Before We Leave is a low stress strategy game with varying levels of depth for every player. Set in a post collapse world where you struggle among the ruins, Before We Leave is the inaugural title from Balancing Monkey Games. The game features classic hextile based gameplay with an exciting twist. Unlike traditional strategy titles, BWL will have you hopping planets and establishing fronts across the system.
Graphically, Before We Leave uses a cutesy feel, tying in to the pacifist gameplay. Your citizens, named “peeps” will happily bob around your home planet, carrying out tasks without fear of attack. Similarly the music matches the laid back feel. This, combined with a spaced out UI design, gives you a sense of being more of a guiding hand and less of a direct controller. Game feel wise, Before We Leave plays more like a 90s Molyneux God game than a traditional strategy title.
Difficulty in Before We Leave doesn’t come from direct conflict, but instead from managing resources as you expand. Occasionally, a giant space whale will offer you a set of tasks in order to not get your planetoid eaten, but this can be avoided. Instead of a fog of war, you fill in the planet like a construction set, giving quite a neat effect. For the most part, you’ll be making sure your colony chugs along instead of worrying about devastation.
During my time with Before We Leave, I found no bugs; only a slightly jittery camera movement. When compared with other isometric games that use similar viewing systems, it felt a bit too rapid. Otherwise, the game ran smoothly, looking good in 4K, albeit with few graphical options outside of the standard. Overall, the experience under the hood was standard.
While lacking depth compared to larger, more mainstream strategy titles, Before We Leave is a fun entry in the genre. Personally, I would like to see this game come to other platforms. The laid back yet engaging gameplay would be right at home on a portable platform like the Nintendo Switch. In its current state, it is still a good respite between grueling campaigns for the strategy addict.