HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewAs Far As The Eye Review

As Far As The Eye Review


As Far As The Eye is a turn-based resource management game that puts you in control of a settlement of wanderers. These wanderers, or pupils, have one overarching goal, reach the Eye before a wave washes them away.

Each run takes place in a procedurally generated world. The areas are randomly filled with resources and to progress you must hit certain resource or level requirements. This can be as simple as collecting enough medicine and food, or it could be more involved and require gathering enough knowledge points by leveling up your characters.

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To learn the basics of the game, there is a series of five campaign missions that explain the fundamentals of progression. As stated, the goal is to gather resources and level up characters to progress.

Resource collection is as straightforward as it is in other management games. Each tile has specific traits and resources that you can harvest. These include things like wood, metal, stone, grains, animals, and more. These can in turn be used to, not only progress from one area to the next, but create buildings that allow you to further take advantage of those resources.

Building also has the added bonus of allowing your pupils to increase their skill while performing an action.

To clarify, your base starts off as a mobile unit at the beginning of each area you enter. The first thing to do is deploy it in an area where you will be able to access the most, or best, resources in that area. Once deployed, pupils can begin gathering the most basic of materials and return them to the base. Doing this doesn’t gain them any experience but it does allow you to get to a point where you can start building and specializing in abilities.

For example, wood is a fundamental resource and your pupils can gather it, before bringing it back to the base to their hearts content. But until you build a sawmill and assign a pupil to gather wood there, they won’t improve at the ability. It’s the same for every resource and, in fact, many resources are only collectible once a building that focuses on it has been constructed.

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As a side note, one really cool feature that plays into the nomadic theme is that buildings can be made mobile with more resources so as you progress you can take them with you.

Only one pupil can be assigned to a specialty building at a time too, so it’s important to remember who was assigned to do what.

This is where As Far As The Eye’s difficulty and learning curve start to become more apparent. When working, pupils transform into a specific animal sprite. These all have their own icon that you will need to memorize and recognize on your pupils when assigning tasks. Not only that, but you can only see a maximum of three of these icons on a pupil at a time, so if you have one doing a lot of tasks, you’ll have to go deeper into the menus to figure out who was doing what. Or you’ll need a very good memory.

This all leads to another problem that leads to As Far As The Eye being a bit more difficult than necessary and that is the control scheme. It just does not feel like it was meant for a controller, which isn’t surprising considering it was initially released on PC. During the campaigns as you learn the game, you’ll often be left unsure of selections; you’ll discover a ton of trial and error is involved. 

Things that should be easy, like selecting where to build and actually toggling the build option, feel awkward and clunky. Even worse, when progressing to a new area, you need to manually assign all of your resources into a boxed out grid and sort them to bring as many as possible. Out of all of the things in the game, this probably bothered me the most because it is tedious and needs to happen multiple times in a single playthrough.

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Not only that, but accidentally backing out causes everything to reset, forcing you to reposition everything. With a mouse you’d simply drag and drop items in – at least I assume you would – but with a controller it turns a quick process into something immensely tedious.

I think many of the annoyances with the control scheme and not being able to discern what is selected comes down to the fact that I was playing on my Xbox with a controller and not on a PC with a keyboard and mouse.

It doesn’t help that As Far As The Eye is also a very difficult game. Catastrophes and random events can quickly destroy your tribe’s buildings, cause illness, and quickly put an end to your run if you aren’t careful. There also isn’t much in the way of a notification system for when you run out of food. If you’re playing on autopilot and just collecting resources, and for whatever reason you aren’t making food anymore, your pupils will just start dying.

This will be more on the player, but the gameplay cycle does become one where you can have all of your pupils performing tasks and you’re just trying to finish collecting resources so you quickly progress through turns. The game is generous enough to warn you if a pupil isn’t performing an activity, so you never need to worry about ending a turn with an idle pupil.

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Positively, the overall tone and feel of As Far As The Eye is one that has been beautifully crafted, at least from a visual and sound design aspect. The world is bright and colorful, the character designs are unique and fit the theme, and the music is incredibly serene. It actually stands in stark opposition to just how difficult of a game it really is.

You may struggle to get into As Far As The Eye as much as you want. The controls do not mesh well with playing on a controller and that’s a shame because the gameplay cycle is capable of creating a unique approach to the roguelike genre. It’s helped that the aesthetic of the game is phenomenal.

As Far As The Eye is on the Xbox Store

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Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor
Grew up playing the Nintendo 64 where I fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series. As I got older though my console of choice changed, first to PS2, and then finally to the Xbox 360, which I've been playing on for over a decade now. And since my first day booting up my Xbox, I've upgraded consoles and even built a gaming PC. Because at the end of the day I just love gaming.
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