Preview code used with many thanks to Mayo Games.
Buildest is an action game released on Steam, developed by Arkhipov Pavel and published by Mayo Games, who also published MEGALAN 11.
Not to be mistaken for Builders, the Dragon Quest game, this building game is a one and two-player game. After a few delays where the game was pushed back to give the two-person development team more time, it is now released on Early Access.
You play as the chief architect at various construction sites around the world. The game visits Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Asia, and more. As you progress through the game, it introduces you to the different timelines, each with its distinct architectural style.
You’ll be in charge of constructing various shapes and sizes of buildings. But first, you must gather materials, make bricks and use the straw to make a roof.
All the materials you need on each level are available. You also have a blueprint book and a few workers to construct each building section. You have to make most of the items used for the construction, such as bricks or marble.
So, for example, to make marble, you have to cut the stone three times by pressing the X button. Furthermore, you then make it into a stone block by pressing the A button. So collecting material is like a mini-game, with all the button pressing.
Once you have the supplies, your workers will start constructing the building. You can shout at them using a megaphone if they slack off and don’t pay attention. In addition, the bricks or roofing materials have an order in which you must collect and process them. As you progress through the game, new materials and mechanics are introduced to keep things fresh and add more challenges.
The gameplay loop can get frantic when more materials are introduced. Although Buildest is best played in a two-player game similar to Overcooked. Since I could only play single-player, I can only imagine it would be more fun than playing the one-player game.
Moreover, and what could be considered confusing for some folk when reading it, the game’s Steam page says you are playing the role of an architect. But you are not actually playing the role of an architect. After all, architects design and draw buildings, they don’t get involved in the construction side of things. In Buildest, you don’t design anything; all you do is build and order the workers around.
First Impressions Count
My first impressions when I started playing Buildest a couple of weeks ago were not particularly favourable. While the game has controller support, you can use a keyboard and mouse at a push. Unfortunately, if that is your preferred method to play, you’re in for a shock, as the keyboard controls are pretty abysmal, and you can not change the key bindings.
Tutorial Info Box is Tiny
Furthermore, the tutorial didn’t endear me to the game either. The tutorial info box, which is tiny, appears at the bottom of the screen. Although that’s not so bad in itself, if only you could read the writing, it’s so tiny on a white background, making it extremely hard to read. I nearly had my face stuck to the corner of the laptop screen just to be able to read the tutorial.
The camera in Buildest is another niggle I have. You have no control over the camera. Furthermore, the camera moves around the building area when you move the architect. In the busier levels, where you are ordering the helpers around and running in circles, the camera swirls quickly, and if you are prone to motion sickness, the camera movement won’t help. A static camera that the player can control would elevate motion sickness.
The levels are vibrant and colourful with a cartoony look. I liked the fireworks celebrations that appeared after a level was completed.
Buildest is in early access, and the developers seem to update the game frequently, which is good. When the game comes out of early access is of course the best time to buy as development will then be complete. As it is, the game still needs work. You can find the Buildest Steam page here if you want to wishlist it.