Clanfolk LadiesGamers

Clanfolk Early Access Preview

Preview code used, with many thanks to Vicarious PR.

MinMax Games is a two-person company specializing in passion projects, and Clanfolk, a simulation strategy game, is their latest title released on Early Access after four years of development.

Clanfolk is a medieval colony sim which is based in the Scottish Highlands. You and the clan you are to care for are pitted against nature and the seasons, with winter being tough to survive.

Clanfolk LadiesGamers
Pick your clan

Settle a Colony in the Scottish Highlands

Maps are procedurally generated maps in Clanfolk, and after starting the game, you pick a clan name from a choice of Scottish-sounding clan names, such as McDougall and Macintosh, which was the Clan I went with for my first game. In addition, there are also the standard difficulty settings to choose from.

Each of your clan members ranges in age from baby to adult, so you will get to know the Clan from birth until their eventual death. Also, each clan member has traits such as slow metabolism (eats less food) or gloom (moody). Some clan members are afraid of the dark, so you must supply them with light as they can’t sleep in the dark. Behavioural traits mix things up, and I like the addition of them to the game.

Clanfolk LadiesGamers
Welcome to Clanfolk

Short Tutorial

After an initial short tutorial where you are introduced to the controls, keyboard and mouse, and a few other aspects of the gameplay, you’re left to get on with it. Alerts appear on the side of the screen, giving you some help and pointing you in the right direction to build your colony.

The game is intentionally challenging and is designed to test you as winter approaches. Food was initially plentiful on the map. I started with berries to pick and a lake with eels. You can command your clan to pick berries, and as they do tasks, further options for food and building open up in the game. Eventually, the clan will be fishing and hunting for food as they will need a good stockpile before winter approaches.

Clanfolk LadiesGamers
Start of the colony

Collect Resources

There isn’t a research screen; as I mentioned, if a clan member does a task, they will have an “Idea” of an improvement. So you’ll start simply by gathering food and making some tools, and before long, you will be building a few small houses for the clan to live in and store their resources.

Clanfolk LadiesGamers

Prepare for Winter

The seasons play an enormous part in the game. The nights are warm in the summer, but the temperature drops quickly in winter. If you are prepared for winter approaching and haven’t got a good stock of food, things can go downhill quickly. The clan can starve or become ill and die of a lack of food or proper hygiene. I haven’t managed to help my clan survive the winter, but I like the challenge the game offers me.

Clanfolk LadiesGamers
Making progress

Feeling of  Community

As you play the game, you get a feeling of community from the clan folk. For example, if a baby is in the clan, other Clanfolk will look after the child and see to its needs as well as the parents. Traders and visitors will appear often, and you can ask them to stay in the clan, adding new members with different behaviour traits to your clan.

Clanfolk LadiesGamers
Screenshot courtesy of Hooded Horse

I’ve enjoyed my time with Clanfolk. I’m still trying to make it through winter, so the game offers a good challenge for me. The game’s UI can be a little cluttered and even block out some of your view of what’s going on.

However, the music, sound effects, and the game’s overall look with muted colours look and sound well. For an early access game, Clanfolk is well underway to be a great addition to the survival simulation genre. You can find the Clanfolk Steam page here. 

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