"Life is Hard" is a 2D real time strategy with elements of god simulator. The goal is to bring your tribe to the victory by evolving your village and defending from external threats like bardbarians, wild animals and nature.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (122 reviews) - 72% of the 122 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 3, 2015

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We want to give you a high-quality product, but we realize that "Life is Hard" isn't finished at this stage yet. Early Access is a great opportunity for us to develop a product which community might like.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

UPDATE 15/10/16: Due to lots of different things, we have delayed the release. Now we're planning to release the game as soon as the storyline will be finished.

We're planning to release final version in a half of a year. During this period, we'll be adding new content, including quests, random events and another features.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We're launching Early Access with the basic gameplay structure and functioning. It means that "Life is Hard" still requires polishing with optimization and bugfixes. We'll add a big range of gameplay features and improvements. And this isn't our final point, because we're planning to keep in touch with our community to include players wishes into our TODO-list.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current state is Puiblic Beta with basic gameplay mechanics, some random events and the small range of quests.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We're still discussing this question. Most likely no.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We plan on being very involved with the community throughout development. It'll help us to collect bug-reports, tips and suggestions from community.”
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Recent updates View all (44)

October 17

Renewing nomads.

Greetings, community!

We've prepared graphics improvement and the continuation of the storyline in this update.

We remind you that with the implementation of the storyline some old save files could work incorrectly.

In this update we've replaced the English voice acting with a new, higher-quality one, to remove the accent.

We're working hard on the plot of the game. This time the changes affected nomads and their enemies. Since we're working on the storyline, we've decided to update the map and replace swamp monsters with underwater ones (will be implementated later). Moreover, a quest panel was added.
A quest panel:

A new map (before and after the update):

New story characters:

New enemies:

Moreover, we're working on new graphics for the desert.

A very important strategic component was added – an ability to create groups.

The player now can choose how many products will be produced by bakeries and farms.

Also we've fixed some minor issues, including the situation, when minion "forgets" their job after sleep.

And know the news from Crowdin.
Due to limitations in creating custom file formats, all the files were converted to JSON, so that didn't allow to preview translations right in the game.
Now we've released a Life is Hard Translation Assistant, which allows to convert localization files from JSON to game's TXT.
To get a file from Crowdin, select it in any language you are interested and select "Download" in the context menu.

You can get Translation Assistant from GitHub:

3 comments Read more

October 7

A storyline.

Greetings, community!
We're ready to present you the update we've been working on.

As we mentioned before, we're starting to implement a storyline. This update contains the beginning of the story.

Now mercenaries have the same direct control system as soldiers.

We've reworked the balance. Now the basic damage of worker minions is reduced to 3 points. However, boars damage was slightly decreased too to make the hunting little easier. Trees can be harvested several times before falling down and disappearing, but give less resources per one cycle.
Moreover, peasant-minions can use only basic weapons and armor (bets, bows, leather & warm clothes). All other weaponry can be used only by soldiers.

In addition, we started updating English voice acting to remove the accent. This very update contains improved minions voice acting, other voices will be changed in following patches.

Since we've changed most of the basic mechanics, saves from previous versions might NOT work properly beginning from this update..

Now a little planning for the future. We've started improving some animations and sprites: the islanders will get updated houses soon.

6 comments Read more
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About This Game

"Life is hard" is a strategy/village management game. Your aim here is to control a tribe. Defend your village, harvest resources, expand your town, colonize the islands, upgrade your tools and weapons and contact with other civilizations. There is no specific aim in our game. You can do whatever you want.

Expand your village: build farms and houses, upgrade tools in blacksmith, trade with your neighbors. It’s your destiny to create the most powerful town in this amazing world!

Conquer the world by fire & sword or with power of diplomacy. What would you choose – to help your neighbors to deal with the Vikings for iron ore or to rob them to get more? To pay the Normans tribute or to refuse, condemning your nation to war? To trade with the caravan or to loot it? Make your choice, but remember: every medal has its reverse...

Prove that your civilization is the most cultured by building the Wonder of the World! You have to put many resources in that project. But it’s worth it, isn’t it?

Whatever you choose, your path won’t be easy. Your plans can be ruined by one of many random events. But it’s no need to get upset! In the moments of crisis there come those, who are the only support of justice. Those, who are ready to lead people into the thick of battle. Heroes – braves, who are lead by you and ready to support people in need. They are ready to die for their ideas. Every one of them has unique talents that can help you in different situations.

The belief of your people is strong not only in heroes, but in the God. Choose your patron, but be careful: that choice will affect the whole game. Pray your god and he’ll give you talent of a trader. Or, maybe, the forest itself will raise against your enemies? Will he reveal the secrets of construction and craft to you? It’s your choice. Choose wise, because life of the whole nation is on you!

Remember that life is hard. Whatever you choose, remember, you path will be thorny.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or newer
    • Processor: Intel® Atom™ Z3xx, with clock frequency higher than 1.33GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: with memory size larger than 512 MB and DirectX® support
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Сompatible with DirectX® sound card (if you want to play with sounds)
    • Additional Notes: Last graphic drivers. NTFS filesystem required for the 64-bit game
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit systems are highly recommended
    • OS: Apple® Mac OS X® 10.7 or newer
    • Processor: Intel® Atom™ Z3xx, with clock frequency higher than 1.33GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: with memory size larger than 512 MB and DirectX® support
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Сompatible with DirectX® sound card (if you want to play with sounds)
    • Additional Notes: Last graphic drivers
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit systems are highly recommended
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, SteamOS
    • Processor: Intel® Atom™ Z3xx, with clock frequency higher than 1.33GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: with memory size larger than 512 MB and DirectX® support
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Сompatible with DirectX® soundcard (if you want to play with sounds)
    • Additional Notes: Last graphic drivers
    • Additional Notes: 64-bit systems are highly recommended
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (122 reviews)
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27 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
97 of 143 people (68%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 11, 2015
I like god games. I enjoy RTS games that deviate from the norm. This does both, and I really wanted to like it but I don't.

Let's get the "early access" stuff out of the way first: sometimes your game is too early in development even for early access, and this game is a prime example of that. The UI is hideous, hard to use, barely functional and sometimes busted. Actually managing anything is more of a chore because of the UI, and keeping track of things is difficult. Moving the camera around in the world is cumbersome at best. Too many things require ridiculous micromanagement where it feels like things could be much more readily automated. Placing buildings and trees is spotty, I'm not convinced that the game itself even knows what a legal placement is. Casting spells is hit or miss, as sometimes you wanna cast a spell on someone or something and end up selecting them instead.

As it is now, this build is nothing more than a prototype or proof of concept and, in my opinion, has no business being sold for money right now.

I see potential here, I do, but as of writing this I can NOT recommend this to anyone.

Gripes not about early access: resource scarcity and discovery is frustrating and annoying. The game description says it is 2D, but it feels more like it's 1-dimensional. If you think about it, even games like Black & White are fundamentally 2D, just using 3D graphics. I don't really like the idea of a god game in a side-view one-dimensional space such as this, but it is unique and some people may enjoy the change of perspective. Resource costs are just ridiculous. It takes like 15 logs and 10 stone to build a building, yeah okay cool that makes sense, but it takes 5 logs and 2 whole bolts of cloth to make a single bow. That's just silly.

The title screen music is VERY nice though. I just wish there was more music throughout the game, as it just disappears when you actually start playing.

Key provided for the purposes of this video.

*edit: pasted wrong video link
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32 of 49 people (65%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 17, 2015

Game Details

Genre: Adventure, Indie, Simulation, Strategy,Early Access
Developer: Pirozhok Studio, Timur Shakirov, Vadim Pushkarev Eugene Rezantsev, Vitaliy Ruzankin
Publisher: Pirozhok
Release Date: 3 Nov, 2015
Completionist Gameplay: 20+ Hours

Life is Hard is a very complex strategy and resource management town builder. You control a tribe, your ‘minions’ (no, not the annoying yellow things we’re all sick of), and need to fight skeletons, barbarians, swamp people, sometimes tribesmen and the inevitable starvation that we all put our townspeople through whenever we play these kinds of games. You’ll need to build housing to expand your population, pay tributes to the barbarians you’re at war with so they don’t flatten you the next day, mine for stone and ore, grow food, build portals and explore the surprisingly large world for those diminishing resources. It slightly reminds me of Kingdom, so if you liked that, you’d probably also really like Life is Hard.

You’ll also have to keep your villagers happy with a steady supply of beer, made in a tavern. Keeping inter-village relations friendly is also a great idea. Occasionally, a caravan trader will stop by and you have the option to trade with him or loot his goods (which will damage your relationship with him and his village). You can also send out your own cart to gather resources, although it will occasionally break, requiring resources you’ve gathered at home to repair. It may also get looted itself, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the expense and the risk.

The game offers multiple bonuses at the start to help customize and diversify each playthrough, adding hours of replay time. You can pick one god out of six at the beginning of your township and each god gives you extra resources, damage, or faith. Damage bonuses are particularly useful against the nightly mobs and later on in the game barbarians, faith is used to cast healing spells or special attacks for your paladin, and extra resources are very, very helpful. Believe me when I tell you, you’re going to be counting every single resource you have.

At this stage, the game is still in Early Access and still has quite a few bugs. Currently you cannot save your game at all, which is both a blessing and a curse. The steam overlay is currently a little funky, although it works perfectly fine. The tutorial pictures will sit on top of the text if you’re not playing the game full-screen with a higher resolution, although this is easily fixed by doing the aforementioned. I really love the hot keys that are available for each of the building, spell and tribe menus, as well as the menu’s themselves. While they’re mostly easy to understand, you’ll come across one or two buttons that don’t seem to have a clear purpose, but again, it’s not too big of a deal. The developers first language is not English, and while all the text is completely understandable, you’ll definitely notice.

Overall, I definitely recommend this game if you enjoy resource management and strategy games. If you’re not a fan of playing perfectly finished games I’d definitely chuck Life is Hard on your wishlist to wait until it’s out of Early Access, but so far I think it’s worth the $8. Big thumbs up!

If you'd like to read more reviews from me, join my steam group!
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18 of 24 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 21
>Bought this game when it was on sale
>Played the first time and just thought "if i could just automate the farming..."
>Two days later the devs added automated farms!

I am definitely satisfied with this game and can recommend it to people who
are searching for early acces games that are actively beeing developed.

Edit: It just keeps getting updated. :3
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 31
Still needs some work, however is a fun game.

- Easy to learn
- Satisfying management of villagers
- A few different ways to play

- Not finished
- Tutorial still brief
- Enemies sneak up on you
- Takes a few new villages to get the hang of it
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 9
Iam well aware of the hardship small dev-teams have to go through, I have no problem with small budgets on sound, art etc. in games, and I bought many good and bad Early Access Titles on steam.

This one leaves me behind, puzzled how it could get a relative good review overall, and stands more on the far bad side of games in my Library.

The idea behind Life is Hard sounds good. The Art is OK. Gameplay...gameplay is a horrible mess. Simple as that.
As a Prototype it would be ok, a Pre-Alpha...ok, but a Version 0.9 EA Title in this state of playability is a NO-GO

I played only 4 hrs and encountered more bugs I could possibly write down here. Every single time my whole save was destroyed.

UI is confusing. U have no clue what is going on most of the time, and the other times you fight against not responding UI elements, lack of tooltips, horrible stupid game mechanics, invisible sprites, disappearing UI elements or options...

This one could become a very fun game if it works one day. But has ways to go.

Updates come in very little patches which improve or change totally irrelevant things. I didnt see lots of game mechanic updates at all.

I think I go to review this game again in a year maybe. But as it is now, I leave my review as follow.

-nice idea with a sidescrolling city building/management game with diplomacy and crafting
-content on items and workshops is ok
-inventory for your minions is nice

-stupid never-ending raid mechanics right from the start
-bugs, bugs and lot of game-killing bugs. I would call this unplayable!
-enemies just spawn left and right, walking slowly to your town centre killing everything (walls dont help, fighters dont help much either)
-fights are boring, actually I dont think I have seen more boring fights somewhere else for a long time
-no feedback if something you clicked did work or not, most of the time nothing happens at all
-your avatar is the most useless unit I encountered for a while, and the slowest also.
-magic system with faith(mana) regeneration seems totally random
-many other things.
-saving takes over 5 minutes on SSD and will mostly crash to desktop after that (no joke) and the devs just wrote they cant do anything about it (also no joke)

Would not recommend this to anyone. Till this game gets some HUGE Updates, play "Craft the World" instead.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
"Life is Hard" is a great game that reminds me most oldschool RTS games. This game about city building, developing & protecting. You should collect the usefull resources and expand your ovnership.

Since this game in alpha it has some minor bugs and balance problem, but it plays awesome and I think that this game will be awesome then it will out from early access.
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20 of 35 people (57%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 8, 2015
Great game with huge opportunities. Simple and interesting pixel styled game. Choosing your deity takes an important part in the gameplay as it gives usefull bonuses. Every new day in the game comes with a variety of events. Everything big and small details make this game one of the most interesting 2D strategies It's in Early Access and has huge potential
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 26
As with most games I get, I bought this on a complete whim. High reviews, and the low price drew me in, but it was the gameplay that kept me going.

Life Is Hard is yet another survival simulator, but one of a totally different breed. You start off with four villagers, each of which are capable of gathering every resource you need, and a chosen god, which allows for various features during the game. For instance, one god allows you to gather extra faith, which allows you to heal your villagers, deal damage to enemies, and plant trees necessary for wood.

It operates much like an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game, similar to Starcraft and Age of Empires in terms of 'build trees' and various buildings that produce various resources. One building allows you to make bread, which provides food, another is an armory to build weapons and armor, etc. Due to this feature, the game is a constant balance of resources.

I'd say the main selling point of the game is that it's so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ charming. You can tell that a lot of work went into it, and the passion behind it is palpable. I've played my fair share of survival sims, but it's rare that I replay them at all. With Life Is Hard, I finally found a nice sit-down survival sim that allows for quick one-off runs while still maintaining it's charm and overall fun.

VERY high replay value, although initially, it's a lot to adjust to. In time, when you get more used to the game, different gods allow for all sorts of different builds. You could be a warring tribe, a peaceful tribe, farmers, merchants, etc. With all of this quality and attention to detail, as well as the high replay value, this is shaping up to be a beautiful little game.

At the moment, the game is marketed at $7.99. While I think this is absolutely worth the price, I might wait for the sale if you're unsure. Overall, if you enjoy survival simulators, and want to support indie developers, this is a great little game.
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17 of 30 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 27
Can't say I am very thrilled with this. I know it is Early Access, but it is in version .9 now and should have most of the bugs worked out. I KNOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. Here is a list of bugs I came across not even mentioning the horrific balancing and game mechanics:
1. Villager instantly died from illness, then when I revived him with faith, he kept insta-dying.
2. I bought "Reinforcements" from the nomads, 8 to be exact, but nothing showed up, no one came. I spent all of my wood on them for nothing.
3. I "declared war" on the Nords. I selected 6 soldiers to go, but nothing happened. No war happened at all.
4. My villagers were going to sleep for like 20 hours a day. They would wake up and I would task them, then walk about 10 steps before turning around to go back to sleep. Happened with multiple villagers.

Those are just what I would consider "bugs" so far. There is a laundry list of unintuitive gameplay controls and mechanics. It took me 2 hours of play to figure out how to get villagers to do stuff. The combat it horrific, random villagers seem to run into battle and throw themselves in the line of fire instead of staying behind the hero or well armed villagers. You can't really control villagers(especially in battle), you cant position them very easily, you have to issues them a tasks(chop wood, hunt, gather berries, "guard here", etc) to make them do anything so combat is very difficult to control. All combat involves is people standing next to each other swinging repeatedly. That is fine, but it is very difficult to get anyone to fight the right enemy, so everyone dies when they didn't need to. Nords are stupid OP. They come demanding resources from you every couple of days, if you can't pay then they attack you. Usually if you can't pay you aren't going to be able to defend against them either. I went to attack the nords and they had an infinite supply of soldiers to keep throwing at me. I killed like 10-15 of them, but they kept coming, even after I destroyed the two houses they were getting all of this population from (wtf). The skeletons come every night. These are just some of the gameplay mechanics that are awful. The balancing is up to interpretation as this is supposed to be difficult. The problem is when the difficulty is amplified by the shoddy controls and UI. Really, I haven't seen many games with this bad of a UI. Half the time I am in a menu and have no idea how to get out of it or get to a different menu. There are losts of clunky problems involving tasking the villagers and getting the right ones to do the work you want. I would be okay recommending this if the devs were able to streamline the UI and controls more and get rid of some of the bugs. I can't recommend it until then though.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 16
the only dislike of this game is that my mouse doesnt show at the part of the tutuorial where u build crops and its buggy when i skip the totuorial and i cant get out of the screen and play but it looks like a cool game and this looks like it will be a good game for the future so gl devs. and this looks good and its only early access
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Recently Posted
2.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 25
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 18
If you're thinking about buying, don't. It has way too many bugs to be enjoyable. Believe me, I tried.

Maybe it will become a decent or even a great game in 2018.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ƬechƬerrσr 乁( ◔ ౪◔)ㄏ
2.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 7
Needs a lot more work and real set goals within the game, other than that I love the idea and feel for the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 5
Cannot recommend this game, it feels overly complex for a 2d scrolled strategy of this kind. Kingdom seems to have a better complexity to gameplay ratio. I am giving a negative only because steam doesn't allow neutral.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 3
feels like an app on ios
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: September 19
I bought it just when it started and the progress is nice.
Development is going great in my pinion and the updates alway bring something new and useful.
It's already very enjoyable in my opinion, every update makes it more so :)

If you are not sure maybe wait for a sale ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: September 13
Just started but looks great!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: September 12
For now, I don't recommend to buy it. Maybe when there will be less bugs.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: September 10
Product received for free

This game is quite challenging, making you really spend your time wisely to build up your town and thrive. It will take you a long time to thrive, but it is worth it. I really like the graphics and enjoy slowly building up my town! There is a variety of gods to mix up the gameplay slightly, which helps the game differ each time you play it as well.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 26
Im a mac user and it is unplayable for me. The minions are simply hanging in mid air, not being able to do jack ♥♥♥♥. Looked good and I would love to play it, but unfortunately I can't
Helpful? Yes No Funny