Westward Game Series
The Westward games are of the “village” simulation variety, and feature elements of real-time strategy, resource management and simulation. What’s more exciting though is that this series introduced the Wild West to the simulation genre. There’s gold in them there hills!
If you like to play online simulation games, then you really need to check Westward out. Similar to the Sim games and Virtual Villagers, this game is a village simulation… but with one big difference: it’s set in the Old West. Yeeeee-haw!
In this game, you take on the role of one of ten characters, and face the daunting task of venturing into the unknown Old West and attempting to set up settlements that can withstand the test of time. And if you happen to come across gold or some other treasure, so much the better! You will need to control your settlers, manage resources such as food and water, build essential buildings, and attempt to make your settlement a bustling and thriving outpost in the west.
WESTWARD 2: HEROES OF THE FRONTIER
With this second outing, the game developers have included many upgrades and new features to the game. For starters, this sequel is now in 3D, making the game so much more attractive and immersive! The art has also received a makeover, making the game look more alive.
The game starts with your town of Hope River being destroyed by the Mad Russian and his Copperhead Gang. You take on the role of one of three pioneers and make your way to a new site to establish a new settlement. Your choice of pioneer has an effect on your gameplay. Depending on who you choose, you will have an advantage in either farming, taxes or trading. You can thus use this pioneer selection to tailor the game to your preferred strategy.
The game consists of a series of scenarios, increasing the level of difficulty in the game as well as advancing the story of your pioneering efforts and your search for the Copperhead Gang. With each subsequent scenario, the game becomes more complex, and you will need to manage more resources and build more complicated buildings to make your settlement grow.
WESTWARD 3: GOLD RUSH
The gameplay in Westward 3 is very similar to that in Westward 2. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! What it does though, is introduce us to a brand new story, with new quests, new buildings and new landscapes to explore.
There’s gold in them there hills! The pioneers have discovered gold in northern California, and the settlers are starting to head west and try their luck in gold rush country. Just like in Westward 2, you have a choice in taking control of one of three pioneers. Each these new pioneers have different abilities that give you different advantages in the game, and each comes with their own backstory and personality.
The story evolves as you complete the many scenarios in the game. Each scenario also introduces you to new gameplay concepts. You start off learning the basics of the game, and as you progress through the scenarios, you will have to begin managing more and more resources and build more complicated and expensive buildings. All the while taking care of your people and protecting them from the land and the wilderness.