Review: Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic

Oh here we go! My guilty addiction! Are you a fan of Russian music? And are you the type of person that sinks hundreds of hours in city builders? Are you a fan of real strategic thinking? Then have no fear: 3Dvision is here with their game Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic! And I had an amazing time with it. Want to know why? Let’s go over that, shall we?

What we liked!

  • Game complexity: I am perplexed by how complex a city builder can be. Last time I played one of these, Google games were a thing. I assume I was like 14/15 years old back then. So back in those days, you could literally do whatever you wanted, and you just made more profitable buildings without much thought. But this game takes things to a whole new level where you actually have to manage everything. Starting from the ways and stops that certain busses do, to the way and regularity you do restocking. If you want, you can literally manage everything. I was feeling brave at a certain point, and tried doing that, but once my sweet Soviet town was growing, I felt the need to redo this, since my novel ego wasn’t prepared for that much multitasking.
  • Ultrawide support/benefits: Yes, here I go again. Soviet Republic took its time to support ultrawide at the max scale. Actually, once you boot up the game, it asks you for each and every setting what you want to do. So that you don’t have to mess around with that in-game. That being said, 21:9 is supported and brings so much added freedom and screen space. Since in the game, you can find yourself staring at 5 windows at a time, and having a big screen that scales well, works wonders in that regard. With those benefits come… even more benefits! You also get to see more of your city, without cropping, so if you have a nice ultrawide, this game is a double recommendation!
  • Different difficulties: The game allows you to choose how casual you want to build that city, or how much of a challenge you want. If you are experienced, and you want to manage happiness, power, energy cost per building, oil costs, … then you can toggle all of this on. If that isn’t much of your fancy, it can be turned off with the click of a button. Do you want to just manage all of this, but don’t want to give a f*** about profitability? Then pick the unlimited money! But you want to manage all of this, but want some extra buffer? Then pick a huge starting budget, and put the rest on hard! It’s all up to your liking! Also take into a count that game difficulty is bound per save file, so you can have multiple files running at different settings.
  • Extensive maps: The map is split into a greater part of sections. Each section is built a bit different. For starters, there are 2 maps/ground bases, on which you can build your first few cities (can be skipped). These maps come with a nice ground level at places. Other maps are randomly generated, which can add extra spice whilst constructing.
  • Music: It wouldn’t be a Soviet game if there would not have been Russian music in it. While you are playing the game, you are coupled with their sound tracks of Soviet lifestyle. It’s nice, and if you do appreciate the music, you can even buy their sound tracks separate on Steam! And since there are this many songs, it doesn’t really get stale. Only if you pay full attention to the music alone, then it can get a bit tedious. But if that would have been your focus, you must be playing on autofocus or something, since this gam does require you to be fully focussed to figure out where certain resources are going, and to optimise game flow.

Somewhere between

  • Starting difficulty: Honestly, I normally skip tutorials that are not mandatory, but in this game, I found myself quitting my first level a few times, and redoing the whole tutorial twice. Could partially have been because I played the tutorial through without putting much thought to it, but the game is hard to grasp if you aren’t a veteran. On itself that can be quite scary, but I found this more of an amazing challenge down the line then something else. Since it has such a learning curve, you feel accomplished once you see that your are actually making back money in your city.

What we disliked

  • Autosave: Usually autosave is an amazing option, and honestly, I’m grateful that the game does save my progress, so if my power fails, that I don’t lose my progress (even though I have a UPS backup to not see that happening) but, once autosave literally freezes the game, and cancels ANY action you are doing at that moment (which can be an action you are focussing on, and a whole combined minute), then it’s a nuisance! If they would just simply let it run in the background, and not freeze the whole game, it would be a huge plus.
  • Ground levelling and road positioning: The ground levelling system and road mapping (especially train tracks..) is horrible. Sometimes you just seem to be able to make a turn, or lay down a flat track. But then it turns out some random stone is a bit higher, and it doesn’t even allow you to M2 to put it flat. So you bring out the expensive level tool, which costs money per field, then you under level it, need to fill it back up.. That being said, you try to pull a road, and turns out it has the same issue. Later on, you try to make a sharper turn, but it doesn’t allow you. But if you pull half of that corner, stop, and then try to connect that line with a second dig of that same angle, then here you go, you just paid more, and still get that turn… This needs some work, but can be fixed.