Mindustry is a game by Anuke so I’ll let them explain it first:
“Mindustry is a hybrid tower-defense sandbox factory game. Create elaborate supply chains of converyor belts to feed ammo into your turrets, produce materials to use for building, and defend your structures from waves of enemies. Features include a map editor, 24 built-in maps, cross-platform multiplayer and large-scale PvP unit battles.” - anuke
Mindustry Trailer | Mindustry, Steam.com
I would like to address the low score this game received on our "Narrative" side of things. Although this game does not have a guiding story or arching narrative driving the player to continue, it is still quite captivating. There is no real goal such as "Stop the overlord" or "build up and defend your world" but the game is built in such a way that it does entice you to keep playing. I didn't feel that the game suffered from not having an overarching story but it would have been inaccurate to give it a higher score in that area.
Mindustry was a fantastic and highly addicting way to spend my time. Your progress through the game is directly linked to the resources you collect as well as completing various tasks. Each new area that you unlock is done so by completing the tasks outlined when you click on the area, making your goals very easy to navigate. The game is able to be stopped and saved at any point as well allowing you to get into it during those fifteen minutes you have free before heading out the door to work.
Picture via Anuke.itch.io
One of the things that I personally found a little confusing in the beginning was how to upgrade your equipment options. There is a tech tree you can look through while in the map selection area or even while in a map. I couldn’t understand for a long time why I wasn’t able to select the upgrades when I had the necessary components but I eventually realized that the materials you're collecting are no good towards advancement until you have left the level. You must bring those collected materials to your “home base” (the map selection screen) in order to be able to use them. Later on in the game you can develop ways to send items you’ve collected out of your map to the home base without leaving the map itself. At that point you’ll be able to upgrade items mid-map from the tech tree.
Aside from that confusion everything else about the game was relatively straightforward and easy to comprehend. A couple of items have poor descriptions but are easy to figure out.
Watch "A Newbie's Guide to Mindustry" on Youtube
The level of challenge and reward seems to be pretty balanced as well. With the combination of each map being more difficult as well as each wave within the map becoming more difficult, you really are being constantly pushed. Creating layers upon layers of weapons and coordinating ammo to those weapons can be a struggle, especially when you’ve based everything against ground units, only for a new flying unit to appear.
Picture via Anuke.itch.io
You learn quickly to start utilizing the landscape around you to funnel the enemies into a small area or defend your turrets behind walls that they can’t shoot through. It can be difficult once they burst past your defences but remember the game isn’t lost until they destroy your base!
All in all I would highly, highly recommend this game. It can be purchased on Steam but following this link you can also find a “Name your own price” option directly from the developer. Purchasing on steam does give you a few more benefits like seamless multiplayer, map browsing and workshops, as well as the achievements that you can earn through the platform.
Mindustry is a fantastic hybrid between a Tower Defense and a Sandbox Factory game. With hundreds of hours of possible playtime and a “Name your own price” option you can’t go wrong with this “Purchase”.
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