The Early Access version already upsets me
No combat, tricky trade routes, overwhelming UI, or the need to browse a wiki preview – peaceful city builder Dorfromantik is just a relaxing game “to unwind during turbulent times”.
There's so much beauty in its simplicity, and while it's not finished yet, I can already see the appeal of jumping in with the Early Access version that launched today on Steam and GOG. The game's low price - $8,49 if you show up before April 1 for a launch window discount - certainly helps, too.
The key is that you'll build landscapes one tile at a time, lining up each piece as you see fit to create a cozy tabletop world. I like that the 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 may have associated "quests" that encourage you to design the terrain a certain way (e.g. a deer that might want to be near a "forest with at least 50 trees"). It helps to take your time turning and placing the tiles to find an ideal home for them. Quests award new tiles, and if your stack runs out, that's it.
Based on a final “mid-late 2022” release, the four-person team at Toukana Interactive states that “the core mechanics of Dorfromantik are complete for us and we would now like to develop them with more complexity and variety. Alongside a fashion creation, we're considering more biomes, more unlockable tiles (some with special behavior), more options for collecting points, and more supported languages. "
In other words, you can expect more content in Early Access, but nothing that unties the mood.