Immortality. Many a story has been based on the pursuit of it, and the general villainhood that comes with it. Amazing Cultivation Simulator tells the journey to immortality from a totally different angle though, hinging on ancient Chinese mythology and translating it into a massively engulfing colonization game. For anyone who is a fan of East Asian storytelling and culture, or anyone looking to throw themselves into a hugely robust strategy game, buckle in as we take a closer look at Amazing Cultivation Simulator.
Amazing Cultivation Simulator kicks off with an in depth tutorial section for the game, and while I generally tend to be a learn it on the fly type of gamer, this tutorial is a must. Literally though, the prologue tutorial is required before you can unlock the other game modes. I myself played through the full tutorial twice, and still discovered several areas that I wish I had known more about while going through the real gameplay. The tutorial starts giving you a bit of a background to where you are and what you're trying to accomplish. The restoration of the prestigious Taiyi sect at Mt. FullMoon. This won't be an easy task though. Particularly when you start to really take in what all will be required to reach this level of prestige.
The level of detail is admittedly daunting, but also one of the huge draws of the game. Building a bedroom? Make sure your door is facing south for a proper Feng Shui. Attempting to cultivate with a disciple who specializes in fire? Make sure your room doesn't have a earth element balance slowing your cultivation. All of these details are reviewed well during the remainder of the tutorial, and reminders are continually repeated throughout your actual playthrough.
With the learning underway, its time to really crack into the meat of the game. There are a few options to choose from in the game type. Novice mode sets a fixed difficulty level for those new to the game, Classic mode allows for changing of difficulty and several other settings to create new challenges, True Immortal Mode turns off manual saving capabilities and removes the tips that occasionally show up to help the player, and Illusory mode acts as a sandbox for players to test out different layouts and alter things like weather without having to go through establishing them in a game. So time to go straight into True Immortal right? No, just no. Go ahead and pick Novice and let the game settle in.
Upon starting your new adventure you'll pick your first disciples and the perks that you'd like to play this game with. The varying skill scores, races, perks, and incapable skills associated with the characters offer a complex but unique feel to each play through. Once you've settled on your disciples they're dropped into a remote area where you'll now begin returning the Taiyi sect to the glory it once knew.
This process starts off fairly simply. You spend a lot of your time wandering around, mining and gathering resources so that you can build your rooms and sect up quickly. Balancing the amount of time that you have your disciples work on manual labor, and time they spend cultivating can be tricky as the resource management component of the game kicks in. One nicety that really comes in at this juncture is the gameplay speed. Being able to physically stop all in game time and progression to assess your current state and lay out tasks, then proceed at 3x speed once your plan is clear was a great luxury when you become unsure of what needs to happen next.
Once you start to get the hang of which disciples are going to be responsible for what, the rest of the game does a great job of layering more components in. Random villagers and traders will make their way to your growing sect so that you can recruit more disciples and gather wares otherwise unavailable. Before you know, it your chosen sect leader will have built up their Dao foundation and condensed plenty of ki for you to promote them to an inner disciple and found your sect. Your disciple is now well on their way to immortality and can successfully crush any mortal that comes near them! Unfortunately for them, this world rears its teeth to show you that there are plenty of other immortal beings, evil forces, and gorgeous but dangerous beasts who still think you're just a pest.
The later parts of your quest continue to layer on more gameplay elements, and really start to force your strategy to shift. You'll no longer be solely focused on developing your disciples as you begin to trade with other sects near you, explore uncharted caves with your disciple, find relics that provide untold powers to your sect, and fight off beasts and enemies alike. Of course all of these new gameplay elements also create a whole new set of rewards and possibilities. Feeling like a pirate? Raid the other sects dungeons and force trades. Don't like people? Tame animals and beasts to your whim. Want to continue more of what you've been doing? Focus entirely on your own sect and try to reach the golden core. While it did take me quite some time to actually get a hang for the game and its multitude of different components, the game does a great job of easing you toward those discoveries on your first few playthroughs.
So should you pick this game up? Lets start off with what I loved. This certainly isn't a short list. Starting with the charming art styles and background music, I found myself almost playing out a Chinese Manhua which was great. The flexibility in the gameplay was incredibly refreshing. Your initial days at your sect will be similar, but random events, different choices of "law" that you follow, and your disciples strengths can vary your late game experience in a way I haven't found in many other civilization building games. Lastly, and perhaps the biggest point for me, was the immersion. I wasn't just completing tasks and finding things in order to get to an endgame, this game really draws you into the Chinese mythology; I found myself looking up references outside of the game to understand what my disciples were going through and what references were being made.
Those positives aren't to say that there are no negatives. This game is difficult to pick up. If you're a serious fan of the genre you may have an easier time, but the concepts and Chinese mythology that draw you in may feel like foreign concepts to many players, who will have to learn a lot to be effective. I did also find myself occasionally wishing for a few more surprises. Some of the events start to repeat after you've played enough, allowing you to optimize your response to them. This could be remedied by a higher difficulty though, as I admittedly did not tweak those levers much.
All in all does this mean you should pick up the game? While I am a little disturbed about how much I feel I know about Chinese mythology now, so long as you aren't looking to turn your brain off for a few hours, the answer is a resounding yes.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Hey, my name is Jon, i'm a bit of a jack of all trades/master of none and that reflects in my choice of games. I'll play anything that catches my eye, although I burnt myself out on the MMO side with Runescape and RFOnline growing up, so you're less likely to find me there.
Outside of games, I love music and making things, getting outside with my Husky Rowdy, am getting married this winter, and spend more time than I care to admit watching cooking shows on Youtube and Netflix.View Profile