If you like city building or management games, this early access game from Mechanistry is for you. Timberborn has been in early access for one year now. Early access games typically have little content within the first year. But this game is an exception.
The water management aspect of the game is impressive. With constant droughts plaguing your beaver colony, you will have to act fast not to kill your beavers. The droughts will become longer the further you get into the game, so building dams and maintaining a large water reservoir will be vital to success.
This game is like Banished on steroids. You will need tons of wood to build and run your colony, and the food aspect makes this a fun farm management game. Hydro farming gives you a reason to get in the water and save precious land for more trees.
Power management has also taken on a life of its own. Gravity batteries make wind and water power more powerful. You can harness wind and water at night to refill the batteries. Water wheels only work in the wet season. Droughts put a real damper on things. Even with all the caveats that need to be met, this game is still relaxing. You will find yourself playing for many hours at a time. The soundtrack is just as good as the gameplay.
The mechanics have changed tremendously since the introduction of golems earlier this summer. They are artificial beavers. Think cyborgs. They were renamed to Bots in Update 3. You can now have a 24-hour colony if you play your cards right. This makes the new gravity batteries essential in running the colony while your power wheels are down at night. Timberborn has a very steampunk feel to it. So the addition of bots works perfectly in the game.
Keeping those bots working is a chore all on its own. The bots need fuel, and they also need to be replaced once they get worn out. However, they last longer than beavers. It’s definitely worth the headache. I like to make a district that houses only bots for producing the bots, food, and other parts needed elsewhere. I then ship those out to the beaver districts for use. It’s an excellent end-game goal to attempt.
Since Update 3 was released, the storage system has become simple yet complicated. In previous updates, you could plop down a warehouse, and everything would get sent to the storage if it wasn’t needed. Since update 3, every storage building can only hold one item; you must set which item is stored in the building. So you will need many more storage buildings than before.
This is an improvement; the old way created bottlenecks in production. When a harvest came in, and your warehouse was full of planks, your beavers could starve to death. Larger warehouses, wood piles, and tanks have also been introduced, making late-game play more enjoyable.
There are two factions to choose from when playing Timberborn. You can opt for the laid-back “folktails” or the industrious “iron teeth.” Each faction has its strengths and weakness as well as unique buildings. The game plays very differently between the two factions.
The Folktails were the first faction in the game. I play with these OG’s almost exclusively. I find it easier to use them as they will fill every housing slot you have. So you can easily control your population simply by controlling the number of housing slots you have.
They have many buildings unique to their faction, including lodges, beehives, irrigation towers, windmills, an observatory, a refinery, a shower, a scarecrow, and several more.
The Folktails are a laid-back bunch and great for learning the game’s mechanics early on.
The Iron Teeth were introduced later in game development and work slightly differently. They don’t have time to reproduce; you must use breeding pods. This is somewhat more challenging than with Folktails, but it can make managing your population easier once you get the hang of it. These guys are all about production and efficiency. Iron Teeth are a favorite for more seasoned players.
They have several unique buildings of their own. The deep water pump, breeding pods, barracks, rowhouses, number cruncher, charging station, larger metal platforms, double shower, and more.
Development has been moving very fast in 2022. And the game will be out of early access very soon. The price of games typically goes up after they hit 1.0 status, so I would act quickly if this game is up your alley. TLDR: It’s the best $25 investment you can make if you’re looking for a relaxing time killer. Timberborn can be found on Steam and the Epic game stores.
Timberborn has an easy-to-use map editor. You can also add custom maps the community makes if you are on a PC. TimberbornMaps is an excellent website for finding new maps. Installation is straightforward. Find and download the map you want to try. Drop it into your maps folder in My Documents/Timberborn/Maps.
Note: Map files will end in “.timber,” so if your download is in a zip file, make sure to unzip it first.
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