Gord game KeyArt

Gord: A Grim World with Shallow Gameplay

Gord, a new city builder from Covenant.dev, throws you into a dark fantasy world where survival is a constant struggle. It comes with a unique atmosphere, rich lore, and a focus on managing your citizens’ sanity alongside more traditional resources. While these elements pique your interest initially, the repetitive gameplay and lack of depth in core mechanics leave you wanting more.

Gord excels at creating a grim and oppressive atmosphere. The visuals, with their permanently swaying trees and ever-present darkness, combined with the haunting soundtrack, perfectly capture the sense of danger lurking around every corner. The characters’ dialogue reinforces this feeling, constantly reminding you of the harsh reality of life outside the safety of your settlement’s walls.

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One of Gord’s more intriguing mechanics revolves around sanity. Unlike traditional city builders focused on happiness, Gord makes sanity a crucial resource. Spending too much time outside the settlement drains a citizen’s sanity, potentially leading them to abandon you altogether. This adds a layer of complexity as you constantly monitor sanity levels and adjust your strategies.

Gord takes a micromanagement approach, with a smaller number of citizens compared to other city builders. You’ll directly control each inhabitant, assigning roles and monitoring their individual stats like age, attack damage, and even personality traits. While this allows for some customization, it doesn’t add much depth overall.

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One of Gord’s biggest weaknesses lies in its level structure. Each level starts with a fresh settlement, forcing you to abandon many of your previous citizens. While this thematically reinforces the harshness of the world, it feels repetitive and undermines the sense of progress you’d expect from a city builder.

Despite the initial intrigue, the gameplay becomes repetitive quickly. You’ll build the same handful of structures in the same order, with little strategic decision-making involved. The difficulty increases as the game progresses, but it doesn’t tie back to the core mechanics in a meaningful way, leaving everything feeling shallow.

While Gord introduces some interesting concepts like the “Horror” bosses with moral choices, they ultimately fall flat. Many features, like the magic system and map exploration, feel tacked on and contribute little to the overall experience.

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Gord has a lot of potential. However, the repetitive gameplay, lack of depth in core mechanics, and wasted features leave you feeling like you’re just going through the motions. While not a bad game by any means, Gord fails to live up to its interesting premise and ultimately feels like a disappointing combination of its component parts.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.