Outlanders, the charming settlement-building strategy game is out now on PC. If you’re a fan of city-building games then you probably love the orderly utopia of managing your own virtual city. And these days games like SimCity and Cities: Skylines have expanded so much into the management of almost a full city-state. But if you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, where you can really connect with your townspeople then Outlanders is for you!
Outlanders are individuals. Simple folk with hopes, dreams, and desires. It’s your job to help them achieve these dreams by providing them with the tools and resources necessary for them to thrive. In this small-scale management simulation, you step into the role of town leader and are in charge of looking after your townspeople. Don’t be fooled by the simple visual style; these scenarios grow in complexity as you unlock more structures and jobs.
Outlanders while smaller and more simplistic than its larger cousin games is still wonderfully challenging. You’ll follow the story of a cast of lovable, eccentric, and (mostly) well-intentioned town leaders, as they pursue their dreams and whims, while their paths slowly start to intertwine in surprising, often humorous, sometimes heart-warming ways.
Outlanders is out now on PC – Steam for $14.99 as well as on Apple Arcade.
Outlanders – Gameplay Mechanics
In Outlanders, you play as a village leader with their own hopes and dreams. It’s your job to balance their will and your resources to lead the town to prosperity. Every choice you make directly affects your town’s progress and impacts your followers’ happiness.
Each mission begins with a few villagers, some adults and children, a stockpile of resources and a few key buildings. Then, you give a task to each villager to gather resources or go to work building. You cannot control each villager directly. Instead, you place buildings, manage resources and declare the number of work spots in each building, then watch the Outlanders themselves decide who takes which job, which house they inhabit, and which building to build.
You can nudge them in the right direction by prioritizing certain tasks, or by passing Decrees, which bend the rules of the game to allow things like longer work hours and tighter resource consumption. But beware… these often come at the expense of your follower’s happiness, so use them wisely.
Coexisting with your followers and nature is a delicate balance that can leave you without any wood or with your population starving to death. So be careful!
Your key to gathering resources will be to build buildings. Building structures takes time, and each building can have up to four workers. The number of villagers you have is limited so make sure to prioritise food first. That is until they have children, but you’ll have to wait for them to grow up before they can work. The villagers will do their tasks diligently until the resource they’re gathering or producing runs out.
Resource buildings have a limited range in which the workers can collect resources. Furthermore, you can’t move buildings, so once the resources run out, you must build another building in an area with resources. But your overall space and resources like mushrooms and trees are limited.
If all else fails, you can issue decrees to your followers. Decrees that let you direct the behaviour of your villagers. Like rationing food or the “hands-off” decree to ensure no babies are born. However, using decrees is risky as they impact the villagers’ happiness, and if happiness levels plunge too far, they will revolt.
These decrees go a long way to fix problems you may have, but they have unique impacts on happiness, productivity, and other areas.
Each campaign includes a primary objective that needs to be completed for success as well as an optional mission; these side goals add an extra wrinkle of challenge, like accomplishing the main mission without exceeding a certain number of followers, keeping your followers housed and happy throughout, or harvesting enough resources to repair other structures following a storm.
Outlanders – Sandbox Mode
Playing Outlanders by looking after your townspeople is rewarding but if you’re not in the mood can be tiresome. That’s when Sandbox mode comes into play.
In Sandbox mode, you play with the full catalogue of buildings and mechanics right off the bat and customize the maps and rules as you, please. Create themed towns, make up your own goals, or challenge yourself. You can create the experience of your choice, the only limit here is your imagination.
Welcome to the Outlands! A faraway place where work is hard but rewarding, where people dream big but stay grounded, where friends become family, and settlements become cities.
For more city-building games like this one, check out our upcoming list here!