22 June 2024
Building a city, managing resources, and maintaining friendly relations with neighboring kingdoms might seem daunting, but it's actually quite relaxing.

The dream of living in an enchanted land, filled with fables, mystical beings, and a lush, endless forest, has always captured the imagination of many children. Fabledom allows players to experience a piece of this magical world, letting them build their own enchanted kingdom.

I stumbled upon Fabledom in my Steam search feed unexpectedly. Although the City Builder genre isn’t my usual choice, this game stood out with its unique graphic style and overall charm. It creates an enchanted world where humans can live harmoniously with fairies, cyclops, knights, and princesses. From the beginning, players are welcomed by a guiding voice that accompanies them throughout the adventure, referencing well-known tales and becoming a friendly narrator, commenting on choices and telling the story of the player’s created adventure.

The game’s objective is to build a city that can withstand different seasons and fend off unfriendly forces from neighboring kingdoms, all while seeking love in those kingdoms. Although it doesn’t feature a “flesh and blood” main character that you can actually see, Fabledom invites the player to enter this enchanted world with its method of creating diplomatic relationships and even allowing the choice of a preferred romantic partner. This is an unusual but quite fun mix, where the story ends up being shaped by the player’s small choices.

Building a city, managing resources, and maintaining friendly relations with neighboring kingdoms might seem daunting, but it’s actually quite relaxing. The game introduces small challenges gradually, allowing players to adapt to new buildings and residents, without ever leaving the player confused and without direction. However, some resources take time to produce or gather, so maintaining a balance between the population and resources is crucial to avoid shortages. There is no sense of pressure to build a certain building, although there are small side quests that can be a bit tricky due to resource logistics and lack of time to complete them.

Regarding the story, its direction is entirely affected by the player, by their romantic decisions or the enmities they will build with neighboring kingdoms. In this sense, I believe there is some replayability, and the player will be embraced by different lines of text, bringing a laugh or two throughout the process. These romantic relationships also impact the kingdom itself, as courting a certain character requires building something to please them. For example, to court the local Bard, you need to construct musical elements throughout the city, such as a building that will be occupied by kingdom residents, turning the town into a daily party.

Fabledom is perfect for those looking to escape routine and relax, spending hours in a peaceful experience of building their own fairy tale. I genuinely believe this is something that can appeal even to those who don’t make City Builders a regular “diet.”

[This review is based on a retail build of the game for Steam, provided by Dear Villagers]