Dorfromantik Review – Falling Into Place

Dorfromantik is a relaxing, tile-matching puzzle game that can be enjoyed by anyone, even if its name seems strange. To create a Zen-like atmosphere, connect hexagons to form beautiful landscapes. This is the clever strategy of a city builder.

Carcassonne board game fans should be able to quickly grasp Dorfromantik’s concept of drawing random tiles, and finding high-scoring and pleasingly designed ways to place them on a field based on their surroundings. The tiles must be placed next to the edges of their corresponding counterparts. Railroad tiles can connect with railroads and rivers can merge with other bodies. I love the challenge of finding the best ways to fit pieces together, whether they are creating sprawling forests or villages. It’s a small, but satisfying way to bring my model cities alive.

To make an otherwise unstructured experience more engaging, the classic experience provides objectives such as building towns of a certain size. These tasks don’t necessarily have to be completed, but I enjoy closing the loop on a piece of land that I spent hours building and seeing my score rise. Expanding your board will unlock new types and tiles such as water wheels, windmills, and biomes that can spice up the draw pool. The visual variety is enhanced by seeing the field change from a lush green environment to one with a patchwork or barren soil.

Dorfromantik’s variety of modes allows me to enjoy the experience according to my mood. The Creative Mode lets you build without restrictions and even allows you to discard poorly fitting tiles. Hard Mode, on the other hand, presents a more difficult challenge with more complicated pieces. Quick Mode compresses the game into shorter sessions. This is great for quick rounds on the move. Monthly Mode allows you to mix up the game with custom rules every month.

When Dorfromantik launched in early access, I spent a lot of time playing it on my PC. Although the experience is well-suited for Switch, using the controller inputs to move tiles or the camera to take pictures is less intuitive than using a mouse. Although it’s not terrible, it’s my least favorite way to play. It’s an acceptable trade-off for the benefit of tile-matching on the couch or in bed. The small screen also shows off the hand-drawn, simple, but colorful, art direction.

Dorfromantik is a well-balanced game that combines cozy and strategic elements. It’s easy to get lost in the peaceful trance of dropping tiles. The satisfaction of seeing the entire landscape is a reward for my careful, hard work feels like admiring a completed painting. Although it isn’t a puzzle game that I feel the need to play for more than a few minutes each day, it always leaves me feeling happier.