I feel very sorry for the students who made Dorfromantik for the first time. So far, they have made something that will be difficult to achieve, but this is why I only feel a little shame about them. They have made something that will be difficult to achieve, and they have brought happiness to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I think that feeling is not true.
Dorfromantik is a hex-based tile game about transforming landscapes. Eventually, you lose sight of certain areas of a certain type of landscape, and these quests, once completed, give you more tiles. Defeat? Not really, because you''ve been making a landscape all this time, constantly worrying about the consequences, and once you''re out, the landscape is finished.
When you play with Midwinter, Dorfromantik appears on Switch, which explains why I''m doing what I''m doing at the moment. I''m attempting to unlock the Midwinter biome, which allows me to read about Christmas and to the bookshelves where John Masefield is immortal. Christmas in the countryside! Dorfromantik is the most Masefield game of all time when you''re playing with Midwinter. You hover above the landscape, without the woods and fields, and little cop
On the Switch, Dorfromantik is really a pleasure to look into the screen, held in your hands, and see those winter forests and frost. However, every time you enter the cursor, you''re freed of the mouse''s maneuvering, and the tiles you''re placing nestle in each slot with a speculative touch. This makes the whole thing more magical, because when trains appear with little smoke on the tracks of this physical board game, it all feels possessed by exceptional wintry spellcraft.
I''ve really been thinking about it as I''ve been playing on Switch, though, is something that applies to all forms of Dorfromantik. I''ve been wondering why I felt early on that this game was special. It''s not just the setting or the joy of seeing a forest grow across the country, but also the fact that this is a tactical game, which I am hoping to develop. It''s also a pleasure to watch a game that I''ve ever seen, and that I''ve always loved
I''ve discussed this with a slew of puzzle, tactics, and strategy game designers over the years. Take a 4X - okay, strategy rather than tactics, but the point is. Not all of those Xes are equally exciting. Not all of these are wildly successful. I''m not sure about Exploit and Exterminate. And yet I''m not sure how they relate to them.
As the game expands, Dorfromantik transitions from the first tile to the next, but these are all important considerations. I think these are because they''re a blend of aesthetic and tactical choices in the first place. As the field expands, that balance may shift, but the rest of it, - aesthetic and tactical - remains constant. At this point, I keep the forest going as I like, and I wind my trains tracks. But twenty minutes later, I''m still trying to keep the flow of tiles going
I''d stoked this morning and finish this game badly - three different quests had created a hole on a single missing tile space, and that tile would require train tracks, forest, and a river in order to accommodate it. This is what Dorfromantik''s really getting at perhaps, and I began to think: it''s a warning to not ask too much of the landscape. Enjoy it, but don''t overbusy yourself and the ground you live upon. Explore, but don''t Explo