‘Airborne Kingdom’ screenshots courtesy of The Wandering Band

Even by the expectations of the metropolis-builder, Airborne Kingdom is a recreation more about vibes than obstacle. That might be a weak spot but honestly, I’ve started out to feel that is the game’s biggest power. It really is absolutely a person of the explanations I have identified myself taking part in it a lot. When I have found myself wanting to perform a online video activity, but typically just want to fuss with a thing pretty devoid of a whole lot of force, I have taken to the relaxing, placid skies with my traveling town.

Airborne Kingdom has a whole lot of the gameplay pieces of a survival-oriented match like Frostpunk or an financial puzzle box like the Anno series. You control a big flying city that’s far more “kinetic sculpture” than regular steampunk, and you soar earlier mentioned a huge mosaic landscape hunting for towns and villages in the wake of some prolonged-ago calamity. In all places you go, you locate cities who will need you to aid rebuild some essential infrastructure of identify a missing neighborhood, but these quests are in no way really tough. You sail your town via the clouds viewing the sails and propellers convert beneath whilst your tiny lower-poly citizens stroll to work and back dwelling.

Most of the basic resources are scattered down below on the floor, and at evening you will see flocks of tiny hold gliders swarming like fireflies all over thickets of berries and coal deposits, returning with additional supplies as your metropolis churns onward. Your town runs on coal but beyond that, most what you may make is secondary merchandise: clay gets adobe bricks, quartz gets to be glass, cotton turns into canvas. You can expect to have significantly far more than you need to have for setting up parks and shrines (oddly ample, giant towers topped with gramophone speakers), so you can barter with the locals as properly. There is certainly generally the chance that you’ll operate out of crucial supplies, but they are so abundant on the floor that this is not likely. The video game does a great job of making me truly feel like I am major a great expedition into the not known, but it truly is generous sufficient that it really is not essentially harmful.

That seems type of uninteresting when I produce it down. I normally like the friction of a much more demanding building match: Frostpunk is only a little more difficult, but scarcity and unpredictability make it just tricky adequate that I’ve experienced to enjoy each individual state of affairs at minimum two times to determine out the suitable approach. That’s not Airborne Kingdom. But it’s a video game that, at something small of the fastest pace, is wise enough to develop downtime exactly where you have nothing to do but check out the world float by and stare at the participate in of light across your design-like metropolis. Wandering Band, the game’s developer, have developed a attractive, sparse soundtrack that properly complements the visible type and turns the total knowledge into an unusually meditative just one. I am not positive I might be capable to have that marriage with the video game if it had been a lot more intrigued in forcing trade-offs or putting me in predicaments exactly where I am surviving by the skin of my tooth. 

Finally, as with nearly anything, I am going to have adequate and move on to other, possibly extra intense, video games. But I are not able to deny that Airborne Kingdom has been a excellent not-fairly-idle-activity to rapidly slip into a calmer, a lot less frantic headspace.