your Pupils will need to gather the resources necessary to move the caravan to the next stop before the wave sweeps in and wipes them out. The ultimate goal is to reach the Eye. A Pupil might need to learn a skill such as Trapping or Gathering. You might need to gather a certain amount of resources or make a few potions. These requirements can be completed quickly depending on the procedurally generated map. This leaves the pupils with enough time to prepare for later stops or have them scramble to find food so that they don't starve.



Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked).

We were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of resources available and the buildings needed to harvest them. This is not a game that you can just jump into. As Far as The Eye offers a five-part campaign which acts as a tutorial and slowly introduces concepts piece by piece. We found the tutorial to be extremely monotonous. The tutorial is very dull and offers little in the way of gameplay. There are plenty of info-dumps. The Eye forbids us from making a mistake. The tutorial did not have an autosave function, so we had to re-read information we knew.

This monotony was further complicated by a terrible UI. The control scheme was more frustrating than the complex mechanics. We struggled with it more often. This game was designed for touch screens or a mouse, with very little adjustment for controllers. It was difficult to understand how confusing it was. We had trouble selecting a pupil with the D-pad, then opening the build menu with "Y", and finally choosing to build a Pasture using "X". Worse, even though a Pupil is done building a quarry, their cursor does not update in real time. The tool-tip on left-hand side will still show the build as it is. This caused a lot of confusion in the tutorial.

But with the campaign-disguised-as-a-tutorial out of the way, we were excited to jump into the meat of the game - Quick Game. There are four levels of Quick Game challenges that can be unlocked. Each level is made up of different tribes starting their journey from different biomes. After failing to reach the final West Tribe, we jumped into the game and found our rhythm and began to enjoy the gameplay.



Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked).

As Far As the Eye manages to strike a great balance between its procedurally generated maps. It never makes the choices feel unfair but maintains a mild panic. There are occasional vagaries that could see rodents swarm through wool stores and eat it. Lightning can strike buildings and cause damage. There are many old ruins that can be found on the maps. These ruins have a variety of positive and negative effects. Other pupils often stop by to offer support or trade.

As we started to understand what As Far As The Eye had to offer, the game crashed. We reloaded the game, determined to make sure our pupils made it to safety, but the game crashed again. We were unable to move our cursors after another reload. The problem continued in subsequent games. We were unable to complete a single run without the message 'The software was closed because of an error'. It was reminiscent of the huge wave that was about to sweep away all the Pupils.

We reached out to PR to learn more. The developer informed us that he is aware of the issues and is currently working on a patch. However, no timeline was given. The game was live on Switch eShop for more than two weeks at the time of this writing. However, we were unable finish a run. We were not able to see the difficulties that the North Tribe was facing, nor could our team play as the South and East tribes which would have certainly hampered our resource-management skills.

Conclusion

Many of As Far As The Eye's launch state on Switch is inaccessible. We found that neither Quick Game nor Custom Matches would be able to last very long before being prompted to log in to the Switch's dashboard. We waited for a patch to fix the UI and the egregious crashes over several days. This gave us a better understanding of a game that has promise but is still not available at the time this article was written. As Far As The Eye could be a charming little strategy game that has the Civilization-style "just one more turn" effect. For now, don't let the soothing mood or cute Pupils fool you.

A soothing aestheticThe puppies are cuteMonotonous tutorialAtrocious UIConstant crashes Terrible210 Goblinz Studio provided the Scoring Policy Review Copy