I stumbled upon Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic in the summer of last year when I was browsing through Steam Store. The game was in early access, and the premise of the game look fun. At the time though, there didn't seem to be much of a content and, well, I had assumed this indie game would be a watered-down city-building game that's going to be abandoned by an unknown game studio. I clicked back and scrolled down to the next game on Steam Store, mentally making note to check back on the game down the road.
A few weeks ago the game popped up again as a recommendation on Steam store. Even more curious, I checked out the game page again and read through the game reviews. Most of them were positive reviews about the gameplay , the contents, and the constantly active developer-public engagement. That's good. I saw that it was mod-friendly. Even better. I saw it was made by a studio called 3DVISION, an unfamiliar name so I did background research on them.
It turned out, the small game studio, hailing from the country of Slovakia, have had over a decade of experience in developing and publishing games, their recent work being a combat flight sim, Air Missions: Hind.
In the end, I ended up purchasing the early access game, because it seems to have higher chance of making it to the finish line, the game will offer higher replay-ability with mod support, and well, the Soviet theme plus the city-building genre, I can't say no.
My impression when I fired up the game and began a fresh city: Whoa, what am I doing?
I was anticipating a cheap SimCity copy. It's much better than that. The game does feel like you're in charge of a country. Not a city, a country. You're given X amount of rubles, dollars, and population to start a city in a fictional Eastern Europe location that borders USSR and NATO. From the start you can choose to import resources or produce resources domestically, or do a blend of the two, whichever your preference is. Unlike other city-building games, constructing infrastructure require raw materials and people. Not all buildings are treated the same either. Some require concrete and gravel for completion, other buildings may require something simple like wood and brick for completion. These construction projects can be performed domestically by your people after ferrying them to the spot with a public transportation vehicle that you assigned for pickup and dropoff. Oh, I should mention that construction vehicles are required for the people to operate to perform the required construction tasks. Don't have resources and manpower? Pay in either currency to outsource the construction project.
To expand city properly, careful city-planning is strongly recommended. Infrastructure must be laid out in a manner to minimize expenses and to minimize bottlenecks that will arise in the production chain. Not doing this can lead to runaway expenses, terrible public transportation network, and inefficient city layout that can jeopardize city growth down the timeline. As you continue toward late-game, you'd have multiple cities that specialize in some sort of industry, and together they function much like a giant singular cell, each city providing resources to one another, and surplus of goods can be exported to neighboring country(s) to generate revenue. In the end, the game offer that sandbox and freedom to how to approach your city development, though whatever decision a player made must be carefully considered.
There's a lot to be said about the game but as of current, I'm loving it. I can see this game being a good contender to the main city-builder titles like SimCity and Cities Skylines if the studio invest well in marketing and if they continue to follow through with their development roadmap. The community is friendly, awesome, and helpful.