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Survive a harsh world in the demo for a city builder that looks like a Moebius drawing come to life

 Art from videogame Synergy. Thick-lined style with pastel colors. A desert landscape dominated by a lookout tower with shade sails, foreground, and a larger settlement beyond.
Art from videogame Synergy. Thick-lined style with pastel colors. A desert landscape dominated by a lookout tower with shade sails, foreground, and a larger settlement beyond.

A demo of upcoming city builder Synergy has released on Steam, and it's looking like Synergy might just play as good as it looks. The game is about leading your people, inhabitants of a harsh desert planet widely hostile to human life, to a new region where they must reconsider how to live and thrive. Much of the game is about analyzing the resources you find and how to best use them in a sustainable way.

We first got a real look at Synergy back in 2022, when it was announced, but haven't heard much new since then. The demo dives into several major aspects of the game like exploring, analyzing flora, and building a production chain.

The demo takes about an hour to beat and has a "research system, 8 exploration events, 7 elements of flora to analyze, 20+ buildings, and 20 resources."

For many, the appeal of Synergy is the art style that draws on the lineage of famous french sci-fi artist Jean Giraud, commonly known as Moebius. The distinctive character outlines are a sure fit for games, where silhouette recognition is very valuable, but the pastel coloring is what cinches it for me—it's a broad set of colors just criminally underused across the entire industry. The same set of inspirations is part of what made Sable so popular.

After taking some time with the demo I was pleased to see that the actual gameplay holds up to the quality of the artwork that goes with it. You've got to play cleverly, and carefully, to make sure that you have enough surplus built up when bad dry seasons come along, lest your settlement collapse. That's a good sign for me—bad city builders rarely let you fail, but good ones often do.

You can find Synergy on Steam. It's scheduled for release some time in the next few months. Synergy is developed by Leikir Studio and published by Goblinz Publishing, You can also check out the Synergy website of publisher Goblinz.