Dieselpunk city builder New Cycle will release this week on January 18, 2024, challenging you as the leader of a band of survivors trying to rebuild Earth's civilization following a series of devastating solar storms that obliterate our societal and technological infrastructure.
The Early Access release from developer Core Engage and publisher Daedalic Entertainment will include "all core mechanics, including the social class system, production trees, seasonal and daily cycles, construction, trade, managing exploration units and internal events," says Core Engage.
New Cycle's big pitch is that it's about complex production chains and industrial circumstances, yes, but it's also about the social conditions of your post-apocalypse settlement—and about human needs beyond the merely physical. The developers describe this as giving your people something more than merely preservation of their lives: "A future beyond survival."
The Early Access launch will include both sandbox and campaign gameplay modes, and what looks like up to four different biomes to build your city in. Beyond the city-building gameplay it'll have elements of trade with other settlements, exploration of the world around your settlement and establishing outposts, as well as functioning systems of train transport and conveyor belt transport between factories.
For my part, I find the emphasis on recovering and preserving knowledge that New Cycle appears to have to be very compelling gameplay fodder. Rebuilding a capable specialist class would be a major part of efforts to recover civilization, as would laying down laws that balance personal freedoms with the harsh new rules of survival in a devastated world.
Which is apparently still being devastated, with the Early Access build to include disasters including fires, lightning strikes, sandstorms, building collapses, workplace accidents, and other extreme weather. Cyclones, static discharge events, and oil fires will come in the future.