By Michael Fontanini / September 29th, 2017
|Release Date||August 9th, 2017|
|Genre||Anime, Indie, RTS, Simulation, Strategy, War|
The world of Lost Technology is fractured into twelve different factions and ravaged by ongoing war. It cries out for you to lead your faction and unify the entire continent under one banner and bring peace to the land at last. Can you build and manage your armies and conquer your enemies to make it happen?
Lost Technology is a simulation strategy game. You can play as any faction, but only Makan (Lizardmen), Alfheim (Elves), and the Reinald Empire have their dialog translated. For the other factions, you can play as them but you just can’t experience their perspective of the story yet.
The dialog screen doesn’t autosize to fit your screen resolution, but the world map and battle screens do. These are the places where you will spend the majority of your time with the game. On the world map, you can recruit new soldiers or special comrade characters. Regular soldiers can die and must be replaced by spending funds to recruit new ones. Comrade characters can act as squad leaders, are more powerful with special abilities, and will flee battle rather than die so you don’t lose them. For example, in the lizardmen faction, your main leader, Hissa, can do a huge slashing attack that creates an arc way out in front of him and can take out numerous enemy units.
The world map allows you to manage your armies, attack other territories, recruit comrade characters and regular soldiers, and manage diplomacy with other factions. You’ll sometimes get offers of money in exchange for amity or an alliance from another faction. Sometimes they will ask you to do a joint battle with them if they need reinforcements. However, in my experience your allies are jerks. Even if you help them like this a bunch of times, if you request reinforcements from them they will generally refuse you rather than return the favor. You can also click the Auto button at the bottom-right to have the computer play your turn for you.
Lost Technology‘s world map is where events take place each turn when you’re not in a battle. When you end your turn, you’ll see message boxes, characters, and windows flash on the screen as the game simulates the actions of all other factions in the world. You can attack a territory by right-clicking it (if it neighbors your territories). An empty army window appears and you can left-click other territories and drag units into the one you’re attacking. Clicking the Deploy button starts the battle.
In the battle screen, you can fully control your army. You can select the units you want and make them move anywhere. You can use the skills window to tell them which skills to use. Unfortunately, the UI on this window is pretty cryptic and many of its tooltips are broken or untranslated for some reason. You can also order your units to flee if you find yourself in a losing battle. Different units have different skills and resistances, like fire, ranged, etc.
You can see on the skills window in the lower left, some of the buttons that aren’t so cryptic let you change the formation of your army. You can mouse over skill icons for stats and information. The red and blue buttons at the very bottom let you select your front line units or back line units easily. The window in the upper right shows health bars for all your units giving you a cohesive readout of how your army is faring. You can watch the battle at normal speed, but if you find yourself waiting for slower units to move to where you want them, you can speed up time by pressing the Z key (and again to slow it back down).
Lost Technology has very good battle music and the sound effects are not bad either. There is some voice acting too. For example, in the battle screen you’ll sometimes hear characters yell. The voice acting is in Japanese though. The gameplay ranges from fun to frustrating, and that’s on easy mode. It’s fun when you’re kicking butt and progressing, but frustrating when an ally ends your alliance and starts attacking multiple of your territories in one turn. Building up your army is slow since money is required to do so, which makes it very easy to get screwed over. You can end up just only being able to defend, then spending lots of funds to recruit new units to replace casualties, only to be attacked again on the next turn. It can be a vicious cycle, leaving you unable to do much of anything else.
Beyond easy mode, Lost Technology has three more difficulty levels, too. There is also a tutorial campaign, but it only teaches you the bare basics and nothing more. This is one of the major problems in Lost Technology. It is very unfriendly to new players. Add to that the fact that some tooltips are broken and/or untranslated, and the fact that the manual is not yet translated either, and it’s pretty rough for new players. Game overs are common even playing on easy mode as the Makan (lizardmen), which have the lowest difficulty rating of the three factions that are currently translated. This can make the game pretty frustrating at times, since the player is dropped into the main game very ill-prepared to play successfully.
Lost Technology has a lot of potential and the simulation is fairly deep, but it just doesn’t meet it yet. It feels rather rough around the edges, though the game is not in early access. As for the factions that are not yet translated, they are planning to release them as DLC later depending on how well the game does. This is fine since the game is so cheap anyway. Lost Technology is available on Steam for $2.99. There is a heck of a lot of content here for a $3 game, though. It will take you from a great many hours to many days to unify the continent in one play-through, depending on how much you play per session. You can play far longer since there are 12 factions to play as and many strategies you could try with each. Do you have what it takes to build and manage your armies, conquer your foes, and unify the continent?
Review copy provided by publisher.
AGM PLAYISMLost TechnologySteamStudio 4D