New Cycle is a post-apocalyptic colony builder where each decision matters

Ever fantasise about a great global reset? Throw away all the smartphones and glossy technologies and content management systems that allow us to deliver these very words to you right now, and rewind back to simpler (if infinitely tougher) times, from which to rebuild anew? Sure, it's not something you may actually want to transpire, but the beauty of video games is that they let us live out these fantasies, and Core Engage's upcoming post-apocalyptic colony builder New Cycle looks like one of the more promising games to let us go about that.

Set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic solar flare that wiped out most technological advancements, you're given control over a group of hapless wanderers living out of tenuous shelters, with the task of building them up into a thriving industrial city. With echoes of Endzone in its hauntingly beautiful presentation and the need to make tough decisions that force you to balance expediency with morality, New Cycle is for those who embrace the challenge of thriving in a seemingly uncaring world by whatever means necessary.

New Cycle city overview

(Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment)

But take a closer look at this world, and you'll see that the land remains rich with resources: fresh water runs beneath the ground, stone and iron deposits jut from the earth, and in the shadows of trees that you can cut for lumber you'll find mushrooms thriving and animals to hunt, ready to be delivered to a soup kitchen where you'll need to carefully redistribute your food so that no one is left starving.

Your people aren't just resource-gathering units however. Every single person has needs of shelter, security, health, and entertainment to be met. Keep your people satisfied (and who knows? Maybe one day happy), and they'll put their backs into their assigned tasks; fail to meet those needs however, and they'll make their feelings heard, and not work at the level needed to survive.

Dozens of events—both random and triggered by your running of the colony—will pop up as you progress. Will you address the needs of those complaining of the sweltering working conditions and lack of water? Does your colony have the resources to take in a band of immigrants passing through the area?

Technology tree in New Cycle

(Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment)

Your decisions will trigger new objectives and new challenges, with their outcomes having an impact on that all-important morale in the colony, while special 'Actions' like Emergency Work Shifts or sending children to the workplace will let you apply powerful temporary (or sometimes permanent) effects, with significant side-effects to look out for.

The different seasons will bring their own challenges in this volatile world. Springs and summers are dry and arid, putting a strain on water supplies, while harsh winters will require you to have shelters and enough food to ensure your people survive. Forget about mild, temperate conditions here; one of your greatest battles is against the elements, which will constantly stretch and strain your colony management skills in different directions.

overview of the city in winter in New Cycle

(Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment)

As you research technologies that help your colony stabilise into something resembling a city, ideologies will begin to take root that reflect the means by which you run things. You'll eventually progress through the 'Cycles,' advancing your colony into a thriving dieselpunk metropolis capable of surviving in this harsh world; what kind of haven you end up providing for your people is in your hands.

New Cycle is coming to Steam soon, so head over to its Steam page to wishlist it, and check out prolific publisher Daedalic's latest games over at their Facebook and Twitter pages.