We recently got our hands on Playrix Entertainment’s upcoming building sim Royal Envoy (formerly known in beta as Fortune Architect), and we liked what saw. Keep reading for our first impressions of the game, which is scheduled to launch next month.

The game begins after a terrible crisis has befallen the residents of Islandshire: their houses have been washed away in a particularly nasty downpour of rain – and the really bad news is that it’s not even the full-on rainy season yet. The king sends you as his Royal Envoy to Islandshire to help each town rebuild and prepare for the rainy season. Your guide on the journey is the fussy wig-wearing Cedric.

Islandshire is a collection of nine smallish islands each with their own distinct terrain and features, such as Rocky Island, Swamp Island, and the Island of the Forest Spirits. There are more than 60 levels to clear as you visit the various towns throughout these islands.

The gameplay is similar to building sims like Build-a-lot, where your goal is to create a thriving town by clearing away debris from the storm, building and upgrading different types of homes to collect rent, constructing work-related buildings like sawmills and refineries to produce raw materials like wood and nails that are used for construction, and training workers to carry out the tasks.

Each level has a series of tasks that must be completed in order to advance, such as building five 3-star cabins, or collecting 3,500 gold. There’s no time limit, but you earn a gold star if you can complete your tasks before a meter runs down.

Royal Envoy‘s gameplay takes on more of a time management spin than some of the other building sims we’ve played here at Gamezebo. For example, collecting rent is not an automatic process. Instead, each home produces rent by way of a money bag appearing on its roof. You must send tax collectors out to collect this rent by clicking on the money bag. In other words, you have to constantly monitor your houses and click on the rent symbols in a timely manner or else you won’t earn any income!

Even though the version of Royal Envoy that we played wasn’t final, we were still impressed by the polished production values on display. The cutscenes were amusing and voice-acted well, and the in-game graphics were detailed and really helped to bring the islands to life. At the sawmill, for example, we could watch the worker actually grab a log off the pile and feed it into the saw to produce wood, hoist the wood onto his shoulder, and walk it back to the castle. If these small touches are any indication of the final product, Royal Envoy will definitely be one to look forward to.

Royal Envoy will be launching next month. In the meantime, check out some screenshots of the game, and chat about it in our forum.