Right now, Way of Gold and Steel is on sale on Steam for 85 percent off. That's just $1.04, a Ghetto price tag for a Ghetto Gamer. But is it worth it? Let's have a look.
What is The Way of Gold and Steel? It's a real-time strategy city builder roguelike. How does that break down? Well, you control a little guy - a shipwrecked pirate captain - that leads his fellow castaways in surviving and creating a new civilization on an archipelago.
The game opens by saying that you have no tutorial and you should relax and let the game unfold. It took me about five minutes to figure out how to play. You move your little guy around an attractive pixel-graphic map and select orders to give your pirates. Build a hut. Build a lumberjack hut. Build a stonecutter's hut. You get it. This game is pretty much a standard city builder.
Occasionally, little pixel enemies appear. They are so small and pixelly they are hard to distinguish. At one point I was following around an enemy that I could only find by watching the hit points fly off my pirates. I couldn't tell if I was clicking on the enemy or near the enemy or even what the enemy was.
Build a shipyard. Explore the archipelago. Build more tents. You get it.
Of course, you unlock more stuff as you continue. And the world is procedurally generated so it's always different. But not very much.
I was pretty disappointed with The Way of Gold and Steel. I'm not even sure I can recommend it for a dollar. It's a re-skin of pretty much every city builder ever, but without the depth of those from which it has borrowed.
The pixel environments are beautiful and I had high hopes for this game. Unfortunately, the characters are tiny and hard to follow. You can zoom in, but the characters become so pixelated that you still can't tell what you're doing. This game is hard to play and hard to enjoy.
I know somebody worked really hard on this game. And I'm cognizant of the fact that they could read my review, so let me be at least a little constructive.
Way of Gold and Steel has some decent bones. It's a solid, simple game that could benefit from more clarity and depth. In its current state, more depth would be lost on audiences because characters are small and hard to manipulate.
The environments are beautiful. I bought this game basically because I liked the way it looked. But once you are in the game and the beautiful island lose their charm, you are left dividing your time between the nice-looking overworld and a dull underworld where you still can't see what you're fighting.
Take what you learned here and make me another pretty game with better-defined graphics, plot and controls. Polish it. Make it nice. Also, if you want help with English text, I'd be happy to proofread them for you. Not being snarky. Seriously, I would love to help some devs on their English translation releases.
In short, I cannot recommend this game. Even for a dollar. Sorry!