Author Topic: Dorfromantik (Switch) Review  (Read 3331 times)

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Offline NWR_Neal

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Dorfromantik (Switch) Review
« on: September 30, 2022, 09:43:00 AM »

It’s basically Carcassonne, but a single-player puzzle toy.

The positive energy emitted from any discussion I overheard about Dorfromantik when it came out on PC made me interested in the game’s likely Switch release. Well, now it’s here and those good vibes ring true as Dorfromantik is a delight on the system and well worth your time as long as you go into expecting an experiential toy more than a truly deep experience (though there is still much depth).

An easy comparison is the tabletop game Carcassonne, but Dorfromantik takes that more multiplayer competitive premise and hones in on the solitaire aspect. You place hexagonal tiles down, connecting them together to form a countryside. You earn more points and sometimes more tiles by completing different challenges, some that are ever-present and others that crop up as you play certain tiles. For example, you might have a challenge to build a forest made of 50 trees, and once you bunch 50 trees together in a forest, you get five more tiles added to your total. Play continues as you complete more forests, towns, rivers, rails, and more until you run out of tiles.

A variety of modes provide minor tweaks to the experience. A typical Classic Mode play can take upwards of 30-60 minutes (depending on how many tiles you accrue). If you want a short session, there is a quickplay mode where you have a limited amount of tiles to use. A hard mode also exists to provide less opportunity for earning tiles and a monthly mode where you can improve your score based on a consistent assortment of tiles. On top of all of this, you can set up your own custom play mode or an endless sandbox to just make the prettiest country you want to.

Quests that focus on both singular games and your total play provide more goals to strive for, typically unlocking new tiles or new biomes. The biomes provide a different aesthetic for the tiles, ranging from wintry tones to radiant bright lights. None of these are game changing, but it’s pleasant to have more visual variety as you get lost in trying to get the longest rail possible or strive to complete other goals to add more tiles to your hand.

The only real drawback to the Switch version is the controls. They’re workable, letting you use buttons to rotate tiles, zoom in and out, and pan around the board, but they’re not as fluid as the PC mouse controls. The touchscreen support is also awkward and ill-explained. I’m 90% sure you can’t play fully on the touchscreen since you need to press a button to place a tile, but I’m not totally sure because the game does not fully explain. The controls also aren’t customizable, which would help mitigate some issues.

Despite the control issues, I’ve been enchanted by Dorfromantik because it’s a zen-like relaxing game that keeps me engaged with bountiful variety and just-enough strategy. If you’re seeking a level-based puzzle challenge or a boisterous multiplayer experience, Dorfromantik won’t be for you, but if you’re down for some low-key tile tinkering, this is a gem.

Neal Ronaghan
Director, NWR

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