We Are The Caretakers - PC Preview

We Are The Caretakers
by developer and publisher Heart Shaped Games LLCPC (Steam) preview written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We Are The Caretakers hit on a few notes with me that I hadn't realized I had been missing. Mixing in both real time strategy elements and turn based combat, this new and currently in Early Access title is one to keep an eye on.

Taking the following straight from the main webpage, "We Are The Caretakers is an afrofuturist sci-fi squad management RPG about protecting endangered animals and your planet from extinction. Recruit, train, manage and build squads of arcane protectors called The Caretakers, after the massive energy barrier that separates you from a wider universe mysteriously falls. Blending inspirations from Ogre Battle, XCOM, Darkest Dungeon, and Northgard, We Are The Caretakers is a strategy game like nothing else you've played before. Grow a resistance of over 70 characters while managing your reputation, funds, animals, and alliances."

And it's done well. Having played XCOM 2 recently enough, Darkest Dungeon just last year and big fan of the likes of Ogre Battle and Disciples which was a niche turned based strategy when 3DO still reigned supreme with Heroes of Might and Magic III, We Are The Caretakers feels both familiar while having a magic all of its own.

Starting off with the Story Mode in order to get my feet wet and learn the ins and outs before getting totally demolished and rethink my life choices, "you" are put in the role of the Conductor and will have plenty of both easy and hard choices to make. Starting off inside of the missions themselves, you'll be moving your forces which consist of a number of squads from a central point to whenever you wish them to move. Split into various areas, each area needs to be scouted before it can be moved into. This process is all done in real time and as your squad performs these actions, they'll steadily become more and more exhausted.

As this is done in real time, managing the exhaustion of your troops is critical to your survival. Allowing them to rest up for a bit where rest zones are located, which can be settlements or cities, isn't just that if they are exhausted they won't be able to continue. The main reason to allow your squads to rest is that if they are exhausted and their stamina is drained it will take seconds for an enemy to wipe the floor with you.

As you traverse the various landscapes and inspect areas for both traps to disarm resources to pick up and settlements to rest at, you'll come across enemies. Like you, enemies have two main attributes for combat. Stamina and Willpower. Break either or these and you win. Have either of these broken and you lose. Falling from real time into turn-based combat though you'll have some time to think out your actions as the turn order is clearly indicated for who will be acting next.

Unit types are a variety of well known archetypes. Glass cannon snipers, tanky front line brawlers, mixes of healers and mystics to keep both Stamina and Willpower up, and other things in between. The squads themselves can have up to six units but the trade off to this is that deploying them onto the field gets more expensive as units are added and depending on the types of units added which is where the second form of gameplay comes into play.

Between missions, as the Conductor, you have the choice to go through the list of enemies that were defeated and brought back to base. Not all enemies will provide the same choices as some will ask for bribes to go away quietly, some will accept bribes for information, some will give you money and you’ll never see them again while others, for a bit of a hit to your reputation, will join up with you as a new unit for your squads. Money is always a good thing especially as squads become more expensive to deploy however intelligence allows for reaching new stuff such as armors and ways to decrease stamina loss while exploring so a glance at your current setup is never a bad idea before making these choices.

Finally topping it off for your units and squad compositions, units over time can both be levelled up as well as perform class changes in order to get access to both more and better skills. This, like any good strategy such as Disciples, X-Com, and Fire Emblem, requires you to make a choice of who's going to go after certain enemy groups. Is it your main squad in order to really bring the pain when the time comes? Or is it going to be one of the secondary units so that if something does happen to your main squad, the pain train can still leave the station? All of these decisions will impact how well you move forward, or, if you move forward.


Overall, at this current point, We Are The Caretakers is in good shape. There’s a decent balance in the gameplay between exploration and combat as well as your decision making back at home base which can affect your exploration and your combat performance. I look forward to seeing what comes next from Heart Shaped Games LLC and as mentioned right above, don’t forget that Heart Shaped Games donates 10% of net revenue from We Are The Caretakers to Wildlife Conservation Network's Rhino Recovery Fund.

Score: N/A for previews


Heart Shaped Games donates 10% of net revenue from We Are The Caretakers to Wildlife Conservation Network's Rhino Recovery Fund. Get a great game and support a great cause!




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