Game: The wandering village
Gender: Simulation, Strategy, Early Access
System: Steam, Windows, macOS and Linux (also available on Xbox Series S/X)
Developers | Publishers: wandering fawn studio
Controller support: Nope
Price: $24.99 | UK £ TBC | EU € to be confirmed
Release date: September 14, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Stray Fawn Studio.
The wandering village is the third simulation with a survival game and rogue-like elements made by Stray Fawn Studio. They also developed Niche – a genetic survival game that Yvonne saw again on the Nintendo Switch.
It used to be a Kickstarter campaign with 6,491 backers pledging €155,964 to help bring the game to life. I also played the demo of the game when it was released at Next Steam Fest and I loved what i saw and was looking forward to seeing the game again. So here we are. Let’s find out what the game is all about.
The wandering village has a unique twist compared to other city builders of its kind. You are responsible for taking care of a group of people, the Nyomans. They stumble upon a giant beast, Onbu, thought to be extinct, and settle on the wandering giant’s back.
The game is about the survival of your people and the beast they have chosen to settle on and help. They flee from the mysterious plants that spread all over the earth emitting poisonous spores.
To survive, you must create a village on the back of the giant, wandering creature and form a symbiotic relationship to stay together in this post-apocalyptic world. But, of course, living on the back of a living, breathing beast has its challenges. The challenges are to help maintain the creature’s health, build trust, and keep everyone alive.
It’s standard early game survival sim gameplay with a decent tutorial to get you started. There is also an elders notebook to read if you run into a stumbling block. First, you create a village by building tents, farms, and gathering posts. Then build a research building and work your way through the tech tree, opening up new facilities to grow your community.
Find resources on Onbu’s back
Trees grow out of the creature’s back, and there are rocks and other resources to collect to build structures. You will also be looking for buildings to place near Onbu’s head that will allow you to communicate with the creature. Additionally, you’ll make decisions such as which path Onbu will take on the map, as well as taking care of Onbu by feeding him.
You will also need to survive a variety of different biomes and events that occur. It’s not an easy task to keep everyone alive. A few times I thought I was fine; my village was growing well as Onbu stomped along. We had picked up a few nomads along the way, which increased the population of my village.
Then, Onbu was tainted with the Poisonous Poisonous Spores as they began to grow on his back. You can’t miss the poisonous spores as they appear blue on the creature’s back. You can send your villagers to remove the poisonous spores, but be careful; they will also be poisoned and eventually die if you haven’t built the village doctor building. Lesson learned!
Even in this Early Access version, I love the challenge of the game. I especially like Onbu itself, and the concept of building a community on the giant’s back is unusual. Also, as you travel through different biomes, the temperatures change and add more of a challenge to keeping everyone alive.
The unique art style with a mix of hand-drawn and hand-animated 3D and 2D graphics blew me away when I saw the game on my laptop. For example, Onbu’s back changes color as he moves across the map, and the villagers look like paper characters and are well animated.
Music and sound effects
My advice is to wear headphones when playing, as if you don’t you might miss the fantastic music. I picked up sounds of children singing and some throat singing, if I’m not mistaken. The music is relaxing and I will buy the soundtrack as soon as it is available.
The other benefit of wearing headphones is that you can listen to the noises Onbu makes as it moves; they are well made and bring the giant beast to life. The sound effects of the game are also good and add to the gameplay.
Conclusion – A Nice Nice
I liked to play The wandering village. I love what the developers have done with the game. And I think I might be in love with Onbu, because I spent a lot of time watching it crawl. The game will be one to watch as it comes out of early access and see what else has been added to the game. I would like to be able to click on individual workers and send them to do specific jobs. As is the case now, they choose their job to work; Sure, you can highlight and speed up building structures or gathering resources, but that would give the player more freedom to direct them to individual tasks.
As it stands, if survival sims are your favorite game, I’d recommend giving it a try. The Wandering Village. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see my new pet, Onbu.
Final verdict: I like it a lot