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Beaver city-builder Timberborn is out in early access now

Aaa-angry beavers (if you're a bad town planner?)

It feels as if the past couple of years have seen a quiet resurgence of Settlers-style town building games, and often those where you're prepping to survive a terrible winter. Timberborn looks like it would sit in that genre but with a distinct twist: all the humans are long dead, and your town is instead inhabited by beavers.

It's out in early access now.

Here's a trailer from last month, which sets thing up:

Cover image for YouTube videoTimberborn Early Access OUT NOW

Or, to steal Alice's joke from when she named it one of the best demos of the Steam fest, "Timberborn is set in a world where humans have pissed their society up the wall and beavers have evolved to take their place. So, like, 20-30 years in the future."

As beavers, almost everything you construct is made of timber and you always need to stay close to the water so you can use it as a power source. That means you'll need to sometimes terraform the landscape (with explosives) so that water can flow into new parts of your town, as well as constructing dams and floodgates.

You'll also need to make the most of the available space by building upwards, stacking lodges and workshops on top of each other. This feels like such a simple change to the normal expansion route of a town builder, and yet I don't think I've ever seen it before.

Ultimately you'll need to prepare your settlement for "recurring droughts." These are the equivalent of a deadly winter in other similar games, and you'll need to stockpile food and keep farms ticking over when the rivers run dry.

Timberborn is planned to be in early access for around a year, with updates dependent on player feedback but potentially including new beaver factions. If you want to give it a chomp now, it's currently 10% off on Steam at £17.54/€18.89.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.