I’ve always had a morbid curiosity about what would happen if humanity were to go extinct in the blink of an eye. What would happen to the cities we’ve built, animals we’ve domesticated, and the knowledge we as a species gained over thousands of years? Post Human W.A.R. explores this concept by presenting AIs that have decided to preserve what’s left of humanity by maintaining its cities. Any by preserve I mean total chaos and warfare.
Meet the strouts: they’ve evolved from human waste and are the only intelligent species left on the planet, besides the machines. Inherently weak, strouts have the ability to take over surviving animals to explore the world around them. They’re also divided into two factions: one wants to destroy what’s left of humanity, the other wants to continue it. The trouble is that the machines humans left behind can’t tell the difference between the two, so they have to kill them all. Welcome to the future, folks!
Post Human W.A.R. has plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor that had me smiling and eager to get started on building an army. Gameplay is turn-based strategy, and you’ve got three factions to choose from: the machines, strouts who want to destroy cities, and strouts who want to live in them.
Each faction has its advantages (though I preferred the machines, as they can withstand and deliver the heavy hits). Wild strouts aren’t nearly as powerful, but they’re fast and able to maneuver effectively. Civilized strouts linger between machines and their wild counterparts, able to deliver a good hit while still being fast.
What I found interesting is everything is pretty much an open book from how powerful a unit is to where it can and cannot attack. The same applies to your opponent’s units, you can click on them and see where they’re able to move.
And the play field is level too, you and your opponent are given a set amount of in-game currency each to spend on units. More powerful units naturally cost more money while weaker ones cost less, so it’s a constant balance of resources. Do you choose to go with a heavy-hitting team that sticks close together or get as many units as possible onto the battlefield?
Choosing a Champion is where the psychological warfare comes into play. Champions can any unit you choose, like heavy-hitters or a scout that can move around easily. You can even trick your opponent into thinking your Champion is a unit hanging by while in reality it’s an archer hidden in a scouting party. The moment Champions are killed off is an automatic “game over”, so it’s a constant guessing game of where its hidden.
My strategy was to systematically destroy all of my opponent’s pawns until there’s nothing left. It’s not unlike a game of chess where possibilities aren’t hidden, but you still have to predict their next move. Should I steamroll my opponent with a large force or fence them in from all sides? I spent a lot of time just staring at the playing field wondering if the next move would be my last. The only way to gain an advantage is through experience, outsmarting your opponent, and taking advantage of the psychological warfare of hiding or revealing your Champion.
I can’t say if Post Human W.A.R. will appeal to everyone, but it does serve as a great introduction to turn-based strategy games that won’t overwhelm newcomers. You won’t spend an hour reading a manual and learning all the little rules that come with moving a few spaces. You can just leap in to have fun or decide to represent your chosen faction by annihilating all of your opponents on the board. Who knew that post-humanity could be so much fun?