Kenshi Articles RSS Feed | Kenshi RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Longest Games to Sink Hundreds of Hours Into Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:44:37 -0400 Ty Arthur


Monster Hunter Freedom Unite


There is absolutely no question that you could sink a ton of hours into Monster Hunter World, the most recent entry in the Monster Hunter franchise, but it's Freedom Unite that takes the crown. Thing is, you need as PSP or PlayStation Vita to play it.


Offering up to 400 hours of play time, there's an undeniable sense of accomplishment built into Freedom Unite. that triggers something deep in our ancestral memory when we take down some big game, and Freedom Unite offers the ultimate in hunting with gigantic monsters.




What long games are you playing when you find yourself in need a few hundred hours to waste? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on our picks, and be sure to give us some recommendations for games we could play until our eyes bleed!


Star Citizen


Though it's possible that Star Citizen will never be complete, what's available now in the game's Alpha version is still extremely extensive. 


While still missing many key features, there's plenty to do between combat and delivery missions, mining and trading, exploration, and direct interactions with other players. If you've ever wanted to go explore the stars in the most ambitious video game universe ever conceived, Star Citizen is the ultimate sci-fi time sink


Pokemon Black and White


While some Pokemon games are drastically shorter than others, Black and White is probably the way to go if you're looking to really sink your teeth into something.


For a Pokemon game, there is simply a stupid amount of content in Black and White, and it adds in 150 new pocket monsters to the roster to boot. The gameplay might be old-hat and repetitive by now, but if you want to relive your halcyon days of monster collecting, this is the way to go.


Of course, Black and White isn't your only option. For Switch owners, there's also Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the games don't include all of the Pokemon from the get-go, a completionist run could last more than 100 hours, and there are two expansions still on the horizon!


Fire Emblem Three Houses


Other than Breath Of The Wild, which I'm assuming you already know you should have played, this is one of the very best, and longest, games on the Nintendo Switch. 


Three Houses is filled to the brim with tactical combat and deeply strategic party management. It's got a winding, engaging story, and features elements from other genres, such as simulation and education. 


It isn't a stretch to say you'll be putting in 60 hours on the low end. For those who have to explore every nook and cranny and find every secret, 100 hours isn't inconceivable.


Persona 5


In general, console RPGs tend to offer pretty lengthy campaigns, especially compared against the brevity of any given shooter's single-player mode. But the cream of the crop is Persona 5.


The Persona games have always included a number of deeply interconnected relationship systems against the backdrop of intense complexity. Persona 5 kicks that design into high gear with the lengthiest story campaign yet, not to mention its Memento dungeons full of fantastic loot.


Depending on how much of Tokyo you explore and how far into New Game+ mode you go, 100 hours of playtime is a low-end estimate. If you've already played Persona 5, it might be worth jumping back in with Persona 5 Royal. If that doesn't suit your fancy, take a look at our ranking of the Persona franchise from best to worst.


Disgaea Series


Old-school gamers might recall how you technically could get Cloud Strife to Level 99 on the PS1 version of Final Fantasy 7, but you weren't really supposed to do that. The gameplay just wasn't built around that type of grind, which got old  fast.


Alternatively, Disgaea is a series that's explicitly built around that exact hustle, and the level cap isn't 99: it's 9,999. Yep, you read that right.


Aside from a ludicrously-high character level, every item you pick up in Disgaea has its own randomized dungeon, all so you can level up said item to 9,999. Theoretically speaking, there's no cap to the number of hours you could spend here. Some have certainly spent thousands upon thousands ... 


Thankfully, the series' strategy RPG combat stays fun during the endless grind, and all of the Disgaea titles feature tongue-in-cheek characters and interactions to keep things entertaining.


I'm a fan of Disgaea 2's PC port, but honestly, any of these titles on either console or PC are just phenomenal and worth sinking time into. Want the latest and greatest? Disgaea 5 is the most recent main entry to hit PS4.




What's more fun than giant mechs stomping each other into oblivion?  Harebrained Schemes' take on the long-running Battletech franchise. It's a winner when you need a game that goes on for a long, looooooong time.


While the campaign itself is somewhere in the 60-70 hour range, it's what comes after — when the full map opens up  that's a real time sink. Whether you're an achievement hunter, or you're just trying to get all the parts to build that elusive crab mech, you're facing down hundreds of hours of missions.


While such a glut of content got a bit stale at launch, additional mechs, travel events, and new mission types have since been added with free updates and paid DLC. If you quit after 120 the game first dropped, now is a great time to jump back in to see what's changed. Maybe even add 120 more. 


Any Civilization Game


Why stick with just one era of expansion and conquer when you could cover all of human history and then go far into the future as well? That's what's on tap if you decide to jump into Civilization, Sid Meier's 4X claim to fame. 


As strategy games go, Civilization is the paradigm to beat. Its turn-based design has stood the test of time and influenced countless other titles. Games can play out as fairly quickly if you know what you're doing, and unique bouts abound no matter which of the hundreds of civilizations you pick.  


One truly ludicrous example showcases a player who has been playing the same game of Civilization 2 for 10 solid years. No, not in-game years. Someone has spent a decade of their life on ONE Civilization match that never ended. 


If you aren't familiar with the gameplay, I recommend jumping in with either Civilization 5 or Civilization 6.


Sins Of A Solar Empire Rebellion


Just about any major 4X game could have made this list since they're all focused on expansion, have sprawling maps, and provide plenty of replay value. 


For the real goods, though, look no further than Sins Of A Solar Empire. Whether you want to establish an empire and deal with economic and political issues or just conquer the stars, Sins has dozens of gameplay possibilities. 


Between the story mode and the game's random maps, there are immediately hundreds of hours at your fingertips — but that's just the start. The game supports a bevy of mods, including those for popular fandoms such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Stargate


For example, the insanely-detailed Armada 3 mod is still the best Star Trek game that's ever been made, even if it's only a fan-made total conversion mod. 


Heroes Of Might And Magic 3


There are plenty of killer real-time strategy options out there, like Total War or Company Of Heroes. When you need a game that can keep you occupied for months on end, though, the large-scale conquests of Heroes Of Might And Magic have you covered.


Heroes Of Might and Magic 5  when the franchise first made the leap to 3D environments  is my personal favorite of the series, but Heroes Of Might And Magic 3: The Restoration Of Erathia is what essentially coined the idea of "just one more turn" in any and every strategy game. It's a great place to start.


Yes, the graphics are dated, but everything else still holds up. There's an immense level of challenge on the game's harder difficulties, but it's rewarding and worthwhile. That's not to mention the music is still absolutely phenomenal. 


If you'd rather play something more modern, there are plenty of newer entries that feature advanced the gameplay mechanics and venture into other genres, such as sci-fi. Age Of Wonders: Planetfall is an excellent pick to sink a hundred (or two) hours into.


Baldur's Gate 2


You don't have to look to the stars for a sprawling game experience in the triple digits. There's plenty to do in a world like Toril, especially in places like the Sword Coast or Amn.


The granddaddy of all PC RPGs, Baldur's Gate 2 (or, if you must, the "enhanced edition" from Beamdog) is custom-made for playing in long stretches.


Even if you've already played it from beginning to end, there's plenty of reason to jump back into the Bhaalspawn saga and try a different route. Side with or against Bohdi and her vampires, go with an all-evil party by grabbing Korgan, Viconia, and Edwin, or try another class to earn a radically different stronghold.


Another option that involves a significant time investment is the Baldur's Gate 2 romance system, which actually plays out over weeks and months of in-game time as you get to know companions. 


Kingdom Come: Deliverance


KC:D doesn't have nearly the same insane potential as Kenshi, but the trade-off is that there's significantly more story to enjoy. It does so in an open world with multiple ways to approach any situation.


You start off as a peasant-nobody and have to build up your gear and reputation in a very (very) deadly world. The combat is deep and tactical, with dozens of different weapon choices from swords to maces. Clothing also plays a key role not only for defense but for social standing. And there's a crafting element that's rooted in real-life alchemy. 


Kingdom Come is also significantly more polished and graphically pleasing than Kenshi, and looks utterly gorgeous on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, not to mention a high-end PC. 




Unconcerned with the typical story-rich RPG experience, Kenshi lets you play however you want. A true sandbox, you can build your own empire, become a slaver, start a rebellion, or just spend time crafting and researching. There's no right or wrong way to play Kenshi.


Once you get the basics of this truly punishing game down, though, it's time to extend your playtime with the game's dozens of mods. Here's a list of must-download Kenshi mods to get you started.


Ark: Survival Evolved


We'll start with the ultimate time sink. If you dig survival games or just like the idea of riding a dino across a prehistoric landscape before building your own city, Ark is up your alley.


You probably already know about Ark, but if you don't, the idea isn't just to fight other survivors and build a settlement, but it's also to tame and domesticate wild animals. From fiery Ark magmasaurs to spidery bloodhunters, creatures of all shapes and sizes can join your primal menagerie when you figure out the proper taming methods.


Yeah, it has some clunky UI and connectivity issues still, but there really isn't any competition when it comes to Ark, a survival sim where you get to build up a stable of animals and craft a society however you please.


To really understand the amount of time you might lose to Ark, just take a gander at the game's Steam page, where hundreds and hundreds of players have logged thousands of hours of play time!


If you're not a fan of the game's prehistoric sci-fi setting, Outlaws Of The Old West has essentially identical gameplay but lets you live out your Wild West fantasies instead.


Sometimes you just have a lot of time on your hands. Whether it's because of a long weekend or an extended vacation, there are times you just want to immerse yourself in a digital world for 100+ hours. 


Luckily, there are a ton of games that fit the bill. We're going to assume you already know that heavily modded Elder Scrolls entries or Fallout 3/4 offer hundreds of hours of gaming opportunities. So instead of pointing out the completely obvious, we're going to focus on a handful of games you might have forgotten about or, perhaps, hadn't considered. 

Kenshi's Best Base Locations Detailed Fri, 19 Apr 2019 14:41:52 -0400 Ty Arthur

From penniless wanderer to leader of a thriving empire, your journey in Kenshi will be a truly epic one... if you can survive long enough to start building a settlement that's worthwhile.

If you want to setup shop and start your own community, you need a good starting location. It's all too easy to starve, run out of water, or get slaughtered by wandering enemies.

Not quite sure where to setup your base? We show you the 5 best overall locations, and then look at several other options to consider in subsequent playthroughs.

What To Look For In A Good Base Location

Before getting into the specific areas of the map for using as a base, you need to keep in mind these four main things you need when choosing a potential location.

  • High fertility for growing and access to resources -- stone, copper, iron, animals for meat, and water are key. Usually no single spot will have 100% of everything, but the more you have in one location, the better.

  • Proximity to cities or caravans for selling

  • Areas to funnel enemies when they attack, or the ability to build walls and cover open sections to artificially create choke points

  • You want a large, open space that has plenty of flat sections to make building easier

Note that specific resource amounts in these best Kenshi base locations may vary between playthroughs as they are generated differently, so you may need to move slightly from the exact spots we show below.

The key is to pay attention to the biome type of the area, then check your prospecting map values to see how much of each resource can be found at your prospective base location.

Eastern plateau 

This is easily one of the best places for a new player going with the Wandering Trader character beginning. To find this location, head east of the ruined holy outpost and northeast of the Waystation.

You get a big flat area here with lots of stone, iron, and copper in addition to good wind speed if you want to build wind generators. From this position, its easy to go to the Waystation or ruined holy outpost for supplies and materials, and caravans pass by since its near the road.

Fog Islands

This one has more enemies to deal with, but can be worth the trade off. You can find this spot by heading south of Obedience and east of Mongrel.

There's plenty of copper and iron and good opportunities to grow things, but lower access to water is the main downside, so build some wells. Make sure to defend or wall off two of three entrances to the area so you don't get overwhelmed.


Further east of our first plateau base location listed above, this spot with Greenbeach to the east and Waystation to the west is an easily defensible plateau rising directly above a river.

The best part is that there's only one way up, so you don't need to worry about building a ton of walls and creating choke points, since you automatically get one.

In terms of resources, this is probably the single best location in the game, as you get iron, stone, copper, and extremely high fertility for an arid region.


Southeast of the Waystation, this area tends to be lower on the stone resource, but has high water and fertility. The best part is that its centrally located and you can easily reach all the other biomes quickly.

There's one particular building strategy that can be really useful here. Try building your walls in a large semi-circle around a lake, then put your gates at the edge of the lake where the water meets the dirt.

If you put turrets up above the gates, you effectively force invaders to move slowly through water and get mowed down before they can enter your base.

Forget The Base - Go Live In Stoat!

This is a different way to play that essentially forgoes the base (at least until you've spent plenty of time on tech and crafting). Rather than starting your own base, just use Stoat as your base of operations until you can afford to buy a building in the city.

This allows immediate proximity to shops and the safety of living in an existing settlement, while still allowing you to craft and send out your war party to get into trouble and search for loot.

Other Kenshi Base Locations

While those are our top 5 base spots, there are other places that work well depending on your play style and whether you are going with skeletons or humans. In particular, these other potential spots are worth checking out if you don't like our top picks:

  • The river between Clownsteady and the Waystation: Usually lacks iron but has all your other important resources in close proximity

  • South of the green valley in Okran's Pride: This area in Holy Nation territory is a great flat location for building, with close and easy access to bonedogs and river raptors for food, and both wheat and cactus grow well there.
  • The High Bonefields north of Catun: The middle of this section can be easily walled off, has high fertility and stone, and you won't be bothered by any of the major factions

What's your best Kenshi base building location? Let us know your favorite spot in the comments below, then take a look at the rest of our Kenshi guides here:

11 More NSFW Nude Mods From Your Favorite Games Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:23:43 -0500 Ty Arthur


From survival sim Kenshi to AAA fantasy RPGs like Monster: Hunter World, these are our favorite nude mods for all the games that aren't Skyrim or Fallout.


What did you think of our picks, and have you found any other killer NSFW mods we should try out that didn't make the list? Sound off in the comments below.


Monster Hunter World - Naked Characters


If there's one game that really took the gaming scene by storm last year, it had to have been Monster Hunter: World. Everyone and their cousin was trying to figure out the best strategy for hunting Kirin, Deviljho, and Anjanath.


And yes, of course there are modders out there who decided that naked characters needed to be taking down those giant creatures. There's no shortage of options here for male and female characters, with or without "jiggle physics."


The Witcher 3 - Extra Nudity


With The Witcher 3, you almost don't even need mods, since there's already plenty of nudity and even full on sex scenes. That being said, of course modders found ways to increase the nude quotient and make things more explicit.


If you just want more prominently displayed female genitals, grab the first mod. If you want Geralt to walk through a wonderland of constantly naked women in every town and village, grab the second one.


Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire - Nude Dancers


Classic real-time-with-pause cRPG Pillars of Eternity 2 already had some light nudity in the bathhouse scenes, but there were some scenes that noticeably lacked that sort of adult content.


This small mod just tweaks some character models to make the dancers less clothed at the Wild Mare Tavern in the Queen's Berth section of Neketaka. If you need your fantasy romps to include some exotic strippers, this is the mod for you.


Titan Quest Anniversary Edition - Nude Female


A whopping 10 ears after its initial release, Titan Quest got a major update, even as the developers work on the next DLC for newer ARPG, Grim Dawn.


With plenty of players diving back in to try out the new mastery and extra content, it's the perfect time to give the game a go sans any clothes.


This mod does exactly what it sounds like: making the female main character battle monsters in the buff (and yes, you stay naked regardless of what armor is equipped).


Street Fighter V - Sexy Outfits


There are a surprising lack of nude mods for this iteration in the legendary fighting series, both due to issues in modding the game itself as well as the weirdly deformed nature of the character models in SFV.


For the best content, you want to ditch the usual mod download sites and instead go straight to the Patreon accounts of various Deviant Art content creators.


Unfortunately, that means some of these are locked behind a paywall. Your only other major option is just to check out straight porn images or videos inspired by Street Fighter V.


The Sims 4 - Nude EVERYTHING


Oh boy, I was very much not ready for the wild ride of a rabbit hole I went down looking up Sims 4 sex mods, and I'm starting to question my life choices and browsing habits at this point in time.


You can find pretty much everything here, from sexy underwear, to vaginas for dudes, to huge collections of models that bring specific porn stars to your virtual town.


I'll let the more adventurous search on their own from there, because that just barely scratches the surface of what's available. I've seen things you guys. I'VE SEEN THINGS.


Stardew Valley - Nude Portraits And Skins


When you think of nude mods, typically games like Fallout or Skyrim come to mind. Stardew Valley probably didn't even register in your brain, but trust us, if a thing exists, it has been made into a porn version on the internet somewhere.


There are an absolute avalanche of nude portraits for various shopkeepers and nude skins for most characters across the game to be downloaded at your leisure.


Want something a little different? There's even a futa skin mod for the main character. The size is a little wonky (I guess your futa farmer is a body builder on the side?), but otherwise, it's an amusing little addition to the game.


Soul Caliber VI - Naked Fighters


If you've ever wanted to watch a 3D naked waifu beat the ever loving snot out of an enemy, here's your chance in Soul Caliber VI.


While you can nudify either males or females, these mods sadly only work for custom characters, and they are only visible to you, not to your opponent. Perhaps this is for the best.


For those with a futa fetish, yes, you can mix and match them to get lady upper parts and dude lower jibbly bits.


Yakuza 0 - Nude Card Swap


Dirty collectible cards have been a staple of gaming for a surprisingly long time. From those often terrifying images to collect after your love conquests in the very first Witcher game, to finding nudie mags during shoot outs in the Mafia series, there's no shortage of lewd imagery in existing games.


If you simply want to add more nudity to the times between engaging in highly criminal activities, this little mod for Yakuza 0 swaps out the phone cards with naughtier (and often fully nude) versions of the existing models.


Kenshi - Nude Models


Conan Exils may have made the practice famous, but it definitely doesn't have the market of floppy genitals in the harsh wasteland of a fantasy survival sim cornered.


Kenshi has plenty of nude mods to choose from, of both the male and female variety. Just know ahead of time that the male one is a little off-putting and disturbing, as the modder didn't actually craft a penis texture.


What you get instead is basically a Ken doll with a totally smooth downstairs area, and it will haunt your dreams forever.


Resident Evil 2 (2019) Nude Mods


That didn't take long! Yep, we've already got a handful of nude mods arriving for the Resident Evil 2 remake, specifically to get topless and bottomless versions of both Claire and Ada.


Not that the Claire mod isn't *technically* fully nude, since she is wearing heels, and that's apparently a point of contention for some folks commenting over at Nexus Mods. Personally, I think we'll all live.


Yep, it's that time again. That magical time when I spend hours on porn sites to "research" the best adult mods for all of your favorite games.


In the past, we've covered titles like Mass Effect, the various Fallout games, and Saints Row, and, this time, we're going to hit a bigger slice of the gaming universe, featuring a larger cross section of genres.


From fighting games to RPGs to sims, we've found ways to add nudity to just about every kind of game out there.


Important Note: Many of these links go to very, very, very NSFW websites with fully nudity and penetration openly featured. Click at your own risk.


Be sure to also keep in mind that Nexus Mods hides nude content by default. In order to open those links, you need to have a Nexus Mods account logged in, and you have to manually turn off the NSFW censor feature in your settings.


To note, we'll be skipping games with dozens of available sex mods, like Fallout 4 and Skyrim, entirely. However, for those that are just getting started trying out NSFW mods, here's a handy list of links:

10 Must-Download Kenshi Mods Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:10:56 -0500 Ty Arthur


Mod: In-Game Biome Map


Want to know exactly where the boundaries of each biome can be found without having to exit the game and check the online wikis?


This small but very nifty mod adds a biome border display over the normal in-game map. If you don't like the bright biome hues that don't quite fit with the overall color scheme of the game, there's also a non-colored version of this mod here.




What do you think of these Kenshi mods? Are there others we left off that you think we should add? Sound off in the comments and let us know. 


Mod: Populated Cities


Tired of all the empty, lifeless cities found across the game world? With this mod, every major population center gets significantly more interactable characters; it also upgrades NPC behavior.


Now citizens will buy things from stores you own, and they all operate on more realistic schedules, like leaving their shops to buy supplies or going to their homes to perform chores at night.


Mod: Weight Bench - Strength Training


This is another mod aimed at simplifying Kenshi's micromanagement, and it succeeds in spades.


Rather than training your recruits with rock-filled backpacks, you can now quickly boost their strength by building a weight bench.


Note that you have to unlock the training dummies first, and the weight bench is actually found in the interior tab of the building menu, rather than the training tab.


Mod: Storage Sheds


This handy mod drastically simplifies the game's storage micromanagement. Rather than filling a shack with storage bins, shacks themselves now hold storage and get their own building tabs for easy browsing.


The mod also throws in a handful of decorations you can place next to sheds to remind yourself what you were storing in which shed. 


Mod: Dark UI


Don't care for Kenshi's standard user interface? Neither did the awesome modder behind this enhancement to the game.


With Dark UI installed, all of the game's interfaces get a cleaner, darker appearance that is much easier to navigate.


Note that if different menus appear stretched or you can't read the text after installing this mod (like shop money no longer appearing where it should), you just need to change the game's screen resolution to 1920x1080 to resolve the issue.


Mod: Shops Have More Items


Wish shops had more money and items available? This mod drastically increases both in many shops found across the game. It also changes the base values so that a shop's inventory refreshes more quickly.


Important note, though: don't use this mod with other shop modifications active at the same time as they will cause major conflicts with one another.


Mod: Interior And Exterior Design


Want to build all of those cool non-researchable furniture items you've found across the game?


With this mod, you can research and build pillows, shelves, benches, and more. Note that some objects will still only be decoration after being built, even though they look like you should be able to sit/sleep on them.


Mod: Interesting Recruits


Want more story-heavy recruits to spice up the game's empty spaces? This mod does exactly that, offering up interesting new recruits who spawn in different taverns.


From cannibals to disfigured scientists to samurai, there's something for everyone with these seven new characters:

  • Grimm
  • \n
  • Optic
  • \n
  • Katharciss
  • \n
  • Okuro
  • \n
  • Yunomi
  • \n
  • Mikael
  • \n
  • L'Cie
  • \n

Mod: 256 Recruitment Limit


Other than Recruitable Prisoners, this is the other must-have mod. I don't recommend playing Kenshi without it.


Once you've mastered survival on your own, it's time to start recruiting a squad, which will help you thrive in the post-apocalypse. Thing is, to have your own army, you need more space than the vanilla game allows.


That's where this mod comes into play; it increases the recruitment limit to 256, maximum members available for a squad to 50, and the maximum squad limit to 20.


If you use multiple mods, make sure to place this one at the bottom of the load order. Many different mods out there change the values on the game's data tables, and they will often overwrite the 256 recruitment value.


Mod: Moar Unique Dialog


In terms of extending the life of the game and keeping things interesting, mods like this one are simply a must-have. Moar Unique Dialog does exactly what it sounds like: it adds extra lines for dozens of unique recruits.


Make sure to use this one in conjunction with the recruitable prisoners mod listed on the previous slide for the biggest effect. However, keep in mind any other dialog mod will conflict with this one as of this writing.


Mod: Recruitable Prisoners


This is easily one of the most popular mods for Kenshi, and for very good reason. Unarmed, captured prisoners now have a small chance to be recruited -- and they come with their own unique dialog.


This mod also opens up the possibility of recruiting creatures like the Frog Prince and the Error Code robots.


You should note a potential issue, however -- some users have reported problems where turret guards won't actually do anything when you have prisoners in cages while this mod is installed.


In some instances, turret gunners will also shoot at new recruits when you recruit prisoners. In either case, just save and reload to fix the issue.


Mod: Martial Village


A lot of work went into this mod, which adds in an entire new settlement full of monks with unique clothing, custom dialog, and a ton of new items and furniture types.


After downloading Martial Village, head to the high bonefields biome at the southern end of the map (southeast of the swamp area) to find the new location.


Thanks to PurpleSailBoat for the tip!


Mod: The Lightsaber


Do I even need to say this out loud? OF COURSE you need lightsabers in Kenshi, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not your friend.


When you start a new game with this mod installed, you get four characters with randomly colored lightsaber options. Sadly, they don't glow as a light source (yet) but maybe down the line the modder will update it with that effect?


Despite the love it has received since launch last year, Kenshi still has some rough spots to iron out. As diligent as always, the modding community has stepped in to alleviate most of those problems or at least cut down on the more annoying aspects of the game — with some handy mods.


From recruitable prisoners to an in-game biome map and more, we've rounded up the 10 best Kenshi mods that are currently available.


Note: If you've browsed around for Steam and Nexus Mods before, you've probably noticed the Workshop has significantly more options available than Nexus, which isn't usually the case.


That's because in many cases, modders have stopped updating the Nexus Mods versions during the course of the game's lengthy open beta. If a mod there doesn't work in the full release version, there's a good bet you can find an equivalent mod over on the Steam Workshop instead.

Kenshi Review: A Divisive, Demanding Adventure Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:29:25 -0500 Tim White

Let's make one thing clear right away: Kenshi, the newly completed free-roaming survival-ish RPG-type-thing from Lo-Fi Games, is not for everyone. If you're looking for something casual and accessible to spend no more than 45 minutes on after work, move along. Kenshi doesn't care how grueling your day was.

However, if you've got some time and energy to devote to it, and if you can handle rejection, this game needs to find a home in your library. It'll make you work for its love, but oh, what a deep and sweet love it is.


I seem to be reviewing a lot of story-less games lately, but Kenshi is a little different. It's not a simulator or an "experience." It's more like a blank canvas and a ton of paintbrushes with which to create your own story, if you're into roleplaying in your own head. Even if you're not, its engaging and intricate mechanics might fascinate you anyway.

There's no linear narrative to speak of, but I really think you should give Kenshi a try whether that bothers you or not. It does contain a ton of intricately crafted lore; after spending about 10 hours with the game, I suspect I've only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of learning about its world and the factions that inhabit it.


Imagine Diablo without eighty thousand billion "new" weapons dropping every ten seconds; now you know how movement and menus work.

Now imagine Mount & Blade's squad building system sandwiched by Fallout's wasteland vibe and simplified versions of the construction found in ARK: Survival Evolved, with just a dash of E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy's future-primitive techno-religion vibe.

Got all that? Me neither, at first. Just roll with it for now.

Upon creating a character, you'll be dropped alone into the middle of nowhere with nothing but half a pair of pants and a rusty iron bar that will do absolutely nothing to fend off aggressors. Where you go and what you try (and fail) to do is up to you.

The possibilities are myriad, but all paths are fraught with danger. You can start a farm, buy a fixer-upper house in town, rob the general store, or set out to explore ludicrously perilous ancient ruins brimming with valuable artifacts. You can go it alone or hire up to 29 other companions.

Whatever you do, you'll regularly find yourself beset by thieves, cannibals, vicious wildlife, and killer robots. You can run, fight (and lose), or try to pay them off—or join them. No matter what you decide, there are no simple paths and no easy answers. Every meaningful choice you might make has serious pros and cons associated with it. Each time the in-game clock rolls over, you'll simultaneously breathe a sigh of relief at living to see another sunrise and wonder how the hell you're going to make it to the next one.

If you can survive for about an in-game month, life does get easier, but it never gets easy. Once your settlement grows large enough to reliably sustain itself, you may think the worst of your troubles are over, but in fact you're now also a more tempting target for bigger gangs of deadlier criminals.

Life in Kenshi is a constant process of adaptation, exploration, being terrified of the unknown, and gradually overcoming it with the tiniest of baby steps. If you can embrace the fear and uncertainty, it's a wild and enjoyable ride.


Kenshi isn't ugly, at least not when you consider that about five people made the whole thing. It's blocky, and most of it is really, really brown. The bulk of the team's energy was spent developing the game's mechanics and setting, not its graphics, and that's okay by me.

There are some different biomes to explore throughout Kenshi's huge map, but a solid 70% of the map seems to be barren deserts and arid plains. Even though living off the land becomes even more difficult in snowy areas, it's almost worth it just to have something different to look at.

Character models move rather choppily, although a lot of the weapons and armor sets do look pretty cool. There's definitely a neat design aesthetic throughout much of the world, it's just not rendered in photo-realistic 4K.

Sound & Music

Kenshi is a relatively quiet game—perhaps deliberately so, in order to make sure you feel as isolated as possible. Your one constant companion is the low howl of the wind moaning through the canyons around you, but for the most part, there's not much to hear.

Pitched battles are another story. At some point—probably much, much later in the game—you might find your squad of 24 up against an equally numerous foe. The cacophony of clashing metal and angry shouting is jarring in contrast to the usual silence of your daily routine, but if nothing else, it makes it pretty hard not to notice when a huge battle is raging just off-screen.


Kenshi runs well on a GTX 1080 and an i-7700 quad-core 4.5GHz processor, at least in certain respects. There are some minor performance hiccups, but I doubt they'd disappear no matter how beefy your hardware is.

Loading times and pop-in are small but persistent headaches. Because Kenshi's map is so huge, and because you can send individual squad members all over it at any time, it might very well be technologically impossible to keep enough data in memory to eliminate this problem entirely. Nonetheless, it's mildly annoying to switch between a dozen squad members and have to wait several seconds for their current locations to load each time.

However, the game is pretty stable where it counts most. I encountered no instances of what I call "unacceptable" bugs—things which severely hamper your enjoyment of the game and that the developers could have been reasonably expected to find and fix ahead of time. The game has yet to crash or freeze on me, and all of its intricate subsystems appear to work exactly as intended.



+ Huge world crammed full of deep lore and lots of activities
+ Squad A.I. is simple but powerful and efficient
+ Unforgiving learning curve is satisfying to (eventually) conquer


– Brutal difficulty and lack of hand-holding will turn many players off
– Frequent, stuttery load times are an ever-present low-grade annoyance
– Ugly, boring environments

Kenshi will ultimately appeal strongly to some while instantly repelling others. Whether or not you like what Lo-Fi Games has done, it's hard to deny that they've done it superbly well. If you're willing to play by an unfamiliar and harsh set of rules, Kenshi will keep you entertained for many hours.

If you're having trouble with this game, be sure to check out our growing collection of Kenshi guides to help you gain some traction.

Note: The developer provided a complimentary review copy of this game.

How to Build and Manage a Squad in Kenshi Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:22:37 -0500 Tim White

Kenshi does tell you within its first few minutes that you can hire helpers to join you in the wastes, but it doesn't explicitly clarify how essential building a squad really is. Long story short, you'll want to make some friends sooner than later.

Squad members are a huge boon, but they require a lot of upkeep, too. Be sure you know what you're getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

Your Employees are an Investment

Shockingly, nobody in Kenshi is willing to follow you all over a ludicrously dangerous desert for free. If you want strangers to risk their lives for you, be ready to pony up a fair bit of cash.

It costs somewhere around 10,000 Cats to hire a 0-level worker and train them to the point of being halfway competent in a handful of skills. I use the following rule of thumb: if I can't comfortably spare 10k, I'm not ready to hire a new person. They need gear, time and equipment for training, and they need to eat. They'll also soak up piles upon piles of medical supplies when they inevitably get their faces smashed in by enemies.

Fortunately, you can use this guide to teach them to be better at that whole fighting thing. As for scrounging up enough cash to pay their salary in the first place, check out our money-making guide.

Division of Labor

Kenshi becomes a radically different game as soon as you hire your first squadmate. Unless you want to sustain yourselves with crime (which is viable, but difficult), you'll need to build a settlement and gradually turn it into a self-sustaining town.

There are six broad categories of activities in the game: combat, crime, farming, crafting, labor, and engineering. (These are my labels, not Kenshi's.)

  • Fighters hit things until one or both of them dies (obviously)
  • Thieves sneak around, pick locks, steal stuff, and ambush unsuspecting targets
  • Farmers grow various plants for food and for raw crafting materials
  • Crafters turn raw materials into food, weapons, armor, or clothing
  • Laborers dig up ore and operate simple machinery
  • Engineers build and maintain structures and research new technology

As you might suspect, a strong squad is a well-balanced one. Crime is always optional (and you'd better be ready for the very long-term consequences if you go down that road), but every other sort of job is required if you want to be successful within the law.

Once your squad grows to about a half-dozen members, you'll spend most of your time managing their activities and making sure everyone's pulling their weight in an efficient and productive manner.

Give Everyone a Routine

If you had to manually order every squad member to do every little action, Kenshi would be unplayable. Fortunately, it has a crisp and efficient A.I. system that handles a big chunk of the busywork for you, but the game doesn't do a great job of explaining how to use it.

When you right-click on a machine or resource with a squad member selected, he'll go do that thing until you tell him to stop or until he fills his inventory—but after that he'll just sit around like a lump. However, if you hold Shift while right-clicking to give the order, you'll assign that task to that person as a permanent job. This means they'll do that activity forever as long as their "Jobs" tick box is set to "on."

As you can see in the screenshot above, squad leader "Peace" is my designated Iron Guy. He's actually got multiple jobs—four, at the moment. Assign multiple jobs to a squad member, and they will carry them out in priority order.

In this example, Peace is to use the Iron Refinery to create iron plates if he can. If the raw iron ore runs out, he's then to jog up the hill to the right and mine some more. He'll bring it back to the iron ore storage container before finally taking any finished iron plates out of the Refinery and storing them in their appropriate container. Once he's made all those checks, he goes back to the top of the list and starts working the Refinery again.

It's important to note that if a permanent job involves gathering large quantities of something, you also have to tell that person where to put their stuff. If you don't, they'll just stand around with a full inventory. Each resource has its own type of storage container, and assigning a permanent job to it will generate a task that starts with the prefix "Haul." Hauling orders can't be linked to general storage containers (copper has to go in copper storage, water in water tanks, and so on).

In this squad, "Heft" is in charge of both farming and cooking, while "Gecko" is my engineer and backup laborer. As long as bandit raids aren't rolling in to wreck my face, it all runs like clockwork and saves me a ton of clicking.

These routines can get pretty complicated. If you decide to have one person cover tasks spanning different categories, I recommend grouping related tasks together within their job list (e.g. have all the iron smelting activities happen before any farming checks are made).

For best results, consider more concentrated supply chains once you have enough people to make them feasible (for example, rather than having one guy do the entire iron process from mining to smelting, have him just focus on bringing ore to guy #2, who spends all his time smelting).

Bear in mind that squad members will always try to do their jobs if their job selector box is ticked. If you're trying to issue them a manual order and they keep running away, they're probably going back to work. Just tick their job box "off" to make them stop and listen.

Final Thoughts and Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind as your posse starts to grow and become more successful (that is, as they start to become more tempting targets for criminals):

  • At any time, you can left-click and drag to select multiple squad members within a rectangle.
  • Make liberal use of the pause function (space bar). You can issue orders while the game is paused to have them carried out once you unpause. This is especially helpful once you're trying to guide fifteen people through a complex semi-automated production line.
  • If you need to send someone to town for a supply run, send someone who can fight well and run fast (and make sure they're as unencumbered as possible)
  • Never leave workers undefended at your settlement. If you can't spare a fighter or some hired mercenaries to protect them, consider having everyone travel together when you need to leave. Even if a bandit raid steals all your stuff while you're gone, that's better than having them kill your whole party and steal your stuff. People are much harder to replace than supplies.
  • Don't work at night. Most production activities incur major penalties in the dark. Build enough beds for everyone to get a solid 8 hours, especially if they're injured.


There you have it! Just as in real life, if you want to make money and be successful, treat your employees well. Keep their bellies full and protect them from bandits, and they'll give you their best effort in return. Be sure to keep an eye out for our other Kenshi guides here on GameSkinny.

How to Become a Competent Fighter in Kenshi Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:22:56 -0500 Tim White

The first time you get into a fight in Kenshi, you'll notice one thing in a matter of seconds: you just got served, and it was bad.

This isn't a case of bad game design, so give Kenshi a chance to show you how it works. Haul your bloody carcass up out of the dust, hobble to town, and buy some bandages to patch yourself up. Once you're feeling better, we'll show you how to do ever so slightly better next time.

There are (Almost) No Shortcuts

There's only one way to skip a buttload of hard training, and that's with about 10,000 Cats. You can hire a Warrior with 20 ranks in every melee combat skill (they show up randomly in bars), but if you can't spare that kind of cash, you'll have to learn the hard way.

First of all, you will get pummeled dozens of times before you even begin to be able to hold your own in a fight. You (the player) don't suck, I promise. Every time you get knocked out, but not killed, your toughness and your KO modifier both increase.

What does that mean? Well, when you take a beating and survive, you'll be a little bit harder to knock out next time (after you've fully recovered). Resist the temptation to hammer that F9 key every time you get your clock cleaned; it's all part of the learning process, and you'll be stronger for it in the long run.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Much like real life, wailing on a mannequin won't turn you into a heavyweight champion overnight, but it's a good place to start. Training dummies can increase your melee attack skill (but not individual weapon skills) to about rank 5, and they're useless once your skills rise higher than that, so you might as well take advantage of them while you can.

Once you've built your first settlement, set aside a few iron plates to make a training dummy (which you first need to unlock at a research bench). Go to town on the dummy for a few minutes until you hit rank 5, at which point you'll be kinda, sorta effective against a real opponent.

Picking a Real Fight

Once the training dummies have done all they can do for you, roam around near a major city until you find hungry or scrawny bandits. By now, your odds against a single one of them are about 50/50, but these thugs roam in huge packs. I don't need to explain what will happen if you start swinging your rusty iron bar at ten of them.

Instead, play it smart. Get close enough to make them mad, then hightail it for the town gates. The guards don't take kindly to bandit scum, and will lay waste to them in short order, giving you an opportunity to circle around and practice on one or two bandits once they get split off from the main horde.

Again, don't get too discouraged if you're still losing fights at this point. You are getting tougher, and provided you're giving yourself ample time, food, medicine, and rest to heal between fights, your combat stats will steadily improve.

Know When to Block (and When Not to)

In the lower-right corner of your screen, where all the toggle boxes are for various behaviors, you'll see options like "passive," "block," and "ranged." These options tell your characters to behave in certain ways whenever possible.

Passive characters will avoid combat at all costs, and are less likely to be targeted by criminals when they come into range. Ranged characters (if they have a ranged weapon) will always try to stay at a distance equal to its maximum effective range; this setting is obviously more effective if you have melee fighters to pull aggro.

Taunting enemies will make them mad, and encourage them to gang up on you (use with extreme caution). Finally, blocking is a great way to not die. While in block mode, a character will gain +20 melee defense, but will never attack. This is a good way to buy time if help is on the way, or if you need to drop stuff so you can run away faster.

However, not eating dirt is not always the optimal outcome (weirdly enough). Recall that your toughness and KO resistance increase when you take damage. Well, they increase faster the more damage you take. So blocking keeps you alive longer, but doesn't train your abilities as well. If you really need serious amounts of combat XP, consider dropping your guard and taking it on the chin (as long as you're pretty sure you'll just be knocked out and not utterly vaporized).

Make Some Friends (or Buy Them)

Before too long, you'll come to realize that there are other ways to even the odds a little. If you've been gaining some sage wisdom from our money-making guide, before too long you should have enough cash rattling around in your bag to enlist some help.

Workers and Warriors hang out in bars in every major town, and most of them are for hire. Workers tend to be request a one-time payment of about 3,000 Cats, but all their skills start at rank 0. Warriors will demand roughly three times as much, but they come with well-developed battle skills; it's up to you to decide whether fighting or crafting and farm labor is more important to you in the beginning.

For detailed information on building and managing a squad of wasteland wanderers (which can eventually grow up to 30 members), be sure to check out our guide on that very topic.

In the beginning, though, think very carefully about your needs and your resources, and don't go too crazy with hiring several helpers at once. Each person you recruit needs to eat and needs to be healed after combat, and bigger groups draw more attention outside the city walls. Build your squad slowly over time and train each member thoroughly in a few select skills for the best long-term results.

Finally, you can also hire mercenaries (also found in bars) as bodyguards to accompany you, or to guard your settlements. You get 8-10 of them for the same price as a permanent party member, precisely because they're not permanent; their contracts will expire in a day or two.

Mercenaries are especially useful as defense against bandit raids, which can utterly devastate your camp and kill your whole party. (The guys circled in red are really, really bad news.) Fortunately, the game gives you a generous heads-up when a raid is closing on your property—usually long enough to run back to town and bring back some mercenaries, if need be.

If you ever see that message after a bandit raid, pat yourself on the back and go have a beer. Surviving your first raid is enormously difficult, and it's a sure sign that you're on the right path.

Live Today, Fight Tomorrow

There's no shame in running. Sometimes, a battle will clearly be unwinnable. If enemies are strong enough to outright kill you, make a break for it. Even if only one squad member manages to escape, they can return to the area and revive everyone else once the enemies have dispersed.

Above all else, be conservative. Don't engage in fights you're not reasonably sure you can win, or at least survive. With patience and regular training, you'll eventually be able to go toe to toe with the wasteland's worst outlaws.


There you have it! Check out our other Kenshi guides here at GameSkinny!

How to Eat in Kenshi: Just Do It Mon, 10 Dec 2018 16:48:44 -0500 Ashley Shankle

You've got a ton of things you have to worry about in Kenshi, and eating is sort of one of them.

Well, it's halfway one of them -- you've certainly got a lot more to worry about, but you've got to eat or you'll wither away and die.

There are two steps to eating:

  1. Have food
  2. Get hungry

After both steps are completed, your character will automatically eat any food you may have in your inventory. Really, that's it. You don't have to manually eat.

You can purchase food stuffs from traders or make it yourself. Bread, which is easy to make, will very likely be a staple of your diet but is generally a bit pricey from traders.

If you don't want to cook, dried fish is one of the cheapest food options out there and can be found at fish traders.

Eating in Kenshi really is this simple, thank goodness. It would be nice if there were an animation for eating, but auto-eating is fine, too.

3 Ways to Start Making Money in Kenshi Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:22:21 -0500 Tim White

Kenshi can be an overwhelming game, especially in the first few hours. Its mechanics can seem as inhospitable as the barren wastelands of its post-technology world, but they do become more comfortable if you manage to power through the difficult early stages.

Pretty much everything in the game requires money, and big piles of it. You’ll burn through your meager starting cash in short order and may have no idea how to get more. Tag along for three ways to kick-start your cash flow.

1. Cheese Bandits and Wildlife

“Cheese” is being used as a verb in this case, to be clear. Right after character creation, Kenshi tells you that you aren’t special, and it means it. You stand no chance whatsoever against bandits — or even against the wolf/dog/hyena things that roam the sand dunes — until you’ve spent a good deal of time training up your combat skills.

The city guards, however, are more than capable of taking out everything near most of the starting areas.


Make sure your encumbrance is “weightless” (because you run way faster as long as that’s true), and then go pick a fight you can’t possibly win. Lead your pursuers back to the steps of any major city, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the show.

Once the guards have laid waste to everything, loot freely (but don't loot guard corpses, if there are any; it's considered a crime). You'll need to make many trips to a shop to sell your plunder, at least until you've made enough to buy a backpack.

This isn't the most profitable method, but it is relatively safe and easy for newbies (as long as you're totally unencumbered), and in the case of animals, it can net you valuable skins for making leather later on. Finally, this is easier to pull off if you're alone, and it only really makes financial sense in that case, too. Once you've got a few squad members, there are better ways to make money.

2. Become a Copper Magnate

Copper will be a staple of your local economy for a long time and will net you many thousands of Cats (the currency, not the aloof house pet) for a relatively small investment.

The first thing you need to do is scare up enough cash to buy 10 building materials from local merchants; most carry them, and they aren't terribly expensive.

You won't be able to carry them all at once, as they're big and heavy. Just take however many you can manage at first. Once you've begun construction, you can leave the project partially finished and come back to it later.

Head out of town and build a small shack with the build button; you'll need 5 building materials to finish it. Ideally, you'll want to find a spot that's close to both a city and to at least one copper mining spot. When it's done, head inside and lock the door to help keep bandits out, should they wander by (this is why you want to be close to town, so the guards will protect you).

Now, click the build button again and set up a research bench inside your shack for 3 building materials. When it's ready, interact with it and start researching copper storage containers.

Build one or two storage containers inside your shack, and you're finally ready to start stockpiling copper. Head over to the copper ore vein you found and start mining copper by right-clicking on it. It may not seem like anything is happening, but if you left-click on the ore vein, you'll see a veeerrrryyyy slllooowwww progress meter. When it fills up, a nugget of copper ore will pop up that you're free to drag into your inventory.

The mining progress meter will fill faster as your laboring skill rises, and if you assign more workers to the same ore vein. It also fills faster at high-quality ore veins, and you can discern the quality of said veins by left-clicking on them. For now, make sure you zoom your camera out as far as possible so you can scan the landscape for bandits. If you see any heading your way, run inside your shack or into town before they ambush you.

Copper mining is slow at first, but it's great money; each nugget sells for about 200 Cats, depending on the merchant and their mood. Use your early profits to buy bigger backpacks and hire more workers, and before you know it, you'll be swimming in cash.

3. Make Headbands Like You're Reebok in the 90s

At least for me, this was the logical next step once I needed to scale up from selling raw copper. You'll need a total of 6 books and 12 cotton to get started (buy books from tool and supply merchants in towns for ~350 Cats each). You'll also need enough building materials and iron plates to craft a fabric loom,clothing bench, and a shack or house to put them in.

First, head to your research bench and research cotton farming (2 books, 2 cotton), fabric manufacturing (1 book), clothing manufacturing (1 book), and hats and headgear (2 books). Then go outside and start a small cotton farm from the build menu (near a plentiful water source, preferably with a well and water storage tanks). Be sure to water your farm before you plant the 10 cotton plants required to get it going.

Once you've amassed a few dozen cotton plants, build your fabric loom and assign someone to start making fabric from your cotton. Put your best armorsmith on the clothing bench to take that fresh fabric and start cranking out headbands. Alternatively, if you're the patient type interested in longer-term investments (which you really should be in this game), hold off on starting your new clothing line for a bit. Instead, when your first cotton crop grows, stash the cotton until you've got enough to upgrade your small field to a medium, then a large one. You'll grow more, faster.

Now, you'll notice that your first few headbands are worth a paltry 6 Cats or so. Again, this is a long-range endeavor. Masterwork headbands sell for a whopping ~930 Cats, and you can make fistfuls of them from a single roll of fabric, which requires only 6 cotton.

In the short term, your main job is to have your designated armorsmith hone their craft. Grow cotton like crazy, and spin it into headbands. Needless to say, this will all go a lot faster if you have at least 3 total workers: one to work the cotton farm (and plant new ones whenever possible), one to make headbands, and one to keep everyone fed and do other miscellaneous tasks.

By about armorsmith rank 40, which takes a few hours of constant crafting, you'll start to see a more substantial profit from each headband. You can make masterwork quality headbands at rank 100, and at that point you'll never need money again.


There you have it! Since everything in Kenshi is so tightly interwoven, you'll definitely want to also check out our Combat 101 and Forming a Squad articles to get a better feel for other important early-game mechanics. Keep an eye on the Kenshi guides page for more content in the near future, too.

Behind the Scenes With the Developers of Kenshi Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 ESpalding

There are lots of perks to doing what I do as an indie writer, but undeniably, one of the best is having the opportunity to review games and get to know their developers. One such game which has popped up on my radar is a game called Kenshi.

Developed by UK-based developers, Lo-Fi Games Ltd.Kenshi is an open-world, sandbox, squad based, RPG, PC game which is set in a rocky, unforgiving landscape where all you have to do is survive.

I recently caught up with the CEO of Lo-Fi Games, Chris Hunt, to talk about developing the game and the difficulties of going from a "one-man show" to working as a team.

ESpalding: Welcome, Chris. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. Could you start by giving our readers a little brief about your studio and a little introduction to your game?

Chris Hunt: We're a small studio of 5 people and we've been working long-term on a sandbox RPG which I guess is somewhere halfway between Skyrim and Dwarf Fortress.

ES: So, how did the idea for Kenshi come about? Where you inspired by anything?

CH: It was just the result of a lifetime of playing different games, and feeling itches that weren't getting scratched. I wanted to make the ultimate game, that scratches all the itches all together until your skin is bleeding but totally satisfied.

ES: For quite a lot of the early development, you were a one-man team. How did it feel when the team you have now came together?

CH: It took me a while to gradually release control of things, like our programmer Sam, would ask "what shall I work on next?" and everything I thought of I was like "No, I better do that myself, only I know how it works". But pretty quickly I got addicted to the feeling of other people doing some of my work for me.

ES: Kenshi is a game which encompasses lots of different well-loved gameplay mechanics -- RPG, sandbox, working with squads, and RTS. Was it hard to work all these aspects to gel in the game and what was the hardest obstacle to overcome to do this?

CH: Not really, for some reason I've always found it all just fit together naturally. The biggest problem is the sheer chaos of a simulated world. For instance, a single mercenary in a town, looking for a bar. There was a tiny bug where they would sometimes pick a house instead of a bar, wander into this person’s house and sit down. Then the house owner freaks out at this intruder, attacks him, then the town guard gets involved, then the mercenary’s buddies get involved, and before you know it the whole town is having a civil war over a chair. Things like that.

ES: The game is currently in Early Access, are there many things which still need ironing out? What are they and do you have a full release date in sight yet?

CH: Just tons of general ironing. I'm also still filling up the rest of the map with towns and content. It's a really big map. Release is looming and not far off now, I’m not finalising anything yet but keep your ears peeled.

ES: What seems to be the general reception to the game? What do players seem to like and dislike the most?

CH: Reactions tend to be pretty strong, those that like the game REALLY like it and put hundreds and hundreds of hours into playing it. Others bounce off it straight away, usually because they were expecting something more traditional in design, with quests and rats.

The most common reaction is to the balance. You start off very weak. The first thing everybody does is run out of town and charge at a group of bandits, then get beaten up in a second. Most players are conditioned to expect to just run around killing everything, so this first event is always a shock to them, but for most people it's a pivotal moment where they stop and think, "ok, this game is different, I'm gonna have to change the way I think about this." This is the moment when a lot of players start to fall in love with the game, and you'll see this same event mentioned in both positive and negative reviews alike.

And that's exactly what I want, it's tuned to a specific type of player and isn't for everyone. When someone tells me they stayed up all night playing Kenshi instead of sleeping or getting ready for work that's when I know it's a job well done.

ES: Kenshi has been around for a while now and, being based in the UK, you must have seen much change in the indie dev arena in the UK. What would be the notable differences between then and now? Do you think it has changed much?

CH: Not just the UK, but in general the industry has grown immensely. It's very crowded now. There's a lot more competition, and it's harder to get attention for a game. Over the years other alpha-funded games have gone under or been abandoned which has made players more distrustful, which puts more pressure on the rest of us.

On the other hand, support has grown and it's a lot easier to make a game now as there are better engines available. Back when I started Kenshi the only way to make a game was to learn C++ and cobble your own engine together out of parts. Now you can grab the Unreal engine and spend more time focusing on the gameplay and content and stuff that really matters.

ES: As mentioned, you started off as a one-man team so you know the struggles which come with that and having a "day job" while trying to get a game off the ground. Do you have any advice to any readers who are sitting on their lonesome reading this and thinking about making games?

CH: Apart from the technical knowledge it's not really any different from someone wanting to write a book or make a film project. You just need the motivation to work at it every day without getting bored. If you enjoy what you're doing you won't have a problem.

I want to once again thank Chris Hunt for giving me the opportunity to chat to him about his latest game. I would like to wish Chris all the best for Kenshi, and any future projects his studio had to come.

For anyone interested in seeing what Kenshi is all about, there is a downloadable demo on the developer's website. The game is expected to release at some point during Summer 2017.

10 Sandbox Games on Steam That Stand Out Above the Rest Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:00:01 -0400 Damien Smith


Those are my top ten sandbox games on Steam. From 2D worlds giving players the freedom to adventure and build, to surviving strange and harsh worlds to building constructs of demolition. There is a title to suit everyone's appeals. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go help Wilson not starve.


What do you think of the list? Are there any other games you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments below!



Price: $14.99

I couldn't end this list without including Kenshi. The world of Kenshi is one of the biggest non-infinite worlds since the Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It has a staggering 870 square kilometers for you to explore. You can be a trader, thief, warlord, farmer, adventurer and more.


To survive the harsh world, you will need to construct and base and gather together a squad. There are no heroes; each character is equal and has their own story to tell. As a character gets stronger, so too does their physical appearance.


You can join or oppose the various factions throughout the game. You will have to use realistic methods of healing injuries and carrying the injured to safety. Much like RimWorld, this is only the tip of the iceberg for what the game has to offer.


It truly is an outstanding and in-depth game that comes from a small indie developer. If you like playing games with massive and harsh realistic worlds full of danger but want something a bit different, then Kenshi is worth checking out.


Get Kenshi on Steam.

Empyrion - Galactic Survival
Price: $19.99

Are you still feeling the pinch of No Man's Sky? Perhaps Empyrion may help you out with that. You must travel through a hostile galaxy full of danger, building, exploring, fighting, and (of course) surviving.


Throughout the game you will be building space ships and bases, mining and resource gathering, crafting, hunting, farming, and forming the terrain as you see fit. You will have to fight against the wildlife of the many planets you will visit, along with robot drones, alien soldiers and their guardians. All of this can be done both in single player and multiplayer alike.


There are two game modes to suit everyone's play style: Survival mode and Creative mode. Despite being in Early Access, Empyrion already has plenty of features to keep you busy for hours on end.


Get Empyrion - Galactic Survival on Steam.



Price: $29.99

RimWorld is the creation of Tynan Sylvester, who was previously a designer for BioShock Infinite. It released in Early Access back in July this year and is already one of the most promising titles in Early Access since Darkest Dungeon.


You take control of a colony of survival attempting to start anew on a strange planet. The game is driven by an A.I storyteller that decides how events happen such as bandit raids and disasters. To survive, you will have to fight, craft, trade, build and gather resources -- all the while tending to your colonists' needs.


That is only scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the depth and content of RimWorld. It is also moddable and is integrated with Steam Workshop, allowing for easy installation of mods to change up the gameplay any time. It may feel pricey for an Early Access title, but its depth and gameplay make it all worth it.


Get RimWorld on Steam.



Price: $7.99

There is nothing else out there quite like BesiegeAs far as creativity and uniqueness go, this entry in the list sits at the top. Essentially Besiege is a game where you construct machines of doom from the ground up. Your goal is to conquer each land one by one using them.


As to what kind of machines you build to accomplish this, is entirely up to you and your imagination. From battering rams with circular saws on them to giant spiked catapults of demolition or a flamethrowing cannon firing machines of destruction, the possibilities are endless.


All that stands in your way is your imagination and the enemies defenses as you lay each land into ruination. Despite being in Early Access and having limited levels, it is worth playing for the fun and the experience.


Get Besiege on Steam.




Stardew Valley

Price: $13.99

Do you like games like Harvest Moon yet want to play them on your PC? Well then, look no further than Stardew Valley. In this game, you inherit your grandfather's farm, or should I say, what is left of it. You must build the farm back up to its former glory and learn to live off the land.


You will need to grow crops, start an orchard, raise animals and craft useful machines. As you progress through the game you begin to become friends with a community consisting of over 30 different characters, each with their own dialogue.


There is more than just farming to be done in Stardew Valley, however. You can go fishing, donate artifacts and minerals to the museum, cook, craft items, explore a mysterious cave with monsters in it and decorate your house to how you like it.


If this is the sort of game you like, you can kiss your social life goodbye. Once you start playing, you won't be able to stop.


Get Stardew Valley on Steam.


Kerbal Space Program

Price: $39.99

This is easily the zaniest of the games on offer here. In Kerbal Space Program, you must build a spacecraft that is capable of sending its crew into space without getting them killed. There is a huge collection of ship parts at your disposal, each with their own functionalities.


There is a total of three modes to play. Sandbox allows you to create anything freely. In Science mode, you must perform research to advance the knowledge of Kerbalkind and further available technology. Finally, there's Career mode, where you must oversee every aspect of the program.


With three different play modes, plus various activities like mining resources, constructing bases and space stations along with building all kinds of ships, the fun is never-ending. Not to mention that the outcome of building crazy spaceships at times is hilarious. 


Get Kerbal Space Program on Steam.



Price: $13.99

At first glance, it is easy to assume that Starbound is nothing more than a Terraria clone. Don't make its appearance fool you. Starbound takes things to a whole new level with its gameplay. You start off in the game with a damaged ship in need of repairs.


You beam down to the planet below to begin gathering resources to repair it. Once repaired, you are able to explore the vast infinite cosmos. You can land on various planets, creating anything you wish... or simply just explore. On your travels, you can capture monsters and train them to fight alongside you.


There are thousands of craftable items, three difficulty modes to suit everyone's play style, customizable space ships and seven different races to choose from. There is also a storyline to follow if you wish to do so. The biggest thing that separates it from Terraria is that it is fully moddable with Steam's Workshop, resulting in endless fun and possibilities.


Get Starbound on Steam.


Cities: Skylines

Price: $27.99

Is the latest installment in the SimCity series not quite giving you everything you hoped for? Cities: Skylines may just scratch that city-building itch. As the mayor of a new city, you must construct it from the ground up. How you design and run the city is entirely up to you.


As you build up your city, you will need to balance out the essential needs of your citizens, such as education, water, electricity, police, firefighting and health care. You will need to designate various parts of your city as districts too.


As if all that isn't awesome enough, it looks absolutely breathtaking with modern graphics that allow day and night cycles. It's wonderful watching as the night sets in with the buildings lighting up and citizens' schedules changing. As far as city builders go, you don't get much better than this.


Get Cities: Skylines on Steam.


Don't Starve

Price: $14.99

As far as sandbox games go, there are few that could ever be considered more brutal than Don't StarveThat brutality, however, is a case of having to learn how the game works over it being purposely punishing. Once you figure out how everything works, Don't Starve becomes one of the most addictive games out there.


You play as Wilson, a genius inventor who finds himself on a strange and unexplored world, full of weird creatures, dangers, and surprises. You will need to gather food and resources and construct inventions to help you craft new items, all the while staying sane. 


Most importantly, you must make sure you have light at night time. Within the darkness, an evil awaits to consume you. There is a roster of different and crazy characters to unlock, each with their own advantages and disadvantages that change up the gameplay.


With addictive gameplay, a unique art style and a world like nothing you have seen before, Don't Starve is an absolute must play.


Get Don't Starve on Steam.



Price: $9.99

I might as well start off with the obvious one on this list. Terraria, to date, has sold a monumental 18 million copies across all platforms. At its heart, Terraria is a 2D Minecraft, but it goes a few extra miles to create an identity of its own.


While it gives the player the ability to build anything they want in 2D, its gameplay also features RPG mechanics. You will need to defeat monsters, explore dungeons and face bosses to gain better equipment and progress in the game. 


You need to explore various biomes and build a town with various NPCs that you will have to protect from monster raids. With over 1,000 items including crafting materials, weapons, armor, clothing and spells the possibilities with Terraria are near endless. 


Get Terraria on Steam.


Since the indie boom began, Steam has seen a huge amount of new and varied sandbox games. From 2D builders to galactic adventures and surviving in mysterious and dangerous worlds, there's just about every kind of sandbox game imaginable.


With so many now available both on Steam and in Early Access, it can be difficult to choose what ones to buy. So which sandbox games go that extra mile and deliver an experience worth the pricetag? Quite a few, it turns out.


Here is my list of ten sandbox games on Steam that stand out above the rest.

The 5 best open world sandbox games you should be playing, but probably aren't Thu, 07 Jul 2016 10:46:36 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Sandbox games are a dime a dozen nowadays, especially with the flood of indie developers out there. This is great news for those of us who love the genre, but as there are so many not all of them are worth your time. Here is a short list of the best open world, sandbox titles that you should be playing right now.


Kenshi is one of my personal favorites. Developed by Lo-Fi Games, it has been in Early Access on Steam for quite a while, but the development seems to be ongoing. It is an oddly fun RTS, RPG, sandbox hybrid. You control a group of characters, which you can add to by hiring more at the local pub. It is still pretty rough around the edges with so-so graphics and plenty of bugs, but it is very playable.

This is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, and the beginning is the hardest bit. Give it a few hours, though, and you will be hooked. You start the game with essentially nothing, and wandering around alone is inadvisable due to the roving hordes of bandits and predators. Once you have a good sized group and have built your base, the game gets a lot more fun. You can purchase on Steam or from the official website.


Creativerse is a relatively unknown voxel based sandbox game. It plays out much like Minecraft, but with much better graphics and a much deeper crafting and building mechanic. This one is also still in Early Access on Steam and the developer, Playful Inc., is very active with regular updates.

The best part about Creativerse is that it is 100% free to play. They do have an online store, but all the items for sale are cosmetic in nature. The core game is there for all to enjoy. You can play alone or with friends online if you like that sort of thing. Check out the official website for more details. 

The Forest

The Forest is yet another Early Access title that has received a lot of love from the developer, yet still has a relatively small fan base. It is absolutely beautiful to look at and terrifying to play.

You begin the game in an airplane with your little boy in the seat next to you. The plane crashes, a crazy cannibal looking creature nabs your kid, and you are left alone in the woods. You start with a fire ax and a hundred or so suitcases to rifle through for supplies. The rest is up to you. If you survive your first night, I suggest building a treehouse. It's harder for them to get you up there. Good luck! Check out the official webpage for more details.


Crashlands is one of the most ridiculous games I've ever played, but it's also one of the most addicting games I've ever played. It looks and plays a bit like Don't Starve, but has an actual story. It's an absurd story, but it is there.

Basically, a giant head pulls your spaceship out of warp then blows it up.You and your trusty robot, Juicebox, are then stranded on a strange planet and have to find a way to get rescued. If you would rather wander around the planet building things and making cool weapons, that's fine too. It is a truly open world game with lots to do and see. Check out their website and definitely watch the very well made and hilarious trailer. 

Evochron Legacy

Evochron Legacy is the latest release from Starwraith Games. If you are anything like me, you are probably eagerly awaiting the release of No Man's Sky and Star Citizen, then this is a great game to tide you over until then. It is an open universe game in which the player starts with nothing more than a tiny ship and a lot of hope. You can do anything from trading, mining, or exploring the surface of planets.

The developer continues to work on the game and releases a new version every few years. This one is a huge improvement over the last version. It launched with some bugs, but they have patched it up and it is fantastic now. It is not for the faint of heart, however, as it has a steep learning curve. If that doesn't scare you off, there is a lot to find, and love, in Evochron Legacy.

That's it folks! These are my top 5 open world sandbox games. There are so many more out there and so many on the way. I hope to bring you some exclusive info very soon on one in particular -- Star Rangers. Until then, keep learning, keep building, and keep playing!