The Early Access version is already reeling me in
No combat, tricky trade routes, overwhelming user-interface, or need to skim a wiki rundown – the peaceful city-builder Dorfromantik is just a chill game “to unwind with during turbulent times.”
There’s so much beauty in its simplicity, and while it’s not finished yet, I can already see the appeal in jumping in with the Early Access version that launched today on Steam and GOG. The game’s low price point – $8.49 if you show up by April 1 for a launch-window discount – certainly helps too.
The gist is that you’ll build landscapes one tile at a time, lining each piece up as you see fit to create a cozy tabletop-esque world. I like that tiles are drawn from a stack in Dorfromantik – it’s a nice balance in that it gives players the freedom to create while still having some structure to push back a bit.
Titles can have associated “quests” that encourage you to design the land in a certain way (say, a deer who might want to be near “a forest with at least 50 trees”). It pays to take your time while rotating and placing tiles to find them an ideal home. Quests award fresh tiles, and if your stack runs out, that’s it.
Leaning into a “mid-late 2021” final release, the four-person team at Toukana Interactive says the “core mechanics of Dorfromantik are complete for us and we would now like to build on them with more complexity and variety. Next to a creative mode, we envision more biomes, more unlockable tiles (some with special behavior), more options to collect points, and more supported languages.”
In other words, you can expect more content in Early Access but nothing that unravels the vibe.