Once relegated to the physical tabletop, the deckbuilding genre has seen explosive growth in the indie PC scene in recent years. Now, experienced developers mix, mash and combine traditional deck building mechanics with other genres. In Ratropolis, Cassel Games successfully integrates map construction with town planning and defense to create a charming mix of strategies. The resulting amalgamation is a satisfying soiree of rodents, robots, and giant ducks that will keep you coming back game after game. Your army of adorable mice and machines must restore the glory of Ratropolis! Yeah, it’s like a city for mice.
The goal is simple: you have to survive 30 waves of storms when building a city. To do this, you will select a main command mouse that will determine which cards will be available on each run. Each mouse has a variety of strategies, and as you start out with basic tasks like being the military-minded general and the money-laden merchant, later unlockable characters like the scientist, shaman, and naval officer add lots of timing considerations and more advanced weaknesses to the game .
Each run starts off easy and fresh, with you defending your young Ratropolis on two different tracks. As you start adding cards to your deck, you’ll cycle through austerity, troops, and buildings. Each class plays differently, and the commander’s unique mechanics ensure that the experience stays clear if it might otherwise stall. For example, the trader’s military units are pretty powerful – but they only last so long after they’re paid for. The scientist can transform and mutate troops, and shamans collect the souls of fallen units. The action takes place in real time, although the attack pauses as you browse the cards for purchase. It’s a fun and frenetic mind teaser to play all of your cards, draw a new hand, and keep chasing your deck. In addition to having different archetypes with their own cards and abilities, you can also play in multiple biomes such as deserts, coasts and forests, each with their own power-ups and enemy types.
Moving through cards, clipping weaker options from your deck, and hoarding resources is interrupted by random events that often force you to make difficult decisions. Are you going to sacrifice part of your unit cap or all of your gold to a mouse riot? These random events offer choices that can have a big impact. During one run, I even had a special event where all enemy forces were channeled onto a single attack lane, making it a much easier attempt to defend than fighting on two fronts. Combined with the variety of maps, builds, skills, biomes, and hero selections, the random elements in the game feel tightly tuned so that you can have a lot of different experiences, all of which feel fair, even if you get smashed with barricade jumping by some pirates or sleep-inducing sirens.
After each run, you’ll earn points that can be used to unlock new cards and advisers (essentially buffs that can be discovered during a run to help you out) so you can dive into additional strategies and try new things. Would you like to try a run that focuses on casting spells or just building tons of defensive structures? Unlocks help you with this and offer incentives to continue playing your favorite classes, to explore outside your comfort zone with others and to keep you going wave after wave. Once you’ve mastered the standard mode, you can start exploring increasing levels of pollution and increasing the difficulty to add challenging opponents and other quirks to play around with, such as: B. the limitation of your building space. Despite repeating myself after mastering the core tactics, I had a great time moving forward over and over many hours after my first wins.
Ratropolis has that ethereal “One More Game” quality where the clock disappears when you pour hour after hour into your lively mouse companion. Losing a cool flame armor or a huge hatched duck lord is a bit sad, but there is always another game just around the corner. Ratropolis offers a ton of interesting and stylish entertainment for lovers of various mind-bending genres as more and more alchemical creations emerge from the boom in deck building.