Outlanders Review – No Settlement Required

While I loved large-scale simulation games like Cities: Skylines as an adult, I was not a SimCity player growing up. Instead, I was pulled in a direction that was more manageable than SimTown. The magnified town management, where you can micromanage every aspect of a citizen’s life without the vast scope of SimCity, has always appealed to me more. Maybe that’s why Outlanders, a simple yet challenging settlement builder, has now twice captivated me on both its platforms.

In this small-scale management simulation, you will act as the leader of an imperfect settlement in dozens of scenarios. Some require you to repair a destroyed boat so you can escape the island, while others challenge you to learn the game’s farming mechanics or build a giant statue made of cake. noodles. Don’t be fooled by the simple visual style; these scenarios get more complicated as you unlock more structures and jobs, such as a farm to grow crops, a bakery to produce bread, and a brewery to give your followers gifts is beer.

Every time a new structure is introduced, I struggle to keep up with adding another moving part to the equation, but in the end they just become another part of my growing toolbox, bringing better simulation experience. This toolkit comes in handy in Outlanders’ sandbox mode, allowing you to customize biomes, map sizes, starting stocks, natural resources, and many other variables before creating a settlement without having to worry about goals or limitations.

Outlanders is quite realistic with its simulation mechanics. Your followers act autonomously, but you, as the head of town, assign them roles and work priorities. Because of this, I have been constantly moving followers around to fit and adapt to the needs of the community. Sometimes, I really need wood, so I send four people to the task of logging. More often, however, it’s where I settle for lack of food, so feeding and farming remains my focus.S. I like to calculate which of these areas to invest workers in as fodder provides immediate feed but depletes quickly, while farming takes time to grow from seed but can regenerate. Not only do you need to coexist with nature, but you also learn to avoid depleting its resources before you have the means to replenish them. Failure in this seemingly simple quest leads to the death of your civilization almost every time.

If all else fails, you can issue an edict for your followers, such as portioning orr decree “give up hands” to make sure no baby is born. You can also do other ways to encourage population explosion or tell people to work less to increase happiness. These decrees help you overcome problems that you may face in the long run, but they have unique effects on happiness, productivity, and other areas. I would love to use these ordinances to optimize my settlements.

Each scenario includes a primary objective that needs to be completed in order to be successful as well as an optional quest; these side objectives add an extra challenge, such as completing the main quest without exceeding a certain number of followers, keeping your followers calm and happy the whole time, or Gather enough resources to repair other structures after the storm. I always try to accomplish these goals and I usually succeed, but they are nothing more than trophies on my shelf, so aside from a sense of accomplishment, I don’t mind if I miss some goals. extra.

I like that there isn’t a lot of randomness in the Outlanders. No tornado comes to ruin your best-laid plans, no drought comes to destroy your crops, and no invaders come to raid your stockpile. . This is all about planning and resource management in the scenario you are given. Every failure is my fault. This led to some outbursts of anger as I watched helplessly as my settlement’s difficult snowball spiraled out of control due to poor planning; all it takes is a few dead followers – old age or starvation – for a well-lubricated machine to collapse. In one case my 16 adult townsfolk were allotted perfectly, but when one member died of old age, I had to reallocate one of the plant gatherers to fill the void of lumberjacks. Sadly, that led to a chain reaction where not enough food was collected, and before I knew it, four followers died of starvation, and the vortex began.

Although I’ve had several settlements quickly perish thanks to the harsh starting conditions, I’ve always stuck with it, drawing lessons for my next attempt. I’ve never enjoyed trial and error, but Outlanders never felt unfair – just unforgivable. Soon, you start to spot the warning signs of these problems. I started predicting each collapse of my settlements before they happened, which allowed me to prevent many of them. This progress – not in the game mechanics but in how you think about the gameplay and domino effects of different actions in the game – is ultimately what keeps me coming back for over 20 hours on both PC and iOS .

While Outlanders has been available on iOS via Apple Arcade since 2019, the PC release has become my favorite way to play. I still sometimes have trouble picking the right settlers or structures in a crowded area, but not so much with a mouse as with a touchscreen. Also, the widescreen format matches the gameplay and art style, and the well-translated navigation keyboard controls feel more intuitive than the Apple Arcade version, which is amazing. However, when that version came out years before it was released on PC. Either way is a great way to play this snake sim, but if you have the choice and portability is not a concern, the PC version is clearly the winner.

While I sometimes have to go through unforgivable moments as I watch my followers drop like flies, I love how each situation challenges me to balance all of these factors to perfection. a series of goals. Foreigners can be challenging and frustrating, but I rarely feel overwhelmed. Outlanders doesn’t offer the large-scale big-city simulation many people associate with the genre, but its small-scale approach engages the task-oriented part of your brain, creating an incredibly immersive experience. Satisfaction makes me come back again and again.


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