Before We Leave is a 'chill-out' interplanetary city building game

Before We Leave is a game about raising cities, rebuilding your world and reaching for the stars, and unlike some other games about building civilizations that might immediately leap to mind, it's mostly-non-violent: There are no weapons, no warfare, and no worries that Gandhi is going to nuke your ass into glass the moment you turn your back.

The game begins with the emergence of your people from underground shelters, where they've been living for so long that they've completely forgotten the world above. The process of recovery starts with baby steps—build huts, harvest potatoes, see what secrets lie beyond that hill over yonder—but soon leads to other continents, and eventually even other planets.

But in a very large-scale twist on "mo' money, mo' problems," emerging from your subterranean haunt brings with it a host of unexpected hassles. Ancient technology left behind by your civilizational forebears will help you grow, but ancient guardians, also courtesy of those thoughtful ancestors, will test your worthiness. As your reborn civilization spreads its wings, the deep scars of the disasters that forced your people underground in the first place will still need to be dealt with.

And there are Space Whales. That's where the "mostly" non-violent part comes from: Space Whales apparently only understand one language, and if you're not ready to speak it, they'll eat your planets.

Aside from that, though, Before We Leave sounds like a relaxing, low-pressure game: Developer Balancing Monkey Games said players can "play, expand and chill out at your own pace in your own solar system of rehabilitated planets."

Before We Leave is currently targeted for a Steam Early Access release later this year. Before then, you can find out more at, or pop into the Before We Leave Discord server and join the "idle metagame" for a chance to take part in the closed alpha test when it begins.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.