we tried early access (Steam)

This almost first half of 2022 is proving to be really very positive for fans of the g genrestrategic role iocoAnd Cantata, latest work by the development team Afterschool Studio still in early access, it has recently added to this large portfolio of titles, proposing itself as a profound but at the same time simple and intuitive title.

The one that immediately catches the eye of Cantata is the very particular graphic style, both of the artwork for the various protagonists, and for the concepts of maps, units and vehicles. I must admit that initially it made me turn up my nose a little, only to find it instead captivating and very suitable, as I proceeded with the missions and began to know more about the various protagonists of the title.

We talk about protagonists because in the story told by Cantata, They will be present three different races, each with its own history, characteristics and prominent personalities. The game, at the time of its early access release, features “only” three of the nine chapters totals that will complete his narrative arc once the full version of the game is released, and each of these three available chapters will help us familiarize yourself with the different races present in this world.

Once the game has begun we will be able to face the highly recommended tutorial, so you understand the basic mechanics for Cantata, also because the title, while recalling and taking full advantage of games of the same genre, offers some different characteristics on which its focus is uniqueness and the heart of its gameplay.


Cantata: simplified but not too much

The main mechanics and more simplified compared to similar titles, it is that of resource collection, which will be very small in number and will be used for all the buildings and units that we want under our command. The factor to always keep an eye on is that the map Sara divided into micro areas to explore, and each of them will be able to accommodate a limited number of buildings. In order to expand we will have to explore the surrounding areas with our units and reclaim them by placing a flag.

One will not always be enough flag, and we will often find ourselves having to fight against enemies to claim new territories, but let’s proceed in order. In order to build new buildings, these must be always connected to our base, which will serve as both a producer and a distributor of resources. The connection is made via a virtual line, but it will not be possible to connect our base with much territories far away or not conquered, it will always be necessary to proceed gradually.

In Canata each structure, as in the most classic way of the genre, it will offer us different functions and units that can be produced, among which we also find the different ones vehicles, very important for both exploration and combat, with some serving only for troop transport, others purely assault and finally also hybrids.

The sense of exploration is really satisfying, but we will always have to calculate our moves in advance and do push forward our troops following one logic that allows us to react against ambushes enemies, because the unexplored map will be obscured, as will the presence of enemies in case there are no troops nearby.


Once the enemies are engaged, the fight will begin, strictly in turn. Cantata differs from many titles of this kind because in our turn we will not be forced to move all our units, but we will have a certain number of action points which, once finished, will force us to pass the turn to our opponents. The decision on how to spend it will be up to us alone.


With a graphics in eye-catching pixel art it’s particular, Cantata succeeds after a small initial uncertainty, to satisfy even the eye; shame about some sporadic overlapping of elements that hide each other causing some small inaccuracy in reading data or selecting units.

The sound does its modest part, with very stylish music back which overall are very suitable for the type of game, while its gameplay simple but deep, will be able to satisfy both fans of the genre who are looking for a demanding challenge and those who aim not to have to calculate millions of statistics.

We look forward to getting our hands on the full version of Cantata, hoping that its development can proceed smoothly.