Homeseek PC Review: Building a New Future in a Harsh World
Over the years, there have been captivating simulation games that can steal countless hours of our lives, forever lost in the pixels of a screen. Growing up, games like Sim City and Rollercoaster Tycoon lured me into their spellbinding worlds, where I willingly surrendered myself for hours on end. It’s no wonder that when I discovered Homeseek, a captivating post-apocalyptic survival strategy game, I was immediately drawn in.
Transporting players to a dystopian future where water has become the most valuable resource, Homeseek plunges gamers into a harsh and unforgiving world. As a leader responsible for guiding a group of survivors in establishing a new home, players are faced with the daunting task of resource management, base building, and difficult choices. With its immersive gameplay, Homeseek challenges players to navigate the perils of a shattered world, offering a unique and gripping gaming experience.
Resource management is the most important aspect of Homeseek, and this is outlined to you when you first start the game. Keeping your survivors alive requires you to feed them rations of water and food every single day. Failing to do so will result in their unfortunate demise.
Humans are the building blocks of Homeseek, and, as the leader of the base, you must build structures and send them to work each day to collect the rations you need to survive.
Naturally, as you progress, the game slowly gets more complicated. You begin with Contaminated Water, which has a chance to make your survivors sick. This means you will need to build a Medical Centre for them to heal, but at the same time, build new buildings to cure the water.
The Expedition Centre allows you to venture outside of your camp to find new technology that can be researched at the Research Centre, and you can also vote and pass laws that provide perks for the base. Upgrading and unlocking new technology is easily the most engrossing and rewarding part of Homeseek and one that I wish I could experience all over again.
“The choices I made had minimal overall impact.”
Homeseek places considerable emphasis on choices, and this is most prominent in random events at your camp or when you are on an expedition. Camp choices involve decisions such as accepting or rejecting new survivors and resolving conflicts.
While the game advertises the importance of these choices, in reality, their impact is not as significant. Throughout my gameplay, I never found myself in a situation where I turned away survivors due to resource limitations.
Expeditions are where choices succeed, at least initially. At first, I was fully engaged in each decision, carefully considering the consequences of each interaction. However, over time, I started to make quick decisions and increase the game speed to 3 times speed (3x), as the forgiving nature of the supposedly unforgiving world became apparent.
Making incorrect choices could result in survivor health loss or death, while positive decisions might lead to gaining additional expedition team members. Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome, each decision contributed to the acquisition of new technology, giving me the impression that the specific choices I made had minimal overall impact.
“The game’s difficulty levels are thoughtfully designed to cater to a wide range of players.”
Homeseek provides nine scenarios that are split between two chapters. Playing through a level for the first time will place you in Story Mode and allows you to complete certain tasks to progress and complete the scenario. The narrative, itself, is fairly basic, but what can you expect from a game where the most important element is survival? Fortunately, Homeseek manages to seamlessly introduce its mechanics bit-by-bit through the well-paced story campaign.
The campaign serves as an excellent tutorial, progressively revealing new aspects of the game’s mechanics while introducing a new scenario every level. From the basics of survival to the complexities of interacting with different factions, wildlife encounters, and advanced technology, Homeseek ensures a rewarding and educational experience for players of all skill levels.
The game’s difficulty levels are thoughtfully designed to cater to a wide range of players. Whether you’re a newcomer to strategy games or a seasoned veteran, Homeseek offers a challenge suitable for your skill level. Playing on the easy difficulty provides an opportunity to acclimate to the game mechanics and unlock additional content quicker than on other levels. The game is more forgiving, and everything is cheaper, so if you just want to have a good time and only feel like a slight challenge, then this might be the difficulty for you.
On the other hand, the hard difficulty setting presents a formidable challenge. All aspects are more difficult than medium (and easy), so this should put even the most experienced strategists to the test. If I failed a level, dropping the difficulty allowed me to continue enjoying the game and not get bogged down in an endless loop of frustration. The carefully balanced difficulty levels ensure that Homeseek remains enjoyable and engaging, regardless of your skill level or style of play.
“Occasionally misspelt words and errors in the decision-making process can detract from the overall immersion.”
Despite its strengths, Homeseek does have a few areas that could benefit from improvement. The game can sometimes feel slow-paced, with multiple days passing without a clear objective. Additionally, the absence of regular weather effects contributes to a sense of monotony, as each day feels similar to the last. While there is a decent-enough variety of different weather you can experience, it feels as if once you surpass a particular number of days, clear and sunny are the only available climate conditions.
Furthermore, some players may find the controls to be clunky, occasionally resulting in misplaced elements or difficulties during expeditions. It’s worth noting that the game’s current state also exhibits some bugs, which can disrupt the experience. While most issues can be resolved by restarting a level, encountering such bugs can be frustrating and waste precious time. I ended up playing one specific level for a few hours, thinking that I needed to reach a certain number of days before I could progress. Unfortunately, nothing ever happened, as it was bugged, preventing me from progressing.
On top of the occasional bug, Homeseek could benefit from further polishing in terms of spelling and grammar. There are a few regular mistakes that I noticed, such as the word “vote” being spelled incorrectly, story choices stating they have the same effects, or receiving incorrect items in expeditions.
Occasionally misspelt words and errors in the decision-making process can detract from the overall immersion and prompt players to question their choices, which is certainly something that I experienced throughout my playthrough.
“Homeseek has the potential to become a captivating gaming title.”
Replayability is a big part of what makes city-builders engrossing, and Homeseek lacks this element. Once you’ve completed the main story, there are a few other modes you can try, but none of these really provide any satisfying reason to continue playing the game.
Endless mode, which unlocks upon completing a scenario, allows players to continue their journey beyond the campaign and provides a slight twist on the core gameplay experience. The expedition map is expanded, outposts are available to build, and you can research all advanced technologies without limitations. Despite it being similar to the main story, the endless mode offers a fresh perspective to each scenario, but there aren’t enough differences that warrant replaying any of the levels like this.
Multiplayer is also available and looks like a promising aspect of the game. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to play as the servers aren’t currently online at the time of writing.
Homeseek is an immersive post-apocalyptic survival strategy game that provides players with resource management, base building, and challenging decisions. While it has some areas that could benefit from improvement, it offers an engaging gameplay experience for players of all skill levels. With further chapter releases and gameplay fixes, Homeseek has the potential to become a captivating gaming title, at least during your first playthrough.
Homeseek is a captivating post-apocalyptic survival strategy game set in a dystopian future where water is scarce. The impact of choices is not significant, and there are occasional bugs and spelling errors. Nonetheless, the game provides a well-paced story campaign with varying difficulty levels to cater to different players. While lacking replayability, Homeseek has the potential to be an engaging title with further updates and fixes.