Malmyr Review – Test – Puzzle City Builder Game with Gumption

The indie game Malmyr combines building strategy with puzzle gameplay and goods transport optimization in a very clever way.

Malmyr Review - Test
Puzzle City Builder Game with Gumption
Malmyr Review – Test
Puzzle City Builder Game with Gumption

Welcome to the Malmyr game review. Malmyr is a new game from a very young indie game dev team from Germany, combining building strategy with board game elements and challenging gameplay, crunchy puzzles, and goods transport optimization. So to say Factorio or Satisfactory meets The Settlers with a taste of Crazy Machines.

Malmyr is a genre mix of build-up strategy, goods transport, and automation with strong puzzle tasks. This mixture makes the game special and the high difficulty level challenges you as a player to use your brain a bit.

German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Malmyr Review Video:

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Malmyr Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Malmyr review, I’m testing the new City Builder strategy and puzzle indie game. I tell you how this game plays, what’s in it, and if I enjoyed it. In the end, there is also a rating by me, but most of all I want to give you all the information so you can decide for yourself if the game could be something for you.

I received a free trial version from the developer. However, this should not affect my rating, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price.

Malmyr Test – Background

Malmyr Review
Background
Malmyr Review
Background

Malmyr is the first game by two young German indie devs. They call their studio Ziegler gamedev Gbr and besides development, they also take care of publishing themselves. Malmyr was released on Steam on December 21 and is expected to cost €12.49 or $14.99.

Although it comes from a German studio, Malmyr is unfortunately just available entirely in English so far. However, aside from a small story that takes place rather peripherally, most things in the game should be playable even with poor knowledge of English.

Malmyr Game – Game Type

Malmyr Test - 
Game Type
Malmyr Test –
Game Type

At first glance, Malmyr looks like a classic build-up strategy game. However, you shouldn’t be deceived here. Because it combines the building genre very cleverly with board game elements and spices the whole thing up with rather tricky puzzle tasks and automation and optimization systems, as well as complex goods transport. And from this, it often develops a complexity that has a lot of depth. So you shouldn’t be fooled by the cute visuals, Malmyr is neither a classic City Builder game nor a Factorio, even though both elements are present in the game.

In Malmyr, especially the path system and the arrangement of buildings is a crucial factor. There are numerous resources that we can only harvest or mine and process on certain plots of the map. And we urgently need to do this in order to be able to solve the tasks set by the missions and to expand our empire.

Besides that, transporting goods between buildings is a big part of the challenge. First, building materials need to be produced and moved to the construction site. Then the plants also need raw materials, and after that, the final products still need to be hauled away. Malmyr uses the roads like a kind of assembly line, so it’s very remotely reminiscent of games like Faktorio, Satisfactory, or Good Company. But it also still brings its own unique ideas.

An important part of the game is the finances. Because not only do we have to buy every single parcel of land before we can build on it, but planning building sites also costs a whole lot of gold. And then on top of that, each building has operating costs that will slowly drain our pockets and make us broke if we don’t deliver some of our goods to the headquarters building in time to turn them into cash.

In addition, the king and his advisor always demand certain amounts of goods be brought to a tax collector’s house. All buildings need furthermore also workers, these would like to have dwellings and be supplied with food. This quickly creates a rather complex system of buildings and goods routes in our small empire.

The game features a campaign of 12 missions that can easily take 10 or more hours to complete. And besides that, there is also a free-play mode, where you can build a bit more freely in your own way, but still get some tasks. The maps are procedurally generated, meaning they are randomly generated within certain parameters. So each mission of the campaign and also the free game is well suited to be played several times because each generated map is unique and has slightly different requirements.

Gameplay – World and Story

Malmyr Game
World and Story
Malmyr Game
World and Story

The world of Malmyr consists of small square plots that visually float in space. We usually start with just one main house and then gradually have to provide wood supply, stones, ore mines, smelting, and construction of final products such as tools or jewelry.

In the campaign, there is a small background story, which partly serves as a tutorial. In part, however, it also tells quite an entertaining story about a family of builders, their king, and his unpleasant advisor. You can click through the story sentence by sentence, or skip it entirely if you don’t want to read all that.

You then get the mission tasks as a sort of quest window that is displayed all the time. Usually, there are several steps that have to be completed one after the other in order to finish the level successfully. In the beginning, you can take your time, at least if the upkeep costs of the buildings don’t let you go broke. In later missions, there is sometimes a time limit, for example, because the map is slowly overrun by a lava wave.

Gameplay Rune-System

Malmyr Gameplay
Runes
Malmyr Gameplay
Runes

During the campaign, we keep finding ancient dwarven runes on the maps. These runes have two different functions. First, we can use up to three of these runes at special rune shrines that we must first find and then rebuild. This activates passive boosts, such as More Yield in the mines or higher selling prices.

Besides that, we can also do terraforming with the runes. So each type of rune provides the possibility to get a certain type of terrain on a parcel, in the process the rune is consumed. And all the collected runes are cross-map useable, so we can take them to the other maps and even create a random new one from three runes in the main menu

Tech, Graphics, Sound

Malmyr 
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Gfx, Sfx
Malmyr
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Gfx, Sfx

Malmyr is developed with the Unity engine, so it is stable as expected. In the course of testing it didn’t crash once for me, and other than that I couldn’t find any real bugs or technical errors. The graphics of Malmyr are quite nice, due to the simplicity it runs smoothly even on very old computers.

The background music burbles along quite nicely. These tunes are pleasant to listen to, even over longer periods of time when the mission takes a while. All other sounds in the game can be counted on one hand. It’s all adequate so far, but nothing outstanding.

The Malmyr campaign spins a loose story around the 12 maps, with everything told in text form. So there is no voice acting or any video sequences. The texts are only available in English throughout.

Malmyr Gameplay Screenshots InGame

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Malmyr Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Malmyr Test
Opinion and Conclusion
Malmyr Test
Opinion and Conclusion

As to be expected with a 2 man project, Malmyr offers highly simplified graphics and no high-end 3D models. And some of them are likely even bought in from so-called asset libraries. But this does not harm the simple but pleasant charm of the graphics. It could be prettier, but the visuals are not the main focus of this kind of game anyway.

Malmyr has a very unique concept that I haven’t seen in this form before. Just for the idea and the successful mix of strategy and puzzle game with some automation, I like the game very much. Here the developers offer a very special gaming experience.

In addition to the building part, which is already quite complex anyway with resource management, treasury, etc., it requires automation of resource transports. This part of the game escalates into deep and complex puzzles like in Factorio, Crazy Machines, or as a more recent example Good Company, for which there is also a review from me.

In the campaign, there is the additional fact that each level poses its own unique problems for the player, which must first be analyzed and then solved. Here, it often takes quite a bit of testing, trial and error, and starting over several times to solve the puzzle.

The game offers a good replay value through procedurally generated maps and is thus possibly interesting to play several times again even after playing through. As a disadvantage I noticed the lack of translation, unfortunately, Malmyr is only available in English.

The complexity and the high demand of the game on the player is then at the same time the greatest strength and also the greatest weakness of the game. Some will love it precisely for this demanding level of difficulty, while others will probably quit quickly in frustration. That’s where you might want to check with yourself before buying to see if you fit the former type of gamer.

In the beginning, some systems that are essential to understand in order to play Malmyr are not always intuitive. I can well imagine that for impatient players, here quickly the limit to frustration could be reached. Here the team could still optimize slightly on the accessibility of the sometimes complex game functions for beginners.

There is a sort of help menu or wiki with small video sequences, but that doesn’t cover all the complicated mechanics. Moreover, they often try to present quite complex issues here with 2-3 sentences and a short video, unfortunately, this doesn’t always work and certainly not for every player. And sometimes the important info that you absolutely need to understand in order to complete a mission is hidden somewhere in a tooltip.

As mentioned, the difficulty of some tasks is tremendously high, and due to the procedural generation, the created maps are very different in requirements. Depending on how the resources are arranged there is a wide range of transport-technical problems to solve. On top of that, Malmyr doesn’t offer any difficulty-adjustment to tune down these sometimes really crunchy challenges.

At some points, the systems get so complex that when I was testing Level 9, for example, I had to start over ten times until I understood the basics, and then another five or six times until I could eventually complete the mission. On the one hand, this is very gratifying when you finally make it at some point, but on the other hand, it creates a lot of room for the frustration that might scare some players away.

The last thing that struck me negatively is that the story of Malmyr is fairly interesting, and handles the classic “stupid king with a mean advisor versus smart but powerless underling” dilemma. But the mean creep in this story doesn’t limit himself to subtle intrigues and putting obstacles in your way, but permanently insults you with profane insults below the belt.

This somehow made me very uncomfortable and dragged down the storytelling value a lot. A mean guy is needed in a hero story, but when the enemy’s villain-ness is expressed primarily through mass schoolyard-level insults, that’s kind of a bad storytelling style.

Malmyr Review – Rating

Malmyr Review
Rating
Malmyr Review
Rating

When I add up all these pros and cons, take into account the very fair price of €12.49 or $14.99, and put that in relation to a playtime of 10 to 20 hours with some replay value, the overall picture for me is still quite positive. For that, I’d like to give Malmyr a base rating of 80%.

On top of that, I’m also awarding a 3% bonus for the special and intelligent genre mix. Tricky puzzle games and medieval construction games I have never seen linked in this form. However, I then have to deduct 5% in total again, for the extremely unbalanced difficulty level, for missing translations, and for partly too little assistance for beginners.

As a final result, this gives Malmyr a score of 78%. It has the potential to slip back above the 80% mark if the aforementioned points of criticism are addressed in future patches.

But for a debut work in complete self-production, I must strongly praise the Ziegler gamedev brothers. Not quite perfect, but a very, very good start for this young indie dev team.

Malmyr Review
Rating 78 percent
Malmyr Review
Rating 78 percent

Malmyr

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Malmyr Review - Test - Puzzle Aufbau Spiel mit Grips
The indie game Malmyr combines building strategy with puzzle gameplay and goods transport optimization in a very clever way.
Malmyr is a genre mix of build-up strategy, goods transport automation with strong puzzle tasks. This mixture makes the game special and the high difficulty level challenges you as a player to use your brain a bit.
Game depths
Motivation
Accessability
Graphics
Sound
Complexity
Price – Performance

Rating

When I add up all these pros and cons, take into account the very fair price of €12.49 or $14.99, and put that in relation to a playtime of 10 to 20 hours with some replay value, the overall picture for me is still quite positive. For that, I’d like to give Malmyr a base rating of 80%.
On top of that, I’m also awarding a 3% bonus for the special and intelligent genre mix. Tricky puzzle games and medieval construction games I have never seen linked in this form. However, I then have to deduct 5% in total again, for the extremely unbalanced difficulty level, for missing translations, and for partly too little assistance for beginners.
As a final result, this gives Malmyr a score of 78%. It has the potential to slip back above the 80% mark if the aforementioned points of criticism are addressed in future patches.
But for a debut work in complete self-production, I must strongly praise the Ziegler gamedev brothers. Not quite perfect, but a very, very good start for this young indie dev team.

3.9

Outro

Do you like tricky puzzles and complex transportation routes? Or do you quit quickly when your head starts to spin too much? Feel free to write me your opinion on Malmyr but also on this review in the comments here below, under the YouTube video or on my Discord server at https://zapzockt.de/discord.

Here at https://zapzockt.de you can also find many more game reviews, Gaming News, and Guides to more complex games, take a look. If you like the content, just subscribe and leave a Like, so you don’t miss new episodes so easily and help the channel a bit in spreading. Speaking of, “nothing against it”, if you share this review with your friends or on your social media channels, would be very nice.

Then have a great day, take care and stay healthy, ciao ciao, your Zap

Malmyr Website

Malmyr Steampage

Malmyr Twitter

Malmyr Discord

Reading – recommendations:

A lot of detailed games news and information about games and gaming can always be found here at ZapZockt.de – As a Steam user, you can also follow the ZapZockt Steam curator to always be informed about my reviews directly on the platform.

There are also many game reviews that might interest you, and if you don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to the newsletter. As a Google News reader you can also go there and read the latest articles.

Shopping – Tip:

Ad / Affiliate Link
Games can often be bought cheaper. Legal, reliable and safe is the way to do it at my partner site Gamesplanet. This game, all DLCs, many more tactics, strategy, and many more titles are available there and almost always much cheaper than at Steam, Uplay, Epic, or other shops.

Steam Keys günstig kaufen - Buy steam keys cheap - Game keys Spiele Keys
Buy games cheaper

For every purchase, via this link, I receive a small commission. So you get games cheaper and at the same time support my work, my thanks in advance for that.

Social Media:


Malmyr Review - Test

Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

You may also like...