As if it wasn’t already hard enough, the most recent update for early access city-builder Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic has made running a planned economy even more of a headache. Yesterday’s content update added a “super realistic mode” to the already pretty realistic game, meaning you’ll need to manage your various resources even more carefully as you build your way to superpower status.
The new mode completely removes “all options to purchase goods and vehicles inside facilities” and disables the ability to hurry along construction by spending money. All your materials—everything you build, everything you refine, any vehicles you need—will have to be transported laboriously from the customs house at your national border all the way to wherever you need them, without the aid of “magically appearing” infrastructure and materials.
Don’t worry if you thought Workers & Resources was already perfectly hardcore enough: It’s optional, so only true Stakhanovites need apply.
To complement the new realistic mode, the game is also adding realistic borders. Before now Workers & Resources’ maps have all been perfectly square, as if a cadre of Marxist guerillas swept to power in Wyoming, but now you’ll be able to operate within a gory border hodge-podge that more closely resembles the actual national boundaries of the former Eastern Bloc. The game’s devs have even created a map—Slovakia—with the new border system to show what you can do with it.
Finally, the update is adding in trams and metro stations to the game’s big long list of things to worry about. You could already kind of make tramlines, but they used the same heavy-duty infrastructure as your proper railways, so it was a bit of a cheat. With this update, you’ll be able to lay down urban light-rail and set up tram stops to carry your citizens around more authentically. The metro is fairly similar, except you can adjust how deep your underground lines are and build stations that rival the depth of Kyiv’s Arsenalna station.
Despite it being possibly the most ‘me’ game ever made, I’ve spent precious little time with Workers & Resources so far. I’d rather wait for it to leave early access and experience it in its full glory than get updates in dribs and drabs. Nevertheless, every time features like these come out I find myself tempted to fire it up. It’s only a matter of time before I give in and devote all my spare time to a virtual model Leningrad.