I'm a sucker for oldie-worldie town builders. Banished, Anno 1401, The Settlers – I'll take them all. So Kingdoms and Castles [official site], which released this week, has got my tower watchman interested.
You build a town and then defend your citizens from Viking raids, dragon attacks, and harsh winters. Simple enough. What appeals to me, really, is the low-poly art style, and the way the tiny villagers bob up and down as they scamper around. It's also got changing seasons and a "stylised procedural cloud system" – basically, the clouds are pretty.
There's all the things you'd expect from this type of game. You send some villagers to chop wood, some to mine stone, some to build churches and town squares for festivals, and so on and so on. It's the constant precarious juggling of resources that I like about these types of games, which inevitably can only last so long until oh shit half of my village is on fire and the other half are dying from the plague.
From the looks of it, Kingdoms and Castles will sit at the simpler end of the genre, but that's reflected in it's price tag: £6.99/9,99€/$9.99 on both Steam and GOG. Early Steam reviews are very positive, which is a good start.
Fun fact: it's the first game funded through crowdfunding platform Fig to actually be released. Which could be an answer to a very niche pub quiz some day.