Sometimes ideas are so good you wonder why they haven’t been done before – and that is very much the case with Dorfromantik. It blends together its core ideas so perfectly it creates a puzzle game that’s uniquely addictive.
Your main aim in Dorfromantik is to build the biggest and most attractive piece of land with the tiles you are given, and in turn build up your high score. You start with a stake of 40 tiles, with only the top tile being known.
Tiles can have multiple terrain types (for example one may be half forest with the other half being water) but can also just have one terrain. To gain more tiles you are given set objectives – with these boiling down to connecting as many of the same terrain type as indicated on the tile map. So basically if you lay a tile and it asks you for 300 trees you’re tasked with building a forest by connecting more and more of the tree tiles together.
This provides a fun twist, especially as you get deeper into building your land – as an idea or plan you once had can be tarnished by a need to add more tiles to your stack, which forces you in turn to fill in a spot you might have been saving.
However if you want to eliminate the puzzle element and get your creative juices flowing Dorfromantik also offers a Creative mode. This lets you go wild with your creations, giving you the tools and options you need to build some truly beautiful creations.
Controls and navigation are also intuitive, with maps being easy to navigate – tiles are easily manoeuvred and it never feels clunky or awkward. Even the added options in the Creative mode are easily picked up without the need for stacks of tutorials.
Along with Creative mode, there are also Hard and Monthly modes – with these largely following the same narrative as the Classic mode, making things more difficult and throwing in customisation options.
Finding these modes could be a little easier though – it’s not made clear there are any other modes until you do a little bit of exploring.
Dorfromanik succeed in nearly all it sets out to do – delivering a fun, relaxing and addictive gameplay loop that’s perfectly suited for the Switch. If you want a game that’s easy to pick up and play in and play in between this holiday’s bigger release, Dorfromanik is just the ticket.