Ukrainian develops city-building strategy game Ostriv by himself. What it’s about
Ostriv is a city-building strategy game that puts you in a role of a governor of an 18th-century Ukrainian town to challenge your creative skills and management abilities (the recent update Alpha 5 added rowhouses).
The Ostriv game has been developed since 2014. It has been in early access since 2017 and launched on Steam in 2020. The strategy is still in early access. However, unlike many dead early access projects, Ostriv is under constant development and expansion done by a single indie developer Yevhen from Kharkiv all the time.
Ostriv is a city-building strategy game. From the start, a player has a few families and resources to govern to build first homes, a lumber mill, and other basic buildings continuing the development from a small settlement to a real town with hundreds of citizens.
Over time, the game process becomes more and more complicated — in addition to the basic needs of its inhabitants, the player has to monitor the replenishment of the budget, salaries, trade, food availability, and many other factors.
It looks pretty similar to the ANNO series but with some unique features. First, it is the setting. Ukraine not rarely appears in games, essentially in shooters in modern reality or close to that. Building an actual Ukrainian settlement in the city-building strategy game is a unique opportunity.
The second is realism. Ostriv aims to bring the city-building genre to a new level by eliminating annoying restrictions. The game lets create highly natural city planning without binding it to the squares and right angles in a 3D landscape. Moreover, the player cannot build a house or a road but only arranges places for new buildings. And peasants will make them floor by floor and beat tracks as they find it most comfortable.
You see seasons changing naturally in the game. It affects the gameplay significantly. Everyone starts in a camp populated by peasants living in tents. If you don’t provide all families with proper houses before the cold weather begins, they will leave your settlement. Every year, you must store enough food during the fall because, in winter, people may start starving, so you would lose all the citizens anyway.
In the beginning, it was a “village-building” game, actually. However, the project evolved with time and has been chiefly community-driven since the first alpha in 2017.
The current game version has 45 main buildings, five maps, the English and Ukrainian localizations, farming and cattle breeding, road modeling, dynamic seasons, primary trade, and other things you can expect from a city-building game.
With Alpha 5, the game got many brick buildings and health mechanics depending on ration and environment, etc. In general, the game is transforming into a city-development simulator. There are no villages in focus anymore.
Among the minuses are the lack of a user-friendly tutorial (the player learns from mistakes and lost settlements) and a few descriptions of items and mechanics. Nevertheless, all the main components of the game work pretty comfortably.
Where can you get Ostriv?
You can buy Ostriv Alpha directly from the developer’s official website. It costs $25. You’ll get a DRM-free copy of the game to download and a life-long subscription to all future updates, including a Steam/GOG key. You can also buy the game directly from GOG ($12.49) and Steam (329 hryvnia).
Note that the current release targets Microsoft Windows OS. In addition, you’ll need a multi-core processor and a powerful gaming video card (preferably GTX 770 or better) supporting OpenGL 4.3+.
Linux and Mac versions are planned for the future.