I seem to find myself drifting in an endless stream of requests for reviews of city builder games lately, the genre has seemingly become so saturated that it’s becoming hard to find many of them unique and enjoyable.
Timberborn has definitely come up with a unique concept, moving away from the traditional human-based city builder and, instead, putting you in charge of the lives of a city of beavers.
Much like many modern city builders, Timberborn is set in a post-apocalyptic world, but this time, instead of humans trying to rebuild, intelligent beavers have picked up where humans left off.
One thing that does make Timberborn much more interesting is the inclusion of a second civilization, which is very different from the starting civilization.
At the time of writing there are currently two civilizations to choose from:
The Folktails are focused on nature, farming and follow the traditional beaver ways, whereas the Iron Teeth have abandoned their wooden traditions in favor of iron and technology.
You must however play as the Folktails until you reach comfort level 8. Once you have achieved level 8 the Iron Teeth will be available to play.
Thankfully, reaching comfort level 8 isn’t too difficult and can be done fairly quickly.
Timberborn’s main challenges are resource management, with food and water being the primary focus at the start of the game.
One thing that does set the game apart from others is the use of dams and other structures to control the flow of rivers in the game.
As there are frequent droughts, you have to be smart about how you keep your beavers alive during harsh weather, be that by stockpiling, or building well-placed dams to control the river’s flow.
As the rivers dry up, so too do any of your crops as well as your supply of water, making droughts one of the game’s most brutal challenges.
But, the drought isn’t too difficult to overcome, and once you have worked out the best way to handle them, the game becomes a breeze.
For those of you that enjoy a challenge, there currently isn’t really much to be challenged by in Timberborn yet. Perhaps this will change with updates, but at the moment, there doesn’t really feel like there is much in the way of end-game content.
Timberborn Review Summary
If you are looking for a relaxed city-building game, Timberborn is definitely worth playing, but for those looking for a challenging experience, it might be worth holding on and seeing what the game’s future updates bring.
The real star of the show here is the water physics, I’ve spent many hours in-game attempting to work out how to successfully divert the water flow to benefit my settlement, often with mixed results.
There have been many occasions where I have accidentally flooded my entire town. On one occasion I pretty much flooded the entire map, but as long as you quickly save before building dams there’s no real damage done.
It’s the trial and error of building floodgates, dams and water drains that really has me hooked on Timberborn, and while I don’t always get it right, I certainly enjoy my attempts.