I’ve written about a couple of incredible little building simulations (Tiny Glade and Gourdlets) that don’t have combat or objectives, and instead are just perfect for relaxing and getting creative with your building skills. So, I thought I’d change it up a bit and present The Wandering Village!
The Wandering Village is the third simulation game from indie developers Stray Fawn Studio. The world has mysterious plants spreading across it that emit toxic spores, merciless weather patterns, bloodsucking parasites, and many more challenges to face. The game goes a step beyond being a simple base builder where you create a village. Instead, a small group of survivors have taken refuge on the back of Onbu, a giant wandering creature. Become the leader of the survivors, build up a flourishing settlement for your people, and will you live in symbiosis with Onbu, or will you make choices for the well-being of your people only? It’s up to you
It’s your job, along with the other survivors, to build a functioning village. Onbu is large, but there is still limited space. You’ll need to plan the village well to include homes, farmland, and much more. Be sure to plan your production chains and optimize them to make use of every little bit of space as efficiently as possible. The Wandering Village even features different biomes that you’ll have to adapt your village to, also. Don’t worry though, you’ll be able to pull out some old-world knowledge to conduct research. Unearth technologies that can help your village flourish, but be careful. Progress can be a double-edged sword, and potentially harm Onbu.
The Wandering Village is available now in Early Access on Steam. It is verified Steam Deck compatible, too. There are also plans to release the game for Xbox, though there is no specific date for that yet. The game should make its way to Xbox Game Preview sometime this year.
Farm, Colonize, Build Relationships, Explore a Mysterious Planet
The publisher Freedom Games (Cat Cafe Manager), as part of IGN Summer of Gaming 2022, showcased their upcoming indie games. One of them included a sci-fi farming simulation game called One Lonely Outpost. In a barren alien world you’ll be in charge of building a colony and decide on growing crops and raising livestock naturally or synthetically (hybrid plants, spliced genes).
To bring colonists over, you’ll have to terraform your desert with a trusty robotic pet. That includes, fertilizing the ground, securing water sources, and making the air breathable. Depending on what you do, new people will come to your outpost like mechanics, environmental engineers, and more. You’ll even get to befriend them or romance them!
Play with up to 3 online friends on the same or separate farms in the same community. Each player can even form their own relationships within the same colony!
Dwarrows, developed by Canadian indie studio Lithic Entertainment Inc., is a peaceful 3rd-person adventure and town-building game. Gather, build, puzzle, explore, and quest in a beautifully handcrafted world!
Since I spoke of Dwarrows last, the developers note that there have been many major improvements and updates which include new pets and pet abilities (yes you can befriend them), new character quests, new dungeons, and more!
Hokko Life, created by sole developer Robert Tatnell, is one of my most anticipated indie games! Not only is Hokko Life a cute villager-life simulation game like Animal Crossing, it also brings a few new unique features to the table. Pun intended! The customization for Hokko Life goes quite in-depth with the capability to choose your character’s skin tone, to shaping and sizing your own furniture!
The game is still in early development, and since my interview with the creator and my other updates, we wanted to summarize everything we know so far! Although there is no release date or confirmed platforms other than PC/Mac as of now, let’s take a look at some older and newer screenshots which show quite an amazing progress!
Furniture and House Customization
All items you create for either inside your home, or that of a villagers’, as well as outside, you will be able to scale the size, move, and rotate! The UI has gone through many improvements including pre-set shapes that are now nice and organized under menus. Under these categories you’ll also find materials such as wood and metals to decorate with. So far you can use that painting tool to make T-Shirts, wallpaper, and flooring! The developer intends to add a option to cake decorating eventually.
Animal Character Personalities and Interaction
There’s a train station in town and at various times during the day characters will hop off the train. After you’ve met a visitor a few times, helped them out with tasks, and become friends with them, you’ll open up the option to ask them to move to town! When interacting with those villagers, there will be tons of new variety in the player and character conversations. Greetings will change depending on time of day and the weather. You can also wave at the villagers which puts them in a happy mood! Villagers will have visible reactions now; laughing, crying, getting angry, which can be triggered in dialogue.
Shopping and Accessorizing
The interior of the shops have their entire inventory laid out and on display. You can walk up to each item and interact with them before buying. The contents of the shops change every day, so you can look forward to checking what’s new as often as possible. Shopkeepers will have set hours and will otherwise have the store locked. The fashion store specifically recently got a make-over, both internal and external.
When creating your character, you can change hair color, eye color, skin color, and more! For now we get to see the most recently-added blue mohawks, buns, and buzzcuts! You can buy clothing at the above-mentioned fashion store such as hats, pants, tops, even headphones. Clothing is non-gender-specific, so you’re free to wear whatever you want too.
Activities: Farming, Fishing, Chopping Trees
The world is set up as different areas, each with their own activities and feel. There’s a dedicated town center for all your shopping needs, a lovely beach for night time strolls, some pleasant riverside walks, etc. Other core activities include farming with crops such as cabbages and radishes! Moreover, since a weather mechanic was added, rain can now water these crops. There are also the mines and forests areas that are randomly generated each day, full of lovely resources! Stuff your backpack full of these resources so you can later craft some items with them. I’m particularly excited with the adorable 3D fishing mini-game. It reminds me of Mario Party where you can scoop up some fish. There are even treasure chests added in the water that you can pick up too!
You can follow along what Robert’s working on next with his Devlog right here on his website! Of course, I’ll also be watching out for his monthly updates and will keep you posted on this adorable town-builder.
I’ve been following Robert Tatnell, the developer behind Hokko Life, as I love staying up-to-date with the progress of this adorable town-building simulation game inspired by Animal Crossing. The developer just recently published his Devlog: August 2019 post that includes work done to the avatars, environment, and daily activities. If you missed July’s update on crops and greetings, you can check out our article here.
More Hair Styles!
A few colorful and short hairstyles for your character have been added to your customization options, with more styles yet to come! For now we get to see blue mohawks, buns, and buzzcuts! There even appears to be some custom sliding scales for skin, eye, and hair color!
You can now have more control over placing flowers and plants by picking them up and placing them anywhere! Furthermore, you can use flowers as a resource by using your sickle and receiving petals for crafting. The other option is to use your shovel to uproot them completely so as not to damage the flowers. This will make decorating a lot simpler and more fun!
This adorable 3D mini-game is such as unique way to go fishing that it’s quite refreshing to see! It reminds me of Mario Party where you can scoop up some fish. There are even treasure chests added in the water that you can pick up too!
Catadel, developed by Bad Optics Games, is a cute town-building game in early development with cats, for cats, by cats. Wait. In-game, not in real-life. Manage your cat citizens’ wants, needs, and quirky personalities as you help them build a settlement in the wilderness. For more information about the basics of the game, check out my previous article here. Catadel is still set to release sometime in 2020 for PC and Mac, and giving us regular updates such as the new traits and moods feature!
The developers are almost done working on 35 personality traits for your kitty characters that will affect a variety of things from mood and interaction, to preferences in sleeping location. Here are some examples:
Optimistic cats have a permanent mood boost.
Sleepy cats will get sleepy more often.
Tree cats don’t like sleeping on the first floor of houses.
You’ll be able to select your own traits in the cat customizer for personalized cats.
Cat moods affect whether they will listen to you or not. You’ll now see their mood on their info bar. Moods are affected through buffs and debuffs, so you can look at a cat’s buff bar to see what’s causing their mood changes. Cats will work faster when in a good mood and will work slower (and even become uncontrollable!) when in lower moods.
Another newly implement contributor to cat moods is their level of dirtiness! Cats will get dirty as they perform work. There’s now an action for each cat to groom itself clean. But beware of hairballs! How adorably cat-aware is this!
The Crown is a Fantasy Kingdom Builder where you play from the perspective of your Monarch (3rd-person view). Build and manage your Kingdom in unique ways while fighting off invaders. The game is currently in early development (about 7 months) by Brimstone Games with a free demo on PC coming soon in 2019. The company focuses on creating non-realistic system-driven games with a strong emphasis on cozy and charming art styles.
I don’t know much about this game so far, but what I do know, is hilarious. You’ll immediately notice in the video below that this builder is more hands-on than usual. What I mean by that is all buildings require you to throw materials at them. There’s actually quite a lot of throwing involved period; throw your trees, throw your buildings, throw your peasants, throw your wife and kids…Joking about that last part. It is also worth mentioning that the developers pointed that “you can arrest a horse”.
It’s that time again; Robert Tatnell, the sole developer behind Hokko Life, has posted his Devlog for the month of July, 2019. Meaning, we have more information on how the progress of the game is going and what are some newly added features. For the last Devlog go here, to learn more about this adorable village life-sim go to our interview here. Besides changes to the UI, cleaner designs tools and menus, and online features, you’ll see below some exciting new details have been added that we find will make our experience of playing Hokko Life just that much better!
Now that Robert has started to implement a farming system into the game, we get a look at some new crops that have been added; cabbages and radishes! Since a weather mechanic was added last update, rain can now water these crops. May we also add that those new headphone accessories on the characters are looking mighty fine.
We agree that in any game where you have to pick up several items one by one, especially after tedious tasks like cutting down trees or mining for ores, it can be quite tiresome to stand still and press an action button every time. Therefore, when Robert mentions that he added an “auto-pickup” feature, it’s a bigger deal than it sounds. Now “players automatically collect anything they walk over, if they have backpack space.”
Finally, we specifically wanted to show just how adorable the new characters vs. characters and player vs. characters greetings are. When automatic messages pop up along with a little waving gesture, it just makes the game feel more alive and fun. Especially when those greetings will change depending on time of day and the weather. Furthermore, if you don’t like these characters, just give them the boot from their homes! We’re not saying we’d ever do that.
If you want t help support Robert and Hokko Life, you can go to his Patreon page here.