The comedian John Finnemore once did a sketch about how front-loading your description of someone with the phrase "non-violent" can end up seeming like a worryingly specific denial. Yet it's the main adjective that Balancing Monkey Games has chosen for their city-building game Before We Leave. The game tasks you with rebuilding civilisation after an ecological apocalypse occurred some generations ago, but unlike most games of that type, it doesn't feature human conflict or war with other settlements. Occasional incursions by hungry space whales aside, it really is a gentle and optimistic game.
Released back in May, Before We Leave has been receiving regular patches ever since, with yesterday's Paving the Way update the third to add a hefty chunk of new content along with the usual laundry list of little tweaks and fixes. One new feature that's sure to prove popular is the ability to customise the names of peeps (the denizens of your charming post-apocalyptic settlement) as well as their ships. There's nothing like getting the freedom to name things to really make the place feel like your own.
The update also adds two new types of resources (chemicals and cement), two new buildings (a cliffside warehouse and a vehicle depot for roadworks), and some expansions and improvements to road upgrading and power generation, including a spot of rebalancing that makes solar and wind power more readily accessible while nerfing woodburning. You can read the full patch notes for more details on how it all works.
As the title suggests, the eventual goal of Before We Leave is to expand your rebuilt civilisation to other planets, but without losing sight of the fact that there's always something you can do to improve the one you already have—and the Paving the Way update gives you a few more helpful tools to nudge you in the right direction.