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Fabledom Review

Watching something like Bluey, tends to give me a sense of calm joy in my core. It lifts my spirits. Calms me down. It’s not necessarily soothing by design, but there is some wonderful coziness to it that, to me, is soothing. Maybe it’s my love for City Builders that plays a part in this, but Fabledom gives me that same satisfactory soothing feeling. Read on for our Fabledom review.

This is the last time I leave the castle without my guards, she thought as the jester proposed for the third time this week.

Building your happily ever after

Because yes, Fabledom is a city builder. Or as the developers put it; “Once upon a Village… Set in a wholesome fairytale world, Fabledom is the ideal laid back City builder. Enjoy the growth of your settlement, trade and use diplomacy to ally or challenge your neighbors, and most importantly, find yourself a prince or princess and live happily ever after!”

You start out small, with just a handful of villagers. Every few days, a pair of travelers or two comes through and wants to move in, if you have enough free housing for it. It’s a classic balancing of expanding your village while maintaining stockpiles of the resources people need to live and the village needs to function. The game gives you simple objectives with small resource rewards to get you started which also serves as a nice tutorial.

“I told you I was going to leave you if you served me pumpkin again, Stuart!”

Micromanagement

Your villagers will require a homestead to move into your village. Each one houses 3 villagers with one being assigned as the head of the home and having that as their job. The other two can be assigned to the various buildings you have in your village. Whenever I play I always seem to have a shortage of workers, so there are always buildings not working at full capacity. This leads to some fun micromanagement without feeling like too much.

After a while your small hamlet has grown and you unlock the messenger post. This lets you get in touch with the other nations in the procedurally generated world your prince, princess or highness is ruling in. Because Fabledom is set in a random fairy tale world. You’re the ruler, looking for love, while building out your settlement. You send messengers to those other kingdoms to build relations and do diplomacy with their rulers.

Agnes always loved the western wall. The smell of apples and the breeze from the sea was soothing. Sometimes it even masked the smell from the outhouses

All about balance

Back in the town, you need to balance the worker placement, their needs and the kingdom’s needs in order to prosper. And to speed things along, you can change the game speed. There are 3 settings and there is paused, meaning you can expedite things like waiting for your resources to go up, or pausing to give breathing room when placing new buildings.

Some random events will pop up, to add more decision making to the mix, further increasing the fun, like some villagers asking you to fund their party with food or coins. Meaning you part ways with some valuable resources in exchange for village happiness or regal renown. 

Precise Presentation

As for its presentation, the game sounds wonderful. The score is soothing and the sound effects are good and used in moderation. Visually, it looks good with a stylized look and very cute design, animation and artstyle. It’s not a graphical powerhouse by any means, but it does what it sets out to do very well. For the most part, the UI works really well too, with just a few text elements having limited readability on bright backgrounds.

“See Pete, you said ‘When pigs can fly’! This means we’re having that dog I wanted!”

Not YET cloudy

It is worth noting that the game is in early access and the small development team is working hard on building out new features and content for the game. In fact, while making this review, they released a new content patch adding, among other things, troops into the game. While my time with this patch has been limited, it is a great start, showing great promise to add more fun features to the game. 

My now small town with over 120 inhabitants has been outgrowing the food production, my laborers are struggling to keep up with all my growth and I’ve just managed to quell an increasing unemployment situation after unlocking my second class of citizens, the commoners. They can perform some of the work the peasants can, while some is exclusive to the respective class, but also have different needs and requirements. 

It’s not a case of upgrading a small homestead as in games like Anno or Steamworld Build however. Commoners live in Condominiums, meaning you need to build them their own quarters! I really enjoyed this change from other city builders and already want to start over so I can plan my city more efficiently! That is a good sign!

Albin wasn’t sure he should trust a talking tree, but he was lost and couldn’t find his way back to the city.

At the time of writing, there is no cloud save support meaning playing the game on cloud gaming services or on multiple PCs means a lot of starting over, but it is in the roadmap. As for availability on Cloud services, Fabledom currently is only available on PC. This means Shadow is your only cloud option for now.

Conclusion

As this is an early access title, the current score and pros and cons are subject to change over time. At the time of making this review, here are my final thoughts on Fabledom:

Fabledom manages to do not much groundbreaking to the genre while still feeling fresh, fun and above all else, cozy! I just love escaping away into my own fairy tale village and seeing it expand around me. The lack of cloud support and cloud save is annoying but the latter is on their roadmap. Publisher Dear Villagers and developer Grenaa Games has had a good run with the early access release so far, amassing over 1400 reviews on steam already with a “Very Positive” rating. And I understand why! That was it for our Fabledom review.

Pros:

  • Cozy
  • Accessible for newcomers
  • Cute
  • A great balance between fun, chill and challenging
  • Forgiving

Cons:

  • Not done yet
  • No Cloud save or Cloud gaming service support yet
  • Some UI elements hard to read on bright backgrounds

Score: 9.5

*Score based on early access content with the assumption it will get more content to this quality over time

Fabledom isn’t available through cloud gaming yet, although we expect it to become available at some point. We hope you found our Fabledom review informative. The review was made by DadPlaysGames. You can check out his YouTube channel by going here.