Wandering Village already had a great pitch: it’s a city-builder where you build your village on the back of a huge, heavy rock-turtle-dragon creature. This terrain gets even stronger with today’s update, as our giant friend (Onbu) takes the village on his back (the human lice) into the ocean. According to developers Stray Fawn Studio, the ocean update is the game’s biggest yet and adds new buildings, decorations, random events and, of course, the titular ocean biome.
Village management games usually put you in a loop, where you collect resources from around the world, bring them home, build useful items with said resources, and repeat. Although you can’t stop in the water – since Onbu’s legs aren’t long enough – this loop is still unbroken. Instead, you’ll collect resources from remote islands and explorable shipwrecks, and while Onbu paddles doggy style, villagers can catch fish, gather kelp, or collect seawater, which is useful for mining salt and watering crops.
Other than that, The Wandering Village still asks you to nurture that central symbiotic and/or parasitic relationship with Onbu. Guide your oversized owner to nearby schools of fish to eat. Use that aforementioned kelp for Onbu’s medical care. Communicate with the beast to avoid dangerous tapeworms and whirlpools. Pet Onbu when he does something cute. Good Onbu, good.
The ocean is the next natural stop on The Wandering Village’s early access journey. As Rachel explains in our The Wandering Village review, “the planet is slowly being eroded by poisonous spores that are making life on the ground almost impossible”, so the obvious thing to do is drift through the water. This disastrous setup leads to some interesting decision-making, however, as you “adapt to these changing environments, often on the fly”.
The wandering village early access version is on Steam for $25 / £20, though it’s currently discounted thanks to the Steam Sim Fest. Today also marks the release of the game on Xbox consoles and Game Pass. Those glowing jellyfish in the trailer certainly convinced me, for one, to get on the ride.