The Bonfire 2: Uncharted Shores – First Impressions

A while ago, I published a review on a game called The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands – and I really wanted to like it but it’s just extremely poorly executed. Well, the sequel to it, The Bonfire 2: Uncharted Shores, came out last year and I figured I might as well check out its demo and see what it’s like. Both games play around the same premise, defend, expand and manage a colony in a mysterious world… and there’s a bonfire that attracts new people. While the first game went for more of a 2D art style, the sequel utilizes more of an isometric perspective where you can turn the camera a little bit here and there to change the perspective.

As far as the gameplay goes, you’ll have to place down buildings and your colonists will gather the resources that are necessary for it. Certain buildings require workers to manage them, like the Hunter’s Hut, the Carpenter’s, and so on… so, you’ll need to manage those. Colonists have special perks like “Heroic” (double damage when below half health), “Brave” (never flees from combat), or other perks that give them bonuses as workers or as guards. On top of that, each colonist has three stats: Strength, Agility and Intelligence. These determine combat stats and productivity. It’s really simple but you can in theory manage your colonists a little bit to assign characters with more intelligence to jobs that produce things while assigning strong or agile characters to explorer’s squads, hunter’s huts, and the guard post.

While this sounds relatively cool, it’s sadly incredibly boring and flat. Colony Management is nice and all but if you want a character to produce stuff, you can just send it anywhere and it will level up, allowing you to increase their intelligence. It’s not that hard. Also, the game is super slow, even when you speed it up a bunch. Your colonists won’t work during the night and your guards will sleep during the day to protect the village at night. Enemies at night are vicious and there is no way of healing your colonists. But my biggest issue with the game is…

You’re astonishingly limited. The game wants you to build a bonfire at first, then you need to build a hunter’s hut, before you eventually build storage, houses, etc. But you only unlock these buildings if you built the previous one first. The developers don’t like creativity or strategy at all, which is weird for a strategy and survival game. I mean, typically the difficulty would ramp up over time and you’d eventually fail, only to then apply your gained experience to not fail again. Well, not here, because the devs want you to play the game in the exact same way… Every. Single. Time. It’s annoying and frustrating, really, because it’s just bad from a game design perspective.

And then there’s also the fact that you can’t prioritize buildings, manage storage, and you can’t assign jobs without going through many extra steps. It feels like an Early Access game that is nowhere near completion… but the developers actually released it more than a year ago and it rarely receives updates. It looks pretty much abandoned at this point, especially since the devs posted once in the last year about something game-related: The next update will bring dungeons! Yay! It probably won’t fix the boring gameplay loop that is so limiting, though…

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend getting this game. The first game was already quite bad and the second game seems to have the same issues as the first game… but worse. I figured that the sequel would maybe improve on the aspects but no… I guess the devs just don’t see an issue with any of this. Oh well,…

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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