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Nieuwe Aarde

by zorbathut - Competition Entry

The planet is dying.

Monsters raise themselves out of the ocean monthly. The skies themselves blacken.

You, and your civilization, have but one choice: amass enough magical power to leap across the starless void, to another, safer planet. But you're racing against time - every day the attacks get stronger.

The planet is dying, and it's taking you with it.


Nieuwe Aarde is a turn-based strategy game, inspired by Desktop Dungeons and Seafarers of Catan. You colonize a series of islands in a desperate grab for enough magic to evacuate.


If you like my game, come check out my official development journal at - I'm doing one game per month, and have been for approximately the last year. :)

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Comments (archive)

ExciteMike says ...

Aw, you don't actually get to see the monsters.

shady1024 says ...

I didn't really see anything humorous, but you certainly had the theme down. Also, you submitted your game in it's entirety and there's not a rating for, so I gave your a four overall. Great job.

Diet Chugg says ...

Very well done. Liked the innovation of it. It has a solid strategy balance.

brian says ...

Really awesome little game, amazingly complete and fits the theme perfectly.

philomory says ...

This is a very good entry, quite engaging. It felt like the monster attacks could have been a bit more balanced - perhaps allowing for partially successful defense if you spent part of the necessary resources (though of course without the rewards)? Still very entertaining.

pekuja says ...

I really enjoyed this game. Playing a few games, figuring out the strategy necessary to escape. Good stuff. It would had been cool to see the monsters, and I wish the game had some background music, but even as it is the game is a lot of fun.

the31 says ...

Excellent game. Very strategic, but a bit too hard for me to beat. Maybe a difficulty slider would have helped the non-strategy-game-players like me. Didn't rate it down for that though, it was just difficult.

(Just figured out how to use magic, realizing I hadn't examined every command in detail. If I played it again knowing this it might not be so difficult, but I'm out of time for now. Great game.)

SonnyBone says ...

This is actually VERY good. It's deceptively good, in fact. Great use of theme and GREAT innovation, I say.

Tenoch says ...

Very well polished (lacks music perhaps).
Gameplay is a bit confusing at first , and a bit slow afterwards (clicking "work" repetedly). The traveling method was odd (adding lots of boats on the sea like this?)
But you might be able to make a great game out of this.

PsySal says ...

Great strategy game! Here's what I liked the most:
- I could pick up and play fairly easily; tooltips worked great for learning how to play.
- The basic premise where everything is a structure (including ships, etc.) sits great with me and is a smart simplification for the competition.
- Strategy is pretty great for a 48 hour compo.
- Writing is also great, I really understood what was going on.

The only thing I had trouble with is is balance:
- The monsters! They seem to get really powerful really fast, not leaving me much chance to amass enough for leaving the island.
- Strategy wise, it's not clear to me that food/wood ever matter very much; this might be something I'm missing out on?
- It's not totally obvious the relationship between metal+magic=power, other than it's not really linear.

Basically in order to have a hope of beating the monsters I had to build as many cities on mountains as I could manage, and as many forges as I could without overdepleting my metal supply. Then just work for the rest of the turn.

Here is a suggestion, (surely the wrong one but it might give you some ideas) for balancing the game:

- Make it so the monsters ramp up a bit slower
- The game could tell you what kind of monster is coming up
- The monsters require some number each of food, wood, metal, magic to defeat; this way you are encouraged to always increase.
- Maybe the battle could happen more on a sliding scale, where you see the effects of your resources; different types of monsters may have different effect on the resources so that you get a feel for what you need to have
- The worse you do in battle, the more magic you lose

This would let you:
- Know what effect your resources had on each monster type.
- Be encouraged to learn what each monster is like ("oh no, it's a fire gryphon, better stockpile wood this turn...")
- Make it so that if you manage your resources properly, you can save up your magic thereby giving you a better chance to escape.

Anyhow this is way too much information! Great job, I had fun with this game.

Sparky says ...

This is solid. I think if you did a tiny bit of graphical and UI work, you could make it a lot more accessible and fun to play. The mechanics are already there. Thanks for making this, I'm enjoying it.

Endurion says ...

Nice game. Quite solid and also seems winnable.
Travelling is weird, leaving a line of boats.

Perrin says ...

Thought this was really good. Really enjoyed playing it.

IK1985 says ...

It was ok thought it was way to hard though, monsters need to improve at a slower rate and/or magic and metal need to be a little more effective.

Apart from difficulty it's a solid game though and in 48 hours rigourous balancing isn't always possible.

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