After a successful Kickstarter Studio Black Flag is ready to take their upcoming survival simulation game Orphan Age to the next level. The mixture of The Sims and This War of Mine got a lot of attention. So, let’s try out the free demo and see what Orphan Age already has to offer.
Just two kids
After a short introduction to the game, we were able to choose our survivor. At this menu, you can pick the age, skills, name, appearance, and story. The skills tree is based on actual grades which mean your character will either have an A in one skill but an F in the other. In addition, the story is based on treats you see at high schools from the loner to the bully. As you are the main character you have to pick an age between 8 and 12 because a younger leader wouldn’t be as convenient.
Then the game starts and we see our character in an abandoned building sitting in a room with her sister. While we didn’t know this beforehand you will start with a sibling which you have to take care of. Later on, more children will follow you and you need to lead them. And here comes the Sims 4 reference as the characters all have a hunger, health, sleep and lonely bar which needs to be fulfilled before trouble happens.
A home for now
Just as in This War of Mine the starting building is full of rubbish and furniture which you can search for useful items. The moment we got some more items we were able to build a fire, sleeping place and a washing station. In addition, quests will lead you through the game and will tell you what you need to accomplish before heading to another chapter. The menu shows a total of four chapters. However, the developers mentioned an upcoming sandbox mode either at the release or during the early access.
During the demo, a quest already mentioned we need to wait until the streets are empty of soldiers before we could venture outside. During these explorations, we can only imagine that you find the other children and useful resources. As far as we understand these explorations are out of your control and nothing alike This War of Mine.
However, we were able to clean up the building for a bit and build the basic items to fulfill the needs of the two children. At one moment the research table will appear in the building menu. In here you will be able to research upgrades or new furniture.
While some mechanics are inspired by other survival games it’s yet to know of Orphan Age is a true survival game. Already at the beginning, we found enough food for the two children. But because of the setting, building, research and the risk of dying of hunger a light survival tag might fit the game. Besides that, it offers a heartbreaking story and believable characters.
Orphan Age will be released into Early Access around December 2018 or January. However, if you backed the game on Kickstarter or want to do it at Backerkit you will be able to play the Alpha beforehand.