In the age of MMOs, there are a lot of tropes that I am used to. Gathering a party, gearing up, going to complete quests, fighting enemies, coming back, selling and equipping better loot, and repeating the process. Some games do change this up a little with features like buying property or specializing in non-combat skills, but the majority of MMOs are all about fighting. While I do understand the appeal, sometimes I want a more chill and cooperative experience, something to just relax and enjoy with my friends. BitCraft is going to be exactly that.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the BitCraft team, specifically Tyler Cloutier (Clockwork Labs co-founder) and Carter Minshull (Game Director), and getting a chance to try out their game, and boy, did I have a blast. SteamDeckHQ’s COO, Author Teague, was there with me, and we had the chance to work together and really see how cooperative the game can be. I will admit, I definitely locked him out of my area and stole gold that he was supposed to get, but in the end, I see the appeal, and I will most likely be playing the game as soon as it releases.

If you have ever played Eco, you may come into this a bit familiar with the overall goal, which is to build your civilization in a single world where everyone else is doing the same. You will start alone and with nothing but work to gather materials and start building giant cities and empires. There isn’t any combat in the game, at least not yet (devs are open to it), but that doesn’t change the focus of building your empire. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to wage war or compete with other people, and both Author and I loved the idea.

BitCraft Screenshot 5

While you can work alone, many larger actions will require multiple people or be so much more efficient. Crafting, gathering supplies, and specializing in certain skills like Woodcutting, Crafting, or Building can be a huge help as you all work together to maximize your time. You can lay claims to the land using specific totems, too, which need to be supplied to keep your claim so nobody can grieve or steal your stuff. You can also expand your claim, but that will eat up resources faster, so you need to find a balance based on how often you play and how many are helping with supply feeding.

Gathering resources and building can be time-consuming, but there’s so much you can do. You can be on your own and start your own farm or business, work with others to create a town, merge with other towns or build your own, set up trade routes and markets, and create your own economy. You can even raise and lower terrain, allowing you to create more vertical land towns, too. All of these actions permanently affect the world and will require someone to bring it back to normal if desired.

BitCraft Screenshot 2

As I mentioned before, there isn’t direct warfare in BitCraft, but that’s where economic domination comes in. By creating and expanding your empire, more and more people will join. If you keep taking people in and giving them reasons to stay, other empires may not have enough resources to continue existing. You could also specialize in a specific craft, like a farming village, and make loads of money by offering competitive rates that others can’t. This makes BitCraft a very social experience with a hint of strategy and economic sense.

Even though we only got a taste, I could tell this was a labor of love. In our demo, we got a little taste of crafting, claiming land, traveling around the beautiful hex-grid world, checking out an established town, and seeing an established marketplace and homes that people could build and customize. And hopefully, it will be a great experience on the Steam Deck. I only played a PC build, and it ran quite well, but I could totally see myself sitting back in bed and just chilling with friends on voice chat while building up our towns. Either way, I will definitely be taking time to play.

BitCraft Screenshot 1

BitCraft will be going into closed Alpha starting April 2nd, and you can sign up for it on their website.

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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