Metascore
63

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. Jan 24, 2019
    48
    At the Gates tries some ambitious new ideas that, in time, may leave a mark on the 4X genre. But today, it's far too broken to recommend.
  2. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 4, 2019
    40
    An attempt to make an alternative to Civilization that failed because of not finishing its ideas and old technology. An unstable and buggy game with a lousy artificial intelligence won’t be interesting, even if it is signed by a great designer. [Issue#293]
  3. 40
    While there are a few interesting concepts at play in Jon Shafer’s At the Gates, they frequently go underdeveloped, leading to a lackluster experience.
  4. Jan 24, 2019
    40
    In spite of having unique mechanics and a fresh take on the 4X and roguelike genres, Jon Shafer's At The Gates falls woefully short of delivering on both counts with frustrating RNG, mechanics, unintuitive design, and bugs.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Jan 25, 2019
    The former Civ 5 director's long-running passion project is filled with nice ideas, but they never threaten to pull together.
  2. Jan 25, 2019
    Civ games are famed for their addictive “one more turn” capabilities. At the Gates is more of a “one more game” affair, in which I hone and sharpen my strategic bones. This game has a lot of problems. It’s not for everyone. It really is slow, frustrating, and missing key UI components. But I like its harshness, its uncompromising vision of historical conquest and its spirit of inventiveness.
  3. At The Gates has an impressively complicated set of interlocking systems, but the amount of time and patience it takes to actually get anywhere is ridiculous.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 5 out of 14
  1. Apr 11, 2020
    6
    More than a year since its official release this is still a provocatively unfinished game. But to Jon Shafer's credit, it is still veryMore than a year since its official release this is still a provocatively unfinished game. But to Jon Shafer's credit, it is still very addictive. The heart of the gameplay is not warfare or politics but resource management and survival. Do not come into this expecting a 4x experience. The initial challenge comes mainly from managing your production chain well enough during summer so that your clans don't starve during winter. Eventually, you have to figure out how to transition from an unsustainable foraging based economy to a farming based economy. You have to carefully find a balance between making sure your clans have enough food right now and investing enough in production of non-food based resources so that you can escape your nomadic lifestyle later. If you're too short sighted, you'll deplete a lot of resources and might find that your opponents have already claimed all the best land. If you're planning too much ahead, your clans will starve.

    Once you've settled and established a kingdom, you can start shifting your focus towards warfare. It is perhaps for the best that the "early game" takes so long, because the late game is very unsatisfying. Combat is boring, the AI is rudimentary, diplomacy is barely existent and you can't even properly vanquish your foes! You can take their settlement, but you can't use it for anything and control will eventually revert to the original owner, even though they're defeated. Similarly, you can capture enemy buildings, but they will be all but useless to you, because there's a penalty for owning captured clans (and you can't do anything about it). These things make the game world feel static and limited and removes all incentives for conquest. I also find it very disappointing that there is no game customisation or map settings to play around with at all – just a 'new game' button.

    I really can't recommend the game as a product, because it's not what it claims to be. But if you like economic sims and don't care for the other advertised features, then it is still a fun game. Just don't expect to find a reason to keep playing, once you've stabilised your economy.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 13, 2019
    0
    After waiting years for the my kickstarter of the game I would have expect the game to be good. The graphics are bad for a mid 90's game. TheAfter waiting years for the my kickstarter of the game I would have expect the game to be good. The graphics are bad for a mid 90's game. The game play is shallow and boring. Unbalance and broken. Full Review »
  3. May 13, 2019
    5
    At the Gates has enormous potential, but sadly as of May 2019 it is very glitchy (though playable). There have been no updates for the pastAt the Gates has enormous potential, but sadly as of May 2019 it is very glitchy (though playable). There have been no updates for the past three months though it was released only 4 months ago. This suggests the developers have moved on and the game will remain deeply flawed. My hope is help is on the way to make this game the outstanding game it could be. Full Review »