50 Years is a coffee break turn-based strategy game available on Steam from Developer Aleksandr Golovkin, currently in Early Access. Unlike others I’ve reviewed, this game is short and meant for repeated playthroughs. I was able to do an entire Let’s Play of one civilization in around 25 minutes.
Although individual matches are short, the game offers a large combination of customization and decision-making options that make the game replayable. At the end of each year, the player is randomly attacked … and sometimes not. Early decisions, including civilization choices, belief options, buildings and army choices, change the way the game is played. Many beliefs augment one building or unit but nerf or remove others.
Some of the options and civilizations reminded me of old school strategy games like Age of Empires. While this is not a real-time strategy game, some of the upgrades and options function in a similar manner. After the civilization is selected, it’s time to build your town. The screen below is where you make decisions about which buildings you’ll invest in and create units–both offensive and economy-based.
The fights are simple. Once you’ve established your army and “ended the year,” you’re either attacked by a randomized army with difficulty that increases over time (and based on the difficulty setting chosen at the outset) or you get a free bye and another year to establish your army. This element of randomness keeps the game interesting.
After you’ve won enough fights and make it through a number of years, you’re awarded a belief upgrade. Some civilizations offer additional upgrades, so the number of belief augmentations vary within each match.
Overall, this game was a lot of fun. It surprised me how difficult it proved to be. I played the game through several times, testing out the options and really enjoyed it. For the price point, it’s a great throwback strategy game!