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Neverdark is a post-apocalyptic RTS that uses maps of real cities

Neverdark is a post-apocalyptic RTS where you'll have to rebuild society—there was a global blackout, civilisation has fallen, the internet is dead—and fight gangs for control over ruined cities. Maps of Paris, New York and Tokyo serve as the battlefields, so you can visit the Louvre, soak up the art and history, and then rebrand it as a black market. Check out the announcement trailer above for a quick hit of exposition. 

With its hologram cities and surveillance aesthetic, Neverdark looks more like Ingress than your typical RTS, but I'm definitely into it. That it doesn't kinda look like StarCraft is really a plus. It's unconventional beyond its style, too. Instead of commanding squads or armies to fling at your adversary's own forces, you'll have to send specialists out on missions in an attempt to expand your influence over the city. 

So if you want to take over the Louvre, instead of sending a bunch of soldiers and engaging in a brisk RTS battle, you can send one of these specialists to perhaps sow dissent among the faction controlling the area, or maybe a sniper so you can perform some assassinations. A proper fight is still an option, however, but they're turn-based tactical battles, while everything else takes place in real-time. 

When you take over an area, that's when you can start putting it to use, transforming it into a handy piece of post-apocalyptic infrastructure, like the aforementioned black market or maybe some rooftop gardens. It sounds like it goes further than just getting resources to fuel the war machine and ventures into management territory. Like Frostpunk, you'll need to worry about resource scarcity and even ethical dilemmas, passing laws to influence the direction of a new civilisation. 

So while developer Simteract describes it as a "pausable RTS", it actually sounds a lot broader. A bit of tactical combat, faction management, politics and real-time strategy—it's quite a lot to unpack. There's a Steam store page, though it doesn't go into too many specifics. It's certainly an interesting pitch, though. It's due out later this year, so expect to read more about it soon. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.