Rise to Ruins (formerly Retro-Pixel Castles) is a great blend of genres, pulling in inspiration from the likes of Black and White, Rimworld, and Dwarf Fortress to make something entirely unique.
After being in Early Access for nearly five years, this is a huge milestone for Raymond Doerr of SixtyGig Games. It's another title I've followed along closely all these years, after personally purchasing it back in 2015 and it's really delightful to play. The Linux support has been in good shape for a long time too, no noteworthy issues.
It's a bit of a mix of things with multiple game modes and quite a number of options you can change to tweak your play-through. This ranges from a Sandbox mode to do whatever you want, a Peaceful option to just build some nice villages and watch your people work, a Survival mode to test you with you needing to build up defences against everything that comes out at night and more. There's even a Custom mode to tweak practically anything. All of them blend together a village builder with tower defence and you have a few god-like powers too.
Rise to Ruins is a mesmerising game once you really get going. Watching tons of people run around doing their thing, while monsters are knocking at your walls as your towers let 'em have it. I've lost to it, often but every time I do I come back later refreshed knowing what I did wrong. I've played 25 hours now, yet I'm still learning and finding out little new things everywhere in the game to increase my village efficiency and improve my defence building.
I don't think I will ever get tired of seeing little dogs become part of my villages, to then end up running around helping to move resources. The simulation here makes me smile too. Clicking one of my pets tells me their name is Potato and underneath "The Doggo", just so it's clear—hah!
Zooming right in even enables you to see their little tail wagging, very sweet. A lot of attention to the tiny little details, which I of course appreciate as I constantly slide the camera across the map, zooming in at every little thing, keeping a watchful eye over my minions.
Monsters, food shortages and more aren't all you're dealing with. Meteor showers will also bring destruction from above. It looks awesome with them all coming down, even more awesome when it misses your village.
It doesn't take you long to get going either, within a few minutes every part of your village will be moving. Chopping logs, cutting stone, running away from headless monsters and more. So much thought has been put into it and it shows. The artwork is pixel art and retro but it's also really well detailed and easy to tell things at a glance too. There's a little bit for everyone here, all wrapped up in a fantastic pixel art style.
Pictured: The same colony as the first image, an hour or so later. The name Rise to Ruins seems to suit how my run ended today quite well. I was totally overrun due to focusing way too little on defence early on.
While it's now "released" it's not the end. Doerr said to expect "more free content patches over the years as Rise to Ruins continues to evolve and expand into an even more complex game with deeper mechanics" which sounds quite exciting. Doerr is not a big fan of DLC at all, so don't expect to see any paid DLC. As long as people keep buying Rise to Ruins, they should keep supporting it for no added cost.
I loved the release announcement too, stating it was "the most extensive and important change log in Rise to Ruins history" which simply said:
- Released the game
Hah, I do love a good bit of simple humour like that.
A long time fan of Rise to Ruins, definitely recommend trying it out if you've been waiting for it to get to state where it's complete enough to play through and it's a huge amount of fun. If you like building villages, expanding across the world and defending against monsters it's a no-brainer to pick up. Absolutely tons of replay value.