Rome wasn’t built in a day, but your village will be. In Dorfromantik, players will be given several tiles to complete a village landscape and score points. Players who get good enough at the game will be able to rank on the worldwide leaderboard. However, getting to the highest point on the leaderboard isn’t the reason to play Dorfromantik.
In this peaceful puzzle game, players will place one hexagon tile at a time to build a more significant scene. This straightforward gameplay is easy enough to follow, and players of all ages can enjoy what it has to offer. That being said, some of the more challenging puzzles will test players’ patience and their ability to spot the details of each pairing.
Players will score points in Dorfromantik by completing different challenges and making sure that they match up with the various points of interest on each tile. For instance, pairing the rivers with other rivers and homes with other homes. While it may be a little simplistic, players will likely find that this game has a magnetic pull to it in a way that only a simple game can.
Not only is Dorfromantik a peaceful game, but it’s also something that a player could play a couple of rounds of before turning in for the night. The music helps set the tone, too, without being too strong. Like the game, it’s simple and relaxing, which only supports the game’s easy-going feel.
For players who are used to strategy games like this, Dorfromantik will be a walk in the park. Rotating tiles and ensuring they match up is easy enough, but there are added challenges. Some tiles will form quests where the player has to meet those objectives by lining up a specific edge of the tiles. Players who can properly surround a hexagon with suitable tiles will earn the Perfect score and more points.
While the game itself might seem overly simple to some, the imagination fills in the blanks. As the player evolves their village and the surrounding area, it’s easy to tell yourself little stories about the game. The large town you just built is home to many people, the one house surrounded by fields is where the farmers live, and the train tracks that go nowhere are there too.
The point is that Dorfromantik does more for players than it seems on the surface. More often than not, the player’s creativity and planning lend to good gameplay moments. The ability to play with the game outside of any restrictive modes is excellent too. Creativity mode lets players create the most expansive village that they can think of.
The other game modes like Classic, Hard, and Quick, provide different ways to play the game for scores. Players who excel at the early game in Dorfromantik may find the Quick mode easier, while players who excel at the game may want to try the Hard mode to test their skills. There’s even a monthly mode that allows players to try and get the top score each month.
Players start with simple tiles like the rivers, train tracks, and fields. Then, as the player plays more and more of the game, they’ll unlock specialty tiles like trains, windmills, and boats. This progression mechanic is relaxed enough that it doesn’t feel like a chore to get to the next objective. Instead, players will casually unlock new tiles that will pair up well or add a new feature to your standard hexagons.
For instance, once a player lays down enough water tiles, they’ll get a boat, train tracks for trains, etc. These add a visual flair to your village and make it more dynamic. While they add nothing new to the mechanics itself, it’s cute seeing your little trains and boats making their way down the paths you created.
When you consider that four game development students made this game in Berlin, the achievement that is this game comes to light. Players will be able to feel the love the developers had for this game with each new tile placed. Games as relaxing and intriguing as Dorfromantik often comes from developers who deeply care about their games.
That doesn’t mean that Dorfromantik is without its faults, though. There are moments in more challenging positions where the game feels like you’re playing chess.
Players who seek perfection out of their little village won’t be happy with the number of tiles that won’t fit in neatly anywhere. For instance, train tracks often need to be connected to other tracks in a meaningful way; otherwise, you’ll have a bunch of segments.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a perfect tile placement, but be ready for those who don’t naturally fit in. While a small thing, losing quests because you have nowhere else to put a tile will happen, and players need to be able to handle that without getting overly annoyed. If you’re a strict perfectionist, this game may get on your last nerve.
Players who come into Dorfromantik expecting games like Civilization and other civilization builders will also be disappointed. The only thing the player can manage is placing tiles and matching them with others. Then, when you finish with one puzzle, you start again and build a new village landscape. That alone can be frustrating to players who work on longer projects.
The game plays the same throughout, with almost no way to differentiate between one puzzle and the next. The positive thing about this is that players can quickly move from one game to the next without worrying too much about their previous village. Players who enjoy more comprehensive city builders will find this a bit boring and straightforward.
The Final Word
Dorfromantik is a peaceful puzzle game that doesn’t ask a lot from its players. Those who enjoy simple puzzles will likely find a lot of fun matching up the different hexagons. Spending time just trying to put your village together is rewarding when you see the final product. However, this puzzle game isn’t for perfectionists or those looking for more complicated city builders.
Our Dorfromantik review was written based on the PC version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!