I’m not sure any of my Lego constructions would hold up to anything more aggressive than an accidental bump or the over-excited nose of a dog, let alone wave after wave of ghastly monsters. Soon I’ll be able to put that hypothesis to the test, as the next game from the creators of shopkeeping-sim-turned-dungeon-diver Moonlighter looks to throw endless horrors at your custom-made grand design.
Cataclismo is a bit of Minecraft-style building-crafting action with a good seasoning of They Are Billions tower-defence on top. The game splits its action into two phases, handily designated by an in-game day and night cycle. During the day, the residents of your settlement must roam around and gather resources, while you use said resources to build up a sturdy fortress.
It’s this building that makes Cataclismo stand out from the pack a bit. Inspired by literal Lego, the game aims to offer a fairly in-depth building mode that lets you create all manner of tower, wall, castle or what-have-you from a wide variety of brick-like pieces.
That customisation is key, because your building skills will be put to the test at night, as waves of horrors descend on your freshly-cemented construction. The inhabitants of your settlement will also be there to help fend them off, arming themselves with bows, cannons and more as you command them to attack the invading gribblies.
If certain parts of your building take too much damage, they’ll risk collapsing based on a realistic physics system, potentially hurting those caught in the destruction and undermining the structural integrity of the rest – meaning you can just throw together a bunch of blocks and expect them to magically work.
You’ll also have to think about the materials you’re using in your construction, with stone, wood, mineral and the fantastical mistfuel all having different properties that will affect their resilience and strength.
To unlock more pieces and materials, you’ll have to spend the day managing your town, helping your economy to grow by expanding with new buildings, investing in tech – such as flaming arrows or claw traps – and buying extra units to see off pesky monsters by moonlight. You’ll be able to pause during the day, before the real-time strategy elements kicks in during the night fights.
The terrain around your settlement will play a part in how you decide to build and defend too, with forests, misty wetlands and the not-pleasant-sounding Depths each having unique environmental factors.
Cataclismo’s building-defence will run across a 30-hour single-player campaign, with the option to take on standalone challenges in skirmish maps or simply building freely in a creative mode without having to worry about monsters tearing down your hard work.
Developers Digital Sun (with the help of Brendy C, RPS in peace) currently have a crowdfunding campaign running for Cataclismo over on Kickstarter, to help make the enticing building-tower-defence-RTS hybrid their first self-published game. It’s going well so far, sailing past its €50,000/$53,000 target with two weeks left on the clock at the time of writing. The plan is to have the game out next May, but you can go and give its demo a go on Steam right now.