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Before We Leave Review
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Posted: 12 weeks ago, last updated 11 weeks ago.

Author: Andrea Walney, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Before We Leave is a city building simulation and strategy game. Humanity has been living in bunkers after a great calamity, and are emerging to start a new life by building farms, industry and trade routes throughout the solar system. It's an unusual mixture of both medieval architecture and steampunk spaceships to create a strategy game with no warfare, and where the emphasis is on exploration, learning and trade.

Before We Leave has a lot of complexity to it which is gradually revealed through the tutorial levels. The world is divided up into hexagonal blocks which may be grass, sand, ice, sea or rock. You need to plan out your towns carefully, using the natural resources and the abandoned ancient machinery that is scattered around.

This starts with a single island but gradually develops industry and sailing ships which enable you to explore the world and find new islands to colonise. As you progress you manage trade routes between your islands and discover broken spaceships that can be repaired and used to reach more distant planets. Managing more than one planet with multiple islands is tricky, but there are constant notifications to help you prioritise what needs to be done.

An interesting moment is after you have a second planet you can encounter troublesome space whales. In other games you might expect the solution would be to blast them out the way. Before We Leave takes a more pacifist route with feeding stations and defensive shelters.

Before We Leave has a lot of information and menus to deal with, but gradually unfolds into a streamlined challenge. For those who enjoy building villages, and playing god, this strategy game is one of the more gentle experiences, as you are not controlling armies or attacking neighbours, and you can concentrate on making efficient communities and keeping your inhabitants happy instead.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/05/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Balancing Monkey (@BalancingMonkey)

Players: 1




Play Time: This game will take between 10 hours and 21 hours to complete. Time depends on the settings you use, and how many planets you chose to play with.

Play StylePlay Style

This is a single-player game.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 7 for Implied Violence.

Rated for younger players in Australia where it is General (G)

Skill Rating

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Requires complex planning and resource management skills. But lets young players slow things down to take this at their own pace.


Before We Leave usually costs £15.99.

Before We Leave

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.


Our Before We Leave Accessibility Report documents 24 accessibility features:
Games can be tailored, affecting difficulty levels at the beginning of a new game. You can choose how many resources you start the game with, how many planets in the solar system, and whether there are whales or not, amongst other options.

You can speed up or slow down time as required. There is no countdown clock, so you can work at the speed that is comfortable for you. Tutorial information can be viewed at any time. Hints can be turned on or off.

Audio volume sliders are available for sound, interface and music separately.

Night brightness can be altered in the settings. The interface and is quite small, especially on a TV screen.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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