Islanders Looks Like The Cutest Lil' City-Building Game

City-building games are always so big, and heavy. Islanders is coming at the genre from the other side, pitching itself as a light, quick and breezy way to build some nice buildings then get on with your life.

The approach is eerily similar to what Bad North did to the RTS, in that it breaks a longer experience up into bite-sized ones spread across a number of cute lil’ islands (or in this case infinite ones, since each map is procedurally-generated).

The official pitch from the small three-man development team is:

ISLANDERS is a minimalist strategy game about building cities on colorful islands. Explore an infinite number of ever-changing new lands, expand your settlements from sprawling villages to vast cities and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.

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It’s the last part especially that’s got my interest, as the chill atmosphere looks like a lovely old way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Islanders is due out on April 5 on Steam.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

From the clip I’m trying to understand what the “game” element is. It doesn’t look like there are any supply chains, transit or growth mechanics. No mechanics to encourage districts, like bonuses and penalties putting certain buildings next to other buildings. The trailer looks more like the kind of “creative mode” you might add to a more traditional city builder.

Is it simply “here is a set of pieces, try to fit them all in place”? That would be more of a puzzle game in the form of a city builder. Not a complaint, puzzle games are great, I’m just trying to figure out what I’m looking at.

The chill vibe and minimalist look are really intriguing.