Upcoming city management sim Airborne Kingdom has a stat you’re not likely to find in many other games of the genre: lift. Your growing town is, as the name would suggest, airborne, and you’ll have to keep it that way unless you want to crash unceremoniously into the desert.
Watching the tiny towers and houses pop up in the announcement trailer (below), I can practically feel my free time slipping away in the way only games like this can achieve.
This is the latest work from Ben Wander, who previously made video-team-recommended A Case of Distrust. This time, though, he’s banded together with three friends to create, well, the Wandering Band studio.
In an interview with Polygon, Wander talked about reconnecting with the other developers: Chee Fong, Fred Gareau, and Zach Mumbach. All four previously worked at Visceral, the Dead Space studio that shuttered in 2017. “If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be working with this group of people again, I would have probably signed that contract in blood with the devil, in order to make this happen. These are some of the best people that I know that make video games,” he said.
Wander also explained some of the inspirations behind the game’s story. As long as you manage to keep your city flying and gathering enough resources for the people and buildings within, you’ll unfold an 80 Days or Sunless Skies style of location-based, anecdotal worldbuilding. Exploring the randomly generated desert map from above will also mean meeting new people, setting up trade routes, bartering and researching, and picking up migrants to join your travelling town.