Fabledom is an upcoming city-building game, set to release on April 13th, 2023 for Steam’s Early Access, but we got an early hands-on look.
The game takes place in a world where kings send their kids by themselves to colonize their own land, your main goal is to establish your kingdom and find a partner to marry.
The game’s art is quite charming, I like the character designs with their almost claymation look, I think the prince and princess look really endearing, and their animations are pretty funny.
Fabledom is intuitive to play and constantly feeds the player with achievable short-term goals, most things that are asked of you are within your reach already.
The early game just consists of building housing, chopping wood, and acquiring basic necessities for your citizens, like a water pump connected to their houses. Your villagers start out as peasants, but you eventually get commoners and people of higher status depending on the living arrangements you build.
And for now, that’s about it on Fabledom, the Early Access build we were given has about three and half hours of gameplay if you include idling. Eventually you will move to the stone age, where it’s possible build condominiums and stone walls, and not much else after that.
Most of the interesting features are scheduled for a later part of early access, like fishing, fighting with your hero and actually establishing a castle, so I can’t really recommend Fabledom in its current state.
Fabledom markets itself as a chill and relaxing game, but the game the game doesn’t necessarily move at a fun pace, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one of the more effective strategies would be to just leave the game idling for resources. There’s a fine line between a casual game, and something that has such a glacial pacing that you find yourself tapping your feet hoping that something happens.
The game’s current pacing is most likely to make up for the lack of current content, which makes the experience feel slow and boring.
For a city manager, Fabledom lacks what makes these games interesting, like the intricate evolution from material to material and aspects of both macro and micro managing. There just isn’t much to do as you wait for things to happen, your villagers often take the longest possible route to do things and don’t have the best AI, so you just sit there watching someone move towards their objective, then give up halfway through.
Issues eventually arise with your villagers getting sick, or the possibility of being cursed by a witch, but it only slows you down a little bit considering how easy it is to repopulate your village.
Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing or the game just failed to resonate with me, but I feel like even a predatory Pay2Win city-builder game like Goodgame Empire would be more enjoyable to play.
Fabledom could perhaps be a more interesting title in the future, it isn’t conceptually a bad idea, it just simply lacks content and has too slow of a pace to be fun. The game is still in its infancy, so we can only hope that these problems will be corrected in the future.
Fabledom is set to release April 13th, 2023, for Microsoft Windows through Steam’s Early Access.