• Jarrod

Diplomacy Is Not An Option Preview – Why Can't We Be Friends?


My town hall is built. There is a small army and a handful of townsfolk ready to turn this city into the envy of the rest of the world. Not only will my city be more spectacular than all of the surrounding ones, anyone who opposes me will most assuredly feel my wrath. Cut to the end – my half-built walls are being overrun by the enemy and I am helplessly watching them slaughter my starving, sick townsfolk, before razing my town hall to a smoldering pile of nothing. Oh, how I regret my hubris. If only we could have talked about it. Then again... diplomacy was never an option.


Nothing beats a solid strategy game where you have to manage multiple tasks in order to be successful. Diplomacy Is Not An Option offers what I am looking for in an RTS/tower defense-hybrid, even in its current Early Access status. It isn’t overly complex, but has enough intricacies in it to be challenging. Add in the enemy attacks that increase in difficulty, and you have a fun game that I’ve already spent hours playing.

Diplomacy Is Not An Option
via Door 407

If you’re familiar with the grand strategy genre, the process for building a city is easy to pick up. It’s also varied and challenging enough that you can easily get distracted with city planning while losing sight of resources and defenses. You have to build houses to increase your population, lumber mills and farms for resources, storage to keep up with your resources, and defenses to keep your city safe. There aren’t too many options for it to feel overwhelming, yet you still have plenty of situations to monitor at all times.


Resource gathering in a strategy game can sometimes feel monotonous. Diplomacy Is Not An Option makes it tricky to stay on top of, which I love. Because merely setting and forgetting about generating a resource feels like a cop out. Diplomacy Is Not An Option absolutely nails this part of the game. You establish your lumber mill and the workers eventually chop down all of the surrounding trees. You can either expand their range, which delays how long they walk, or you can tear down the old mill and build a new one closer to a new spot of the forest. Decisions have to be made for all resources like this, which – when you forget – can lead to some unpleasant scenarios, such as running out of food for your city or not having the proper supplies to build up your fortifications before the next enemy attack.

Diplomacy Is Not An Option
via Door 407

Combat in Diplomacy Is Not An Option is another fun challenge. The attacks on your city come in waves. There is a countdown on the day the attack will happen, which gives you a preparation period to put your defensive plans into action. However, when the day of an attack arrives, you only have minutes to prepare the location from which the direction of the attack is coming. The first few waves are small and do a great job of building up your confidence. You’re a defensive mastermind! Then, however, as enemies grow in volume, you are forced to watch the walls and towers you once thought were invincible crumble to the ground, leaving your townsfolk at the mercy of the enemy. That is unless, of course, you were smart and collected enough Soul Crystals. These allow you to attack your enemies with up to four different magical events that can help you pull a victory from the jaws of defeat.


In the end, I’ve really enjoyed my time with Diplomacy Is Not An Option so far. You can tell that indie developer/publisher Door 407 has put in a lot of thought and effort to give the player an entertaining and stimulating gaming experience, even in this early build. Diplomacy Is Not An Option is worth the look if you enjoy a strategy game that will test you without overwhelming you. Over the course of each battle, I experienced the full range of emotions – from thinking I could never be defeated, only to see a wave of enemies break through my defenses and lay waste to all of my hopes and dreams.


Lucky for me I could always try again.

A PC code was provided to GamingPizza for this preview. Diplomacy Is Not An Option is available now on PC via Steam Early Access.


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