The Wandering Village Review
In a world where mysterious plants are spreading all over the earth, emitting toxic spores as they grow, a small group of survivors seeks shelter on the back of a giant, wandering creature they call ‘Onbu’. Become their leader, build their settlement and form a symbiotic relationship with Onbu to survive together in this hostile, yet beautiful post-apocalyptic world.
The Wandering Village is a cool city-building game with a Stardew Valley type spin on it. The game is very relaxing, comfy and just a fun time. A functioning village is the basis of your survival. Build your settlement and expand it over Onbu’s back. Plan production chains and optimize them to utilize the limited space as efficiently as possible. Create a society that can overcome any challenge. Living on the back of another organism comes with its own set of challenges. Will you live in symbiosis, bond with Onbu and survive on mutual trust? Or will you become a parasite, only aiming to ensure a better life for your villagers? Continuously adapt your village as you travel through a multitude of different biomes, each with its unique climate zones, opportunities and threats. Scout your environments and send out foraging missions to gather rare resources and ancient artifacts. As you progress you rediscover technology and enhancements to better the lives of your tribe and to better your relationship with Onbu.
The basic gameplay is similar to that of an Age of Empires or Sim City experience, you have a need, you must satisfy that need, continue to flourish and grow. The art style is super cool, very animated and has a neat aesthetic to it that you don’t see very often. Almost like the characters are cartoons laid over a normal background which creates a neat effect. It’s the same busywork we’ve seen in other city management sims, but it’s completely different vibe-wise. The buildings have a painterly look to them and are all super detailed, like how the doctor’s hut has medicinal herbs hanging outside and how the kitchen bungalow has a spout with smoke coming out the top. Each building is a different shape and size, making them easy to identify, but they all also aesthetically match as a cohesive whole. The music perfectly matches the visuals. Traditional instruments with heavy percussion underline the game’s entire OST, and moments of intensity are accented by a powerful chorus of voices. There’s also an impossibly deep didgeridoo that shakes your very core when played. Everything is so rich and colorful, and, compared with other city builders, that’s honestly one of the best differences. The whole premise is unique, we can’t live on the planet anymore, so we have to make do on the back of this giant dinosaur kind of thing.
If you are a fan of city builders this is definitely different and unique and should have your attention for sure as something just a little different from the status quo. The controls are nice even on console which can sometimes be a challenge for these types of games, but the Wandering Village does it nicely so there isn’t much of a learning curve to worry about.