Malmyr is a grid based city builder, I think it would classify as that anyways, but it’s not like other city builders which I’ll explain later. You play as a city builder for ye olde King and his advisor, the asshole mage. The Campaign is more of a long set of tutorial missions so that you have a better grasp of what to do in free mode, but the campaign is sizable. It’s taken on occasion over an hour to finish a level. There’s also a sandbox mode, but I don’t know what the difference is between free and sandbox modes.
In the campaign you talk to the king and his asshole advisor and they give you a task to complete. This completed task doesn’t finish the level, it’s just a part of what’s needed to finish the level. Every level has different elements that you can use with various buildings, however, for instance in order to build a building that gets clay from the ground you have to build it on a block that has clay. From that you have to transport items around where they’re needed, eventually just transporting things to the city hall in order to sell them so you can continue to gain money to build buildings and buy plots of land from… no one, that’s a mechanic I don’t really understand the story aspect of, mechanically it makes sense though. What makes the game so hard is unlike a lot of other city builders, if you delete a building that gathers resources for you, you can’t rebuild it at that location, you have to go find another of that resource to build the building on. This makes the game significantly harder as blocks are randomized every time you play the game, for the most part anyways. The game doesn’t tell you that, this means a lot of roads and when a resource is transported, everywhere it is transported to, it has to reach every place before another of that resource is set out. It gets hard and complicated quickly. You do eventually get a new road to make it easier to get things places, but the game doesn’t really get easier. You also get other boons like runes that help increase resources and gold, etc. It all depends on what runes you find, which are sometimes obtained by buying land blocks, and one one you get is based on the shape of the rune, which is also randomly assigned each game just like the resource blocks.
There’s not much more to talk about than that, it’s a hard city builder. I wasn’t expecting it to be all that hard when I went for it, I was expecting more of a chill game. That being said, it could be chill if you’re into monotonous work, because it is monotonous, it’s hard but monotonous. This made the game boring for me, I’d usually play for around a hourish and then quit because I’m not good with monotonous work. I didn’t end up finishing the campaign because of that. I would have probably enjoyed the sandbox mode as I assume I can build as I like and just fuck about in it, which is more fun to me just to fiddle with things. The campaign would be easier to manage and play if did one of two things. The first is if it told you everything you had to do from the start of the level, so that you could plan out how you wanted to set up buildings a bit better as that was a major problem for me. The second option is if you could rebuild resource gathering buildings on the same location after you’ve sold them instead of the block being turned into a sand filled block that you can only build roads on really, this would also allow you to better plan out the city. But both of them combined would make it significantly better, allowing you to plan the city much easier and making it a bit more like other city builders in level of difficulty.
Overall, it’s an okay game. If you don’t mind the monotony this is great, I don’t do monotony, I get bored quickly and easily, when the game is moving fast it’s great, but more oft than not it moves at a glacial pace which made the game very boring for me very quickly. I am clearly not the target demographic. I think lots of people will appreciate it, after all it has nice graphics and good music. Sadly it just wasn’t for me.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire does not award Malmyr the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval, just wasn’t for me, but it’s not a bad game.