Take a break from more narrative-heavy games with the gentle simplicity of Dorfromantik.
Dorfromantik is the game you play when life overwhelms.
This strategy-puzzle game comes in hexagons: rivers run, houses sprawl, and forests flourish over them as you build idyllic village landscapes. Tile placement fulfils certain missions, like where a certain run of quarries or houses must interconnect. Win a satisfying point bonus by placing a tile which matches with each adjoining tile on its six edges.
It’s not a game that hurries you. There’s no timer, and the music won’t rush you, either: it’s peaceful, at ease, yet still throbbing with energy. But there’s a limit on the amount of tiles you can place, and using them up will end your run. Only by completing quests can you earn more tiles, extending your life. Special quests will allow you to discover new settings, and as the run goes on, the seasons will change and new biomes are revealed.
If even that amounts to too much pressure, Dorfromantik offers different modes. Custom mode lets you make your own rules, but if you just want to enjoy growing the environment as you like, you can enter a flow state playing in Creative.
As explained by the developers, 'dorfromantik' in German evokes a feeling of nostalgia, of longing to be in the countryside. In this way, Dorfromantik will resonate with fans of Stardew Valley, or anyone who wants to escape the chaos of modern life, just for a moment.
Slump into the comfort of Dorfromantik, and like a warm bed on a cold day, you’ll never want to leave.
Dorfromantik is available on PC.
Dorfromantik is sunshine on the screen… It is elegance manifested. Dorfromantik is a joy.
Jini Maxwell is a curator at ACMI, a writer, and co-host of ACMI's Women & Non-binary Gamers Club. Jini was named Best Gaming Journalist at the 2020 Samsung IT Journalism Awards, for their writing about videogames and the people who make them.
Claire Osborn-Li is a games writer who lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne. She studied Art History at the University of Melbourne and explores video games through an art theoretical lens. She has been published in Memo Review, and has presented at the AAANZ conference. Claire has written for ACMI on the Gallery 5 work, HYPER//ECHO, and is a contributor to GamesHub.
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