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Fableulous: Folk Tale's Silly Sandbox City Building

I am legitimately surprised we didn't spotlight Folk Tale sooner. It looks like a marvelously ambitious fantasy city-builder - featuring fully explorable building/dungeon interiors and an adventure-focused RPG component - with some admirably silly humor to boot. That's right up our alley, but I checked every stylishly steamy manhole cover and dumpster full of unfinished game diaries I could find, and all I discovered was an offhand namedrop in a Greenlight update. Weird. Now, however, it is time to right that most grievous of wrongs with eight minutes of sensually revealing gameplay footage. Developer Games Foundry even installed a polite narrator man to explain it all to you. Build a bridge past the break to see the whole thing - but only if you consider it a fiscally responsible architectural decision.

I know, I know: the art style looks a little too World-of-Warcraft-y in some places. But otherwise, there's some serious promise here. So first, here are the basics:

"Folk Tale is a sandbox fantasy city builder strategy game in which you lead a ragtag band of peasants in growing a small settlement into a thriving market town, while the dastardly Slavemaster Urzal and his minions plot your downfall. Sound the rallying call and head out into the wilds with parties of heroes and fight back the tide of evil in a game of endless possibilities."

"Rule with tyranny and oppression, or liberalism and justice. Play as a merciless expansionist hell-bent on destruction, or as a gold-hoarding mercantilist who'll sell their own grandmother. With random events and dynamic story, in Folk Tale you never know how the story will unfold."

According to Games Foundry, the initial version will be entirely dynamic, with a story-based campaign to be added at a later date. But even without what would seem to be a cornerstone, there's a lot to be excited about here. The adventure component and ability to join the action on the ground level - whether it's in combat or some form of omniscient Peeping Tom voyeurism inside someone's home - look quite tantalizing, and the humor strikes me as very Fable (definitely not the best game ever, but pretty funny).

Games Foundry is also promising deep, exceedingly open-ended city building choices, but - as SimCity recently demonstrated - play is the only real proving ground for such a lofty goal. Fortunately, Folk Tale's headed to Steam Early Access on May 31st, so we won't have to wait too terribly long to see if its foundations can hold up such a heaving structure.

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