After a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and seven years of development the latest game by Jon Shafer the designer and programmer of Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords, Beyond the Sword and Sid Meier’s Civilization V is now out. It is called At the Gates and is a 4X strategy game similar to games like the Civilization franchise mixed with some rogue-like elements.
Jon Shafer’s At the Gates costs: £24.99 and is played on a hex map where players control a barbarian tribe, and their aim is to accelerate the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The map changes with the seasons, and resources are gradually depleted which forces the players to move their tribe and have more than one home.
You are a Dark Age lord. Your destiny is to build a kingdom in the shadow of the crumbling Roman Empire. Explore the dangerous landscape around you, harvest its resources, and build a mighty economic and military machine. Your clans have their own personalities and desires, so carefully consider how you use them.
Conifer Games was founded in 2012 by Jon Shafer with At the Gates being part-funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, raising over £100,000 towards its development in March 2013. It was originally scheduled for release in June 2014 but when Shafer joined Paradox Interactive in May 2017, the game was being developed in he’s spare time. He parted ways with Paradox in November of the same year and continued to work on the game. After seven years of development, Shafer announced in December 2018 that At the Gates will release today. You can read more about the story of At the Gates over on a article on Shafer’s website.
At the Gates Trailer.
The day as finally come and I am really looking forward to playing At the Gates. I have been trying to get back into a Civilization type games since Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, as I skipped Civilisation V but to this very day I enjoy watching streams of it. I did buy and play Civilization VI but gave up on it for many reasons which you can read in an article I wrote at the time.
The last 4X game I got into was Endless Legends but got tired of having to micro manage army loadouts and skills. At the Gates seems like it could be the game that sucks me back into the 4X genre. It has character micromanaging – but because it is a single-player focused game I am hopefully I don’t have to deal with AI opponents who seem to work with no rhyme or reason. Also the setting and logic of the game seems unique and well-considered.
This game should be a wake up call to Sid Meier’s Civilization team.