Type: Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Genre: Strategy, 4X
Developer: Midjiwan AB
Publisher: Midjiwan AB
Release date: 17 Feb, 2021
Base game review
The tribes in the base game of Polytopai were all very similar. The only thing, apart from their looks, that set them apart was their starting tech. The DLC tribes are different though, they’re no longer humans and thus can have their own weird and wonderful abilities.
The Cymanti Tribe is a group of Polytopians who moved away from civilization and decided to live with the bugs. These bugs have merged with the Polytopians to the point where they’re more or less one and the same. And now they’re trying to take over the whole world with their own unique units and buildings.
The Cymanti are a completely different beast to the tribes in the base game. Where they were limited by the fact that they were humans, who needed to use human weapons, the Cymanti are not beholden to such limitations. They rely on insects instead, insects and fungi.
This difference becomes clear as soon as you face them. While the Cymanti has a lot of equivalents to the base-game tribes, they do after all have some kind of cavalry, some kind of archer and so on, their units don’t function the same. Cymanti archers fly and can thus cross water unhindered and poison the enemies that they hit, their cavalry-equivalent is frail but fast and so on. They also lack boats, but instead plant algae that their units can walk on, and have a purely aquatic unit if they need to cross large bodies of water.
Their most unique unit is their super unit though, which is a centipede which grows and grows the more enemies it kills. Kill the head of these and the next segment of the body will become the new head. This sounds really overpowered, but the size of these centipedes can quickly become a problem. Every time they kill an enemy unit they gain a new segment on their bodies, and these take up space on the map, space that your units can’t cross. You can, if you want to, blow up these segments, which poisons enemies around them, but losing segments means losing health. The head of the centipede is also not as strong as a regular super unit.
The Cymanti also has unique buildings. They can harvest fruit and hunt like any other tribe, but some of their other buildings work differently. Instead of building roads they place beacons which connects cities to nearby other cities without you having to manually place each individual road. Their farms are fields of fungi which grows and gives resources over time, and also poisons anyone foolish enough to step onto them.
The bug people are an interesting addition to Polytopia. Their units are weird and seemingly very powerful, as are their buildings, but they also tend to be a bit on the frail side. The new mechanics introduced in this DLC are not quite as straight forward as that of the base game and both using and fighting the Cymanti takes a bit of getting used to, making this less of a pick up and play faction. That said nothing in this DLC is overwhelmingly complex, Polytopia is still a very easy to play game, even with all the bugs that this DLC adds.