Genre: Citybuilder / Colony Simulator / Online PVP
Gamemode: Singleplayer / Multiplayer / Coop
This beautiful city-builder has an open world with random generated maps and plenty of different resources around. Depending on the location you are choosing you can have a warm, temperate or cold climate and a fertile or rather barren land, a higher or lower risk of infections in your population. You can claim land with money, food or influence points. Sometimes a section will have some crates with extra materials for you and sometimes you might gain villagers by a few natives that will join you. To build new buildings you can draw every 150 seconds a selection of cards to choose from. If you bought one you don't use you can sell it back and if you drop a building and remove it the card gets back to you. You may dice once again for free if you are unhappy with the selection. You can of course go on rolling the dice, but it will start cost more and more gold coins. Those get earned by your houses and trading. On the other hand workers buildings will need upkeep by spending gold, but will produce the wares your people need to upgrade their houses.
Similar to the game Anno you are growing your colony by delivering all needed items to your people. To be able to do so you need to play the game for a while till you figure out which resources are essential and which end products you need to provide your people with. And then you can choose next time more wisely the place to settle down. You might want to place your village center in the middle of all resources you want to reach later on, because the builders only move 100 tiles. There are plenty of products you can produce, such as chocolate, wine, different clothes, books, pottery, firewood, milk, meat, beer, bread, furniture and candles, just to name some of them. As your population grows you'll need more of everything. This game does not have any fighting with your competitors, except you decide to fight or join a PVP multiplayer. So you got the possibility, but don't really need to fight. I did not see any protection walls or defense towers, but the game is still in early access and I don't know what they will still add. If you conquer any village it will get your vassal, but the land of the village center won't be added to yours, which is a bit weird, but maybe this gets changed in the future.
To the left of your screen show all your collected resources and if you hover above them they will also show their yearly consumption. In the beginning you might be able to earn some money by selling half of your food, but later on when your town grows you need to make sure that your people aren't starving, freezing, getting ill or homeless. This is going to keep you quite busy. While raising your empire you need to research technologies by science points you'll gain from school, library and houses. The more points you collect, the faster goes this development. The game is easy to play but still very complex and the micromanagement isn't overwhelming. You most of the time need houses and storage nearby your workshops and if you want your houses to level up you'll need some nice surrounding and service buildings to provide knowledge, food and fun to them. You'll get children in your town, but you can also do advertisement to have more people coming to you, just make sure to have enough houses build before.
I personally enjoyed that the developers left the churches away, added instead theaters and banks, libraries and taverns to keep your people happy. The game reminds a lot on the old really nice city-builders like Caesar, Banished and Anno. The graphics are beautiful, you can zoom in to watch your people closely and you can see the whole map, because there is no fog of war. Most of the music is very nice and if it doesn't play you'll hear some sounds from animals. You can play very relaxed for hours and hours. While you expand your town you'll get extra cards granted that help your workplaces and town hall earning more or producing more. In the beginning of the game you may choose how many other players or NPC towns should be on the map with you and how hard it should be. The only critic I would have is that the builders sometimes just take too long, they build a house till it is at 90%, then they leave and don't come back forever even if you click on the star, which prioritizes the building. Other than that this is for me one of the greatest city builders out there although it is not even finished yet. Might be also helpful to mention that the game runs smooth on Linux too.
We recommend: If you like city builders, buy it!