Myriads: Renaissance by Sleeping Eight Studio
Myriads: Renaissance is a turn-based 4X strategy game with an emphasis on a “light” approach to the genre.
Coupling snappy turns with a selection of simple but impactful systems, Myriads aims to provide an accessible strategy experience with some elements of tower defense and city-building thrown into the mix. Developed by a two-person team, Myriads focuses on a bite-sized experience backed up by an unusual “islands in the sky” setting.
Raise Your Banner High
The first thing Myriads asked of me was to design heraldry for my faction, always a pleasing touch. I chose an elephant over a field of yellow with one diagonal stripe (or “bend”, if you enjoy the parlance of heraldic imagery).
With a crest created and a faction name chosen, all is ready for a new campaign. Myriads offers extensive tutorial text guides that can feel a little weighty, but these soon give way to a more streamlined quest system that helps to hold a new player’s hand as they develop their first sky-civilization.
A quick but sufficient introduction lays out the setting; the world has suddenly changed and now everyone lives on floating islands in the sky; your civilization wants to conquer this new world, so it’s time to build a fleet of flying galleons and take the fight to some old enemies. It’s a simple premise but one that facilitates the appealing aesthetic Myriads grounds – no pun intended – its world in.
Myriads uses many systems that will be familiar to 4X fans; farms must be built to provide food, which in turn grows the population allowing for expansion and better construction options.
Castles in the Sky
An interesting tweak to this formula is the addition of the floating islands themselves. This environment naturally limits expansion, and tugs are required to pull nearby islands into range for construction to spread to those regions. Managing available space and how you want to use it for resource generation is a key component of Myriad’s city-building choices.
It’s not all relaxed construction and management, though; enemy factions are out there and will periodically send ships to attack your home. A threat bar gives a good idea of when this will happen, and as time goes on the enemy, will send larger fleets into your territory, turning Myriads into a pseudo-tower-defense game.
These attacks can get very aggressive quite early in a play-through; I was besieged by several high-powered ships a short while after conquering a second region.
Lighter-than-Air 4X Strategy
Most of what you would expect of a 4X game can be found here in a streamlined form: tech trees, stacked military units (in the form of troops stationed on ships), resource-gathering structures with terrain requirements…all the key features are here in a relatively cut-back fashion.
This minimalist approach will delight anyone looking for a speedier strategy experience, but it’s important to note that this is not designed to be a full-fat 4X title.
Aesthetically, Myriads nails its setting, and it does a great job of portraying its maps in the style of navigation charts from the age of sail. Everything is clear and easy to read while pleasing to the eye.
Myriads: Renaissance is a tidy 4X game built for smaller campaigns than the titans of the genre offer. The “age of sail takes flight” aesthetic is executed to great effect and it doesn’t just leave this as a cosmetic affectation, instead building its mechanics around the need to secure floating real estate into which an empire can expand.
The tower defence elements can feel a little gimmicky at times but if you’re looking for a solid turn-based strategy experience then you should certainly consider setting sail to the skies.
Myriads: Renaissance is available via Steam.
Watch the trailer for Myriads: Renaissance below: