REVIEW: ‘Dorfromantik’ Is a Peaceful City Builder (PC)

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Dorfromantik - But Why Tho

When most people hear the phrase “city-builder”, they often think of complexity and difficulty. Toukana Interactive decided to take the opposite approach with Dorfromantik, and the results are very exciting. Originally released on Steam in Early Access in 2021, the full game launches on April 28th

The core gameplay of Dorfromantik is pretty straightforward. Each game starts with a stack of procedurally generated tiles that are placed on a Settlers of Catan-esque map in order to develop the created world. The game is simple, once all of those tiles have run out the score is tallied up and the game ends. Thankfully, many of the tiles present new challenges that help unlock new types of tiles to increase your playtime and the variety of landscapes in your created world. My first game started with only a few colors and tile types, but as I kept playing the game became increasingly more visually pleasing and my world really came to life.

While the gameplay of Dorfromantik provides some really neat experiences, my favorite part of the game is the mechanics it does not include. There is no need to worry about resource management, and there is no population to keep satisfied. While the score can help satiate those who are obsessed with climbing up leaderboards, I did not find myself paying attention to it at any point. Being able to build a constantly expanding world without stressing about its management of it was incredibly refreshing and truly was a calming experience. It reminded me of my time with Townscaper, although that focuses more on building placement and not a fully expanding world.

Dorfromantik - But Why Tho (1)

Another really great thing about Dorfromantik is that it works on the Steam Deck. While it is marked as “playable” instead of “verified”, the only issue listed is that sometimes the wrong mouse, keyboard, or non-Steam-Deck controller icons are shown. I didn’t actually notice any instances of the wrong icons showing up, which was definitely good to see. The game ran quite well on the Steam Deck and I actually spent the majority of time relaxing in bed building to my heart’s content. The controller support isn’t quite at 100% yet, but the controls are simple enough that even mediocre controller support did little to dampen my experience.

My time with Dorfromantik was really fun, but there is definitely still room for the game to grow. I am most excited to see what the community is able to create in the game’s Custom Mode, where players can implement their own custom rules to make the game more challenging. I do appreciate that there is still the option to be challenged more even though the game at its core is a relaxing one. There is also a creative mode for folks that don’t want to have to worry about tiles running out, which was the most enjoyable experience by far for me. There are monthly challenges coming in the future as well, which should make for a fun time once those go live.

Overall, Dorfromantik lives up to its billing as an incredibly relaxing game. It’s the perfect game to play while on a train or just lounging around the house. It takes seconds to pick up, and can easily provide seemingly limitless hours of gameplay. If you are in the market for a chill, calming game, you can’t go wrong with Dorfromantik.

Dorfromantik releases on Steam on April 28th.


Dorfromantik
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Overall, Dorfromantik lives up to its billing as an incredibly relaxing game. It’s the perfect game to play while on a train or just lounging around the house. It takes seconds to pick up, and can easily provide seemingly limitless hours of gameplay. If you are in the market for a chill, calming game, you can’t go wrong with Dorfromantik.