American Dad: Apocalypse Soon! is two games, one of which is successful.
American Dad: Apocalypse Soon! is a pretty funny name. Let’s get that out of the way, at the top. It’s witty and evocative, and it gives you the false sense that you know what game you’re getting into. Maybe you do. Probably you don’t. Apocalypse Soon! evinces visions of action, fighting for survival. Those elements are present in the game, but mostly exist to disappoint. Apocalypse Soon! is, however, a pretty satisfying base building sim.
The End of the World as We Know It
Aliens have invaded earth. The CIA calls in Stan, a sentient chin, to mitigate the kerfuffle. Stan returns home to find his family kidnapped. Roger the alien creates a band of highly trained clones to help Stan retrieve his family and fight the invaders.
Building a Better Apocalypse
Players begin the game by building up the Rogers compound. We add rooms to train Rogers to be bankers, fighters, cooks, chargers, carpenters and radiochemists. Each of these Rogers gains levels through trainings. The situation room tells players how much wood and money they need to build additional rooms (the bank, the kitchen).Periodically Roger clones fight other bands of aliens. Your clone groups power is pitted against a comparable power group. Click attack and blam. You’ve got yourself a rumble. Battles are waged against game-provided enemies, or external players.
Rogers, Rogers everywhere
Apocalypse Soon! functions as two different games, with different success levels. As an RPG/simulator, it’s pretty fun. The writing isn’t going to win any Pulitzers, but it’s funny enough in the moment. The Rogers are well rendered and at least a little adorable. It’s a fun world to play and build in.
Unfortunately, it is not a rapid world to play in. Both training and building is achieved in the span of a click. The inevitable progress bar is not so rapid, however. These processes can be sped up by using the in-game currency, lamentably named “golden turds”.
And you will want to use the golden turds. The many progress bars are tedious. But the turds go fast, a sentence I genuinely never anticipated writing. The developers anticipated how badly a player will want to hurry things along, and monetized the turds. They can be purchased or attained by watching paid advertisements.
Expanding the house and training the Rogers is enjoyable and an easy way to lose more time than you initially intended. There is a lot of variation to experiment with, so the game is seldom dull. On the other hand, the battle component is dull and needlessly complicated. Figuring out how to get your Rogers to the correct levels is convoluted. If you enjoy bureaucratic nonsense, have I got some tasks for you. The payoff does not justify the acrobatic twists of comprehension required. Attacking is simply clicking the attack button and then watching your Rogers fight.
Apocalypse Soon! is not a waste of a game. As a base-building sim, it is a rich-if mercenary-world, with a vast quantity of possibilities. It is, however, a needlessly complicated action game. For maximum satisfaction, know what genre of game you are pursuing.
A little too unfocused to be deeply Hardcore.
Apocalypse Soon! is a fun enough simulator for those patient enough to play it. Just don’t expect satisfying battle components.