Before We Leave is a post-apocalyptic building and management sim that tasks players with establishing a colony for a group of “Peeps”. Basically, after they emerge from their bunkers, you’ll need to start building to help them survive. Before We Leave isn’t a freeform endless builder like Minecraft. Instead, it is presented to you as hexagonal tiles. More on that later. This review will focus on the Nintendo Switch version of the game and not the PC edition that came out a couple years ago.
Let’s start with the basics. Before We Leave is set on small planetoids consisting of interlocking hexagonal tiles. Each tile either already has resources on it for you to use and mine, or empty tiles you can use to build items on. Before we start anything though, I would highly suggest that you go through the tutorial because there is a lot to take in and if you don’t, you might be lost on what to do exactly. There’s a lot going on with the UI and because you’re going from what was once a keyboard and mouse game to a controller game, you’ll want to know your way around, otherwise, you’re going to have a really terrible experience.
Like most city builders, you start out small and expand over time. Your civilization also evolves when you research new skills and technology. City building sim lovers will be right at home here since many of the mechanics are familiar when it comes to upgrading and the time and resources needed. Overall, Before We Leave is a very deep game with lots to discover and build.
Graphically, the game looks pretty decent on Nintendo Switch. I haven’t seen the PC version, but I’m assuming it probably doesn’t look or perform as well. Yet, this version is still fairly good with lots of detail, even when zoomed all the way in. It might not look as crisp as the PC version, but for play on a small screen, it’s passable.
Now there is one tiny issue I should mention and that’s the scale of the game on the Nintendo Switch. When playing in portable mode, the text in the game is incredibly small. I don’t know if there’s a way to change this and if there is, I can’t find it. I’m playing this on a Nintendo Switch Lite so there’s some text, specifically in the research tree, that is almost impossible to read because of its size. And because I’m on a Switch Lite, it’s not like I can just dock it to play on a larger screen either, so just be aware of this.
So is Before We Leave worth a purchase? If you’re a fan of city building and management games, I’d say yes. The game is very deep with a lot to do and explore. Just make sure you do the tutorial so you can get situated with the user interface and exactly how to play. Overall, I like that you can pretty much play Before We Leave at your own pace without having to worry about anything other than building and expanding your little world.
Disclaimer: Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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