>A fun little strategy game by Austrian design house Max Design, Burntime combines strategy and role playing game elements into a fairly unique experience. Ironically, it doesn’t succeed completely in either genre, but it’s still fun!
In this game you aim to become a leader of your people — the tribes scattered in a post-apocalyptic valley. Although there’s no reference about where the game takes place on our planet, you see from the beginning it’s a vast valley ravaged by some nuclear tragedy, where civilization is only a memory. As you travel through the valley, you’ll see ruins of old cities that are no more, radioactive wastes, dust and deserts. Most settlements are nomadic and extremely poor. Radioactivity also mutated people and animals alike, so you’re never safe enough out there.
At first you’re alone, but you start to recruit people from the tribes to put them under your flag, while three other leaders try to do the same. In order to get the people’s favor, you need to fit their expectations: you usually have to do some task or offer food or equipment before earning the trust of the people.
When you have some followers with you, you can start controlling settlements through these people, and depending on their expertise you can get them to produce goods or heal your allies. Then the valley starts to get too small for all these leaders. That’s when you’ll start to wash the land with the blood of your enemies. Over time, you might be able to rule supreme over the valley.
Technically the game is not too ambitious, but it’s generally appealing. The graphics and sounds are pretty decent to me. Only thing I’d want to improve is the interface — you control most options through a single menu, and that means the game has space for a lot more options. That’s why I said the game doesn’t completely succeed in either strategy and RPG. All dialogs are exactly the same, with the two same questions over and over (how are things? and wanna work for me?) and their random standard answers. The combat is awkward because you need to click repeatedly on your foes to keep attacking, and all characters are minuscule and never stop moving, so you end up infinitely sending your guys to attack empty spaces or the wrong people. In the other hand, I was intrigued by the variety of items and the interesting trading system, much more realist than most games: there’s no money in this post-apocalyptic world, so you trade only items. Food and weapons have higher value than old tires and other junk. Every resource is incredibly rare, so you can never count on finding stuff you wasted again.