introductionDeveloper Team Niche has made a great debut game in Niche! Niche is a Survival/Strategy game where you control your group of Creatures. Through breeding, you need to create a group that can survive the harsh world you live in. What's special is that the game features a genetics system that allows the group to have varied skill sets and natural talents, as well as natural defects if you aren't careful or inbreed them. The game has some great potential as it's going through its Early Access stages, and I'm sure the developers are going to put a lot of love into this game.
Niche is available on Steam for around $ 20, and only in English.
gameplayYou control your creatures who are living in a Hex-based world. You need to discover this world and find food for your creatures to survive. But while looking for food, you can encounter other living things in the wild. Some hostile, but some even of your own kind. These creatures will then join your group. But be careful! Another member in your group means another mouth to feed. Some more sources of food would be a welcome change in the game. So far, I've only seen two sorts of berry bushes, one of which being a cactus that hurts you when you try to harvest it. And the game doesn't have natural regeneration, so once a creature is hurt, it will not go back to full strength on its own.
While I played the game, I fell in love with how the game looks! It's so pretty and cute! I started out with a pair of creatures in the south of the map. The biome was sort of a savanna or steppe climate and there wasn't very much food. Only one bush of berries and a couple of cacti. I lost my male almost right after the first female of the second generation was born, and I thought I was screwed! Fortunately, I found another male specimen of my creature in the bushes nearby and I could grow my tribe bigger.
When I had about four or five members in my tribe, I found two other creatures of my species wondering around in the bushes near my "home base" and my tribe was getting too big too fast! Starvation became an issue since I only had one berry bush, and the cacti were killing off my creatures.
My tribe died off in the third of fourth generation, may they rest in piece!
Right now the game isn't the most difficult to beat, keep one male and one female alive and you're good to go. But it has a lot of replay value, and I'm sure the developers at Team Niche have some things up their sleeves to make things more challenging for us.
Unless you start out in the warmer climates of the map, like I did. This makes the game a lot more challenging, but still not as hard as some gamers would like. New creatures can be found in the bushes around you starting area pretty easily, and if you explore enough food shouldn't be too much of an issue.
The one thing I was missing, though, was a Tutorial level. Either I completely missed it, or there wasn't one. Both cases are something that needs to be fixed.
sound and graphicsThe game looks amazing! The colors are vibrant as if someone painted them using watercolors. That was one of the first things in this game I fell in love with and made me decide to want to review this little diamond in the rough. The creatures look adorable, but I've only seen one kind of playable creature in the game. I hope the developers put some more into it.
The sounds are great as well. If another creature is near you in unfamiliar territory you'll hear the sound of something moving in the grass close to you. The sounds do get a bit repetitive. I hope the people at Team Niche implement some more, different sounds.
The soundtrack is nice. Not something that blew my mind away but the quality is good and it fits the game. I only heard one song during my entire playthrough, so I hope the developer puts some more effort in this section as well.
conclusionNiche is a great game, it's something new that's what we needed in the world of Indie Early Access in my humble opinion. A breath of fresh air. Is it worth almost twenty bucks? I would have to say no. Not at the stage that the game is in at this moment. I hope the developers put some more playable mechanics in the game. Could it be worth the money? Yes, it most certainly can if there are more features implemented, and more playable characters are added to the game. So great debut, Team Niche! I hope to see more work from you guys soon! I for one am available for more reviews from you guys!
|+ Fun, new kind of game|| - No tutorial|
|+ Beautiful and Cute artwork||- Sounds are repetitive|
|+ Game basics are easy to understand||- Not worth $ 20,-|
|+ Based on real Genetics|
|+ A lot of replay value|
GAME SCORE: 8.5/10