New Frontier Days Review
There aren’t a lot of games available right now on the Nintendo Switch, and even less selection when you begin breaking down the categories by genre. It seems that New Frontier Days might be the first city simulation game to market, and that could bode well for the company when it comes to sales.
For the price, what you are given is incredibly adequate, although there is a lot of potential should the company look to release some DLC.
New Frontier Days operates on a pretty simple, survival like premise: you are new settlers dropped into a new world. You will need food and funds to pass each year end festival, and if you don’t have enough of each, your game is over. Despite having a tutorial, my first game quickly ended in failure as I attempted to expand too quickly, too fast (as per the tutorials instructions mind you). However, once you settle into a rhythm, the game becomes very relaxing, and provides many hours of quality entertainment.
The game is broken down into 5 ages, and as your upgrade your town hall, you will unlock new buildings, resource crafting options, and decorations. All of this allows you to create the frontier town of your dreams. If you’ve ever played A Kingdom for Keflings, you will have a pretty good idea of what the developers were trying to do here in New Frontier Days. You will chop down trees to obtain logs, which are then used to create boards, which are then used to construct buildings (or produce different types of boards). The same idea also works for stone, animals, and more. It can appear complicated at first, but like I stated previously, you quickly settle into a rhythm and money quickly becomes a non-factor.
Outside the initial hour or two, I would argue that the game isn’t that hard, and is widely accessible to a large audience, whether they are simulation veterans or not. The game definitely has that ‘free-to-play’ element to it, but without the option to actually pay for something. All the tasks that you want to complete will take time (seconds and minutes though, as opposed to hours and days in most free-to-play titles). Fortunately, you can set any task to repeat itself – resources permitting – so you don’t have to micromanage too many settlers at any one time.
For the price, I firmly believe that the content available is justified. You can play a story mode, survival mode, or free-build mode, all of which work on the same formula, but challenge players in different ways. In story mode, you will work towards goals that will ultimately push you through all 5 ages; in survival mode, you will work against the elements to see how many years you can complete; and in free build mode – my personal favorite – you are free to work at your own pace, with no major hiccups to spoil your town building fun.
The game keeps you engaged and prompts you to complete certain mini objectives to unlock perks and playable cards, which can range from instant resources or long term improvements. The only downside to these numerous objectives is how it can clutter up the screen when playing in handheld mode. When on the TV, this is a non issue. While playing this on the go isn’t impossible, I definitely preferred the larger screen when I had the Switch docked. With so many things permanently on display through the HUD, coupled with the optional overlays, the larger screen definitely makes the game play experience more enjoyable.
Overall, with only a handful of games available on the Nintendo Switch, New Frontier Days makes a great addition to any library. For a very low entry price, you get a lot of quality content. Not everything is perfect, but with the opportunity to tweak the game through updates – and potentially add more content in the future – I think it’s a worthwhile purchase now!