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    jp's Stacklands (PC)

    [May 13, 2022 06:39:43 PM]
    I don't know where I heard about this game - but I've been playing it for a few hours (almost 8 hours in) and, it's interesting, fun...and nicely chaotic.

    I'm also having a hard time describing it - it's sort of a rogue-like village builder where the main source of randomness comes from the contents of card packs you buy that are resources for you to play the game. So, you buy a back and it has a berry bush, and then you put a villager card on top of it - and the villager picks berries from the bush (a limited amount, then the bush card disappears).

    There's a natural progression as you move from more basic resources (getting wood from trees) to creating buildings (that are all created by putting a villager on top of a stack of the requisite recourse cards).

    The main source of challenge in the game is that you need to have enough food for the villagers to eat at the end of each day(?) cycle. Also, occasionally you'll run into enemies - and you need to fight them - and your villagers can die here as well. When a villager dies you get a corpse card (stack two and you build a graveyard, which you can then send a villager in to explore - which means that cards found will pop-out, and so on.

    The game is definitely rogue-like in that everytime you play you're starting from scratch, there are no permanent boosts or improvements. What does remain from playthrough to playthrough is the knowledge you've uncovered about the different cards - for example, how to create planks. THese formula you can either obtain (in the beginning they'll sometimes pop-out of packs as "idea" cards) or discover by experimenting. I found a few of these just by trying out different stacks of cards.

    At this point I've had a complete (successful) run of the game (on the middle difficulty level) and I've also discovered all the cards (there's a card-o-pedia that lists all of them with "?" for those you haven't found or figured out. There's no overall score, so there's no particular reason to play again at the same level of challenge - but I might anyways just to see how things do. My current "winning" run involved me having a stack of chickens that would pop out a lot of eggs I'd cook into omelettes. It got kind of crazy there for a moment! In previous runs I've had multiple cows - they drop milk cards every now and then, and so on.

    It's interesting (makes sense in terms of complexity) that there are things you cannot do - for example while you can create new chicken cards (stack a chicken and an egg) you can't create a new cow card (afaik). And, the randomness of the packs means that you might not see certain resources (e.g. potatoes were non-existent until I'd already beat the run and was just playing to find new cards)!

    One of the things I like is that the game feels quite tactile - you have to drag and drop the cards on each other and while you can "kind of" optimize some stuff (like put a chest under the spot where you drag cards to sell them, with the resulting coin cards landing on the chest and going inside automatically instead of just lying on the board), generally - it does end up kind of messy as a board (it zooms out when you have more cards) - combat also messes things up - with the enemy cards sort of hopping around and moving stuff. Same with wild animals (before you have a pen to put them in).
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    Status

    jp's Stacklands (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 2 May, 2022

    Opinion
    jp's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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