Dorfromantik – Review of a peaceful building puzzle

I probably don’t have to explain it to German-speaking readers, but I was wondering what the strange, in a way-sounding name Dorfromantik means. After all, the game behind it is not a love novel in love, but in its essence a building strategy! But all you have to do is have one session and you will immediately realize that this is really about building a kind of romanticized village.

Dorfromantik is not a game that would be easy to classify into a specific genre. You build in it and solve a kind of puzzle, but it is simply not accurate to describe it as a building strategy or logic game. It is a unique experience used to induce a state of mind using such a simple mechanism as dominoes or Carcassonne.

All you do in the game is place one hex piece after another on a gradually expanding landscape while trying to connect the same elements to each other. You pull the pieces along one of the columns numbering tens to hundreds of similar pieces, you turn them and with a satisfying feeling you click into an ecosystem full of life.

You are the god who determines where a large forest will grow, where a large river will flow into a large lake, where the first village will be founded, which in ten minutes will become a city, how large it will be surrounded by grain fields with mills and whether the whole this idyll is crossed or surrounded by railways with a peacefully breathing machine.

It’s just you, a pile of colored hexagons and a white canvas with a single meadow, which you gradually expand with each turn, until you finally see a beautiful, colorful painting resembling a view from the plane of the landscape during the final landing maneuver.

There is a goal, there is a way to it, but none of it is a clear challenge, you cannot fail here. Yes, some pieces give you tasks like “300 trees need to be assigned to this forest” or “this village has to grow to 50 houses”, which easily leads you to some effort, gaining points and additional pieces, if you manage one piece perfectly surrounded, ie when the same element adjoins all its sides – houses to houses, forests to forests, meadows to meadows.

But you will try to do so naturally, despite the reward promising to prolong the construction of the map (a pile of hexes will happen once and then the creation of the landscape is over forever). Maybe not everyone is as meticulous as me, but I can’t imagine that someone would play Dorfromantik in a completely opposite way, that is, in an effort not to expand uniform areas. Just the thought of such a map makes me goosebumps! But don’t get me wrong. He lonely house in the middle of the forest has its unmistakable charm. It just can’t be exaggerated.

As a result, you will not place pieces due to points or inventory expansion. The biggest reward is the resulting canvas in front of you, with whom you create a relationship. While playing Dorfromantik, I was really happy with every single village I built, every railway I managed to stretch properly, every river that curled beautifully between the cereal fields, and every forest where the villagers can go mushroom picking and to enjoy nature.

The game is not so graphically specific, but I imagined it when playing. This is not to say that the graphics are missing something, quite the contrary. The individual sides of the pieces fit together perfectly, the same elements attached to each other naturally connect and, thanks to machines, boats, mills and other moving elements, the whole map really lives on. The game changes the color palette here and there, creating a slightly different atmosphere, which is only supported by a very casual underdrawing soundtrack.

Don’t expect anything as sophisticated from Dorfromantik as the campaign. You have several modes here: Classic, hardcore with tighter tasks and monthly challenges. There is also a fast-paced game with fewer pieces, a creative sandbox, where nothing limits you at all, and your own game, where you set the rules yourself.

In the end, I liked the classic fashion the most, which allowed me to just express my creative desire accompanied by non-violent and welcome restrictions and rewards. In this mode, you can even pursue predefined successes (play so many and so many pieces, create such a big city…), after which you will be permanently enriched with a new type of hex pack. You can also find other newcomers on the game board – all you have to do is approach them gradually, but within one session.


Dorfromantik is a famous indie act. He doesn’t know much, but he actually offers a lot. With a very minimum of functions, it works wonders, delights the eyes and ears, is a great way to unwind, switch off completely, think nothing and immerse yourself in a hypnotic addition of pieces for a quarter of an hour, with which time passes like with little.

It’s definitely not a game for everyone. Someone may miss the campaign, any conflict, it will not suit him to go through closed and round games. But that’s exactly what it’s about, and that’s great about these hard times. These are one-time joys. Transient sessions guaranteeing a long-term feeling of relaxation. Every time something different grows in front of you and it always draws a smile on your face. The word “failure” simply does not belong here. It does not sound in the game or about the game.

Source: Games by

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