BENGALURU: In Dorfromantik, we are all gods, supplied with randomly generated hexagonal tiles. I turn these tiles around with my hand, contemplating the placement of the edge, while the calming in-game music plays in the background.
I eventually decide to place a railway track right next to a burgeoning forest. The tile snaps into place with a click. It was a terrible move; I eliminated a forest expansion which would have given me a lot of points, while simultaneously water-locking a railway track trains would go nowhere. But then, I zoom out. I look at how pretty my new world looks. Symmetrical. Pleasing. Colourful. Dorfromantik features different tile types water, farm, city, forest, or railway tracks.
In the classic game mode, the game provides us with small objectives that reap rewards. Create a river 4 tiles long? Take a reward. Placed a tile in the middle of 6 other tiles? Reward. Don’t know where to place a tile? Don’t worry, we can tell you exactly how and where you can place it. Learning how to play the game well has its benefits we unlock new “biomes”, or colour palettes of the tiles.
Eventually, Dorfromantik encourages us to play the game long enough to build worlds that look good. The game also has several different game modes including quick (that restricts the size of the map), hard mode, and a monthly mode which releases new rules every month, and allows competing with other players. Although it is tempting to play the creative mode to make a beautiful new world with the infinite tiles — I personally find the competitive modes more fun.
It’s refreshing to want a challenge like this. I never thought that I’d say I like generating points within a bounded set of choices. What has historically scared me about hexagonal tile placement games is that each decision has big consequences.
Because there are potentially 100 + six moves to choose from, and every one of them could be wrong. Dorfromantik removes the punishment and throws in pretty-looking tiles. I’m curious to under stand if Toukana Interactive realized it was a classic when they were making it but this game officially replaces Candy Crush for me. It’ll never go out of style, it’s playable offline, and I can carry it anywhere now that it’s out for the Nintendo Switch.