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Plop down cities in Gourdlets' free demo, a Townscaper-like with cute visitors

Build it and they will come

Oi, you. Are you looking for a good time? A cosy time? I've got *opens trenchcoat* Townscaper, a no-stress little building toy. You'll see colours for days, mate. Buildings popping up in all manners of shapes and sizes, no objectives or nuffin'. Ahh, you want the new stuff, eh? Well lucky you, I just got some Gourdlets in.

Gourdlets is another city-building sandbox with no purpose beyond placing stuff you think looks nice, only this time little blob dudes will come visit and interact with what you've built. The first taste is free, by which I mean there's an Itch demo you can tinker with while we wait for the Steam version.

There's admittedly very little to it, especially at the moment. You choose between a handful of terrain types and a few buildings, then sprinkle in an assortment of trees, lamp posts and flowerbeds. The trailer above shows gourdlets singing and farming, but I can't get mine to do anything except potter about.

While this lacks the slick, surprising element of your buildings flowing into each other to form new formations like they do in Townscaper, seeing your gourdlets pootle around your creations might make up for that. Like in the trailer, where it seems you can pop a pool down and a li'l fella will come fish. Place a campfire and someone will rock up to toast marshmallows. Yeah. More of that sort of thing.

That's exactly what creator Aunty Games is working on, saying they plan to add "more interesting character interactions", as well as more objects, seasons, weather, additional music and "the ability to name gourdlets".

For my part, I've already broken the game by trying to trap my gourds within a fiery hellscape.

Top down view of a pretty though malformed towned bathed in the searing light of two dozen campfires

You can treat your own gourdlets much more nicely in the free Itch demo, or wishlist the upcoming full version on Steam.

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Matt Cox

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