Before We Leave Review

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Before We Leave, a non-violent city building/4X strategy game developed by Balancing Monkey Games and published by the folks at Team17, this a great take on the modern-day city builder games. Prepare to be soaked in by just how engaging this game can be, and it is out now on Steam!


I am a fan of a good city builder game, exceptionally engaging, chilled builders, where you can just get lost in the game and create something unique. Before We Leave one that looked interesting with its hexagonal spaces for creating and just its overall look, read on to find out how I get on.

Welcome to a vast world ready for you to bring it back to life!


You will find yourself in awe when you see your first planet devouring space whale. However, the game, in its entirety, is non-violent. You are managing a colony of Peeps who have spent a large portion of their existence underground following a catastrophic world event.

Like most city builders, you start with minimal resources, advance your way to creating wooden spaceships and ships to discover new planets and salvage ancient technology. The Peeps themselves are insanely cute. You will find that each peep has its personalities, names, and happiness levels, which can be raised by cleaning up pollution leftover by industries, forests, or cleaning.

Other ways of increasing their happiness are building your infrastructure, fountains, providing suitable clothing as you progress, improving living conditions and their diet. Very engaging and, in a way, closer to your peeps?

I found it essential to improve clothing, as most of us in real life do not want to dress in aged clothing. However, this is a long way down your tech tree to get to clothing manufacturing.

Talking about tech-tree, roads, yes, roads, these will become a pain. I found myself plotting road routes that best serve the expansion of my village and a construction reminder that “This Building Must Face a Road”.

But it all comes down to efficiency. Reducing travel time for your peeps between a forest and a wood-cutter helps massively, same for various other needed resources. As you may have guessed, it increases stock and quicker build times.

Building ships and exploring the land is vital. You will find on your travels previous technology that you can return to your settlement to research new tech. When you first start doing this, you will find the game is centred around your peep’s overall happiness. I liked this. If your peeps are happy, they’re building quickly and getting stuff done much faster; likewise, if they are down, work is slower and affects the flow of new buildings and materials.

A really engaging environment with plenty to build and enjoy!

Graphics & Audio

I was running Before We Leave on an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2060, with the settings set on high, and made some minor tweaks that added to the level of immersion.

I set mouse smoothing to full, and this was a nice touch when moving around the world as initially, it feels very sharp and a little bit rushed. Putting this to full helped to add to the relaxed vibes this game gives off.

The graphics overall are nice. The attention to detail was great with the sound, particularly when zooming into your peep’s settlements.

You can hear the chatter and clanging of cutlery when zooming out slightly. Really nice touch.

Watch out for them, space whales. Your planet isn’t always safe!


I found Before We Leave a game that can draw you in and keep you engaged for hours. I played a good amount of this game, and not once did I want to stop. However, suppose you do get slightly bored with the main base of the game. In that case, there are four scenarios for you to enjoy as well, from Apocalypse Soon, which takes you through why your Peeps start in shelters and the threat. It is your mission to protect them before all is too late.

There is also Getting Busy, where you have to keep 1,000 Peeps happy as your planet groans under the weight of the rising population. And there is also Hut-Owners Association and Seed Hunters.

A good amount of in-game content for you to enjoy!

With great detail and soothing hexagonal lines, it makes for a perfect relaxing game.

Final Thoughts

I really like Before We Leave, it is a city builder that has great potential and is really engaging. If you are looking for a relaxed, slow-paced city builder, consider this one!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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