The Wandering Village, released for PC today, is a very individual building game.
A landscape that is completely devastated and which no longer allows life. On the back of Onbu, a Hayao Miyazaki-like prehistoric creature, groups of nomads try to survive the poisonous environmental influences as best as they can. The creature’s back, thankfully, happens to offer the survivors a large space to settle. At the same time, it is necessary to constantly adapt the village to the conditions of the environment, which arise as the creature advances, in order to protect and nurture the growing number of survivors. Although The Wandering Village release for PC is still in Early Access, it already offers a remarkably mature gameplay experience. It is currently available on Steam for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux.
Onbu keeps the population, and thus the player, on their toes as it guides the village on its back through various biomes that influence the agriculture and fertility of the land. In cold mountainous regions, plant growth is reduced. Deserts, in turn, reduce water production. Toxic air influences cause Onbu’s soil and thus plant life to die. The gameplay is reminiscent of games like Timberborn or Don’t Starve, where players must adapt to the changing environment in order to survive. However, this adaptation does not happen in The Wandering Village much more irregularly and depends on the environment Onbu is in at the time. Via an overworld map, it is possible for the player to give orders to the giant creature, which opens up an additional strategic layer for the player, similar to XCOM 2 or Wildermyth.
In The Wandering Village, a Good Relationship With Your Creature is Crucial
So it’s also about establishing a good relationship with Onbu. With the help of a hornblower on the creature’s back, a villager can try to steer Onbu in the right direction so that the more favorable biome is approached and thus the environmental conditions are better. The more you take care of the creature, the more you also increase its confidence in you as a settler. So you also have to give the giant creature food, which you shoot into its mouth via a catapult. You’ll also have to provide suitable sleeping quarters for him (and for you!) in order to survive.
In the end, it’s mostly a balancing act between Onbu and village management.
Research achievements make this easier and more favorable. For example, an Onbu doctor can be researched, which can help the creature stop its own poison intake, or toxic land can be managed with the help of a researched decontamination plant.
A great addition would have been, if the game would add more aspects in the area of city management. For example by adding more ways to deal with biome changes specifically or by adding more detail to city buildings via path type or automation options.
Now in Early Access, The Wandering Village Release for PC captivates with a
promising gameplay experience and immediately delivers a fresh and also very original approach in the field of the building games.
Are you also a fan of building games? What do you think of The Wandering Village? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.