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via Dear Villagers

Fabledom Review: A City-Builder for the Fairytale Enthusiast in All of Us

Fabledom invites you to slow down, relax, and build your own happily ever after — one charming village at a time. If you’re looking for a city-builder that’s as enchanting as it is accessible, Fabledom is the perfect choice.
Disney-esque fairytale theme creates a whimsical and engaging atmosphere
Straightforward gameplay and a helpful tutorial
Stress-free environment allows you to enjoy the game at their own pace
Relaxed pace may not appeal to players looking for more immediate challenges or faster gameplay
While charming, the music can become repetitive over extended play sessions.
Some lines of narration may feel underbaked or slightly off in tone
Platform Reviewed: PC

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A PS5 code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Fabledom is available now for PC.

I’ve always found city-building games daunting. The meticulous planning, the endless resource management, and the constant pressure to keep a virtual populace happy are tasks I usually avoid. So, imagine my surprise when I found myself deeply engrossed in Fabledom, a charming city-builder that made me rethink my aversion to the genre.

At first glance, Fabledom seemed like another colorful management game, something I’d typically steer clear of. So then why was I willing to give it a try? Well, for one, the game’s Disney-esque fairytale theme immediately caught my attention. As soon as I started playing, the game’s storybook introduction drew me in. The whimsical narration set the scene perfectly, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of Saturday morning cartoon nostalgia. The immediate charm of this game is undeniable, and it felt like stepping into a living storybook.

The gameplay mechanics of Fabledom are refreshingly straightforward. You start with a handful of villagers and basic resources, and a helpful tutorial guides you through the initial steps (which is vital for players like me). Unlike many city-builders, where I often feel overwhelmed by complex systems and endless menus, Fabledom keeps things simple and intuitive.

You build basic structures like homes and farms, manage resources such as wood and wheat, and ensure your citizens are well-fed and content. The game progresses at a relaxed pace, and there’s no pressure to meet tight deadlines or face catastrophic consequences if things don’t go perfectly. This stress-free environment makes Fabledom incredibly accessible, even for someone like me who lacks patience for intricate (or even non-intricate) management games.

Magic in the Mundane

Fabledom farm overview
via Dear Villagers/Doyoyo Games

What sets Fabledom apart from other city-builders is its incorporation of magical elements and fairytale tropes. From flying pigs and magic beans to encounters with witches and giants, the game is brimming with whimsical surprises that keep the experience fresh and engaging. That’s not to say these elements don’t exist in other games, but the way Fabledom seamlessly weaves them into the gameplay is truly exceptional.

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Romance also plays a role in Fabledom. As your kingdom expands, you can interact with neighboring rulers, build relationships, and even pursue romance. These relationships aren’t just for show — they have tangible effects on your kingdom’s health, growth, and economy. The romance mechanics add a layer of depth to the game that I didn’t expect (and also don’t typically like) but ended up thoroughly enjoying.

Heroes and adventures further enrich the gameplay. You can recruit heroes to explore the map, deal with mythical beings, and undertake quests that yield valuable rewards or, sometimes, bring curses. These elements infuse Fabledom with a sense of wonder and adventure, making every play session feel like a new chapter in a fairytale.

Eye Candy and Earworms

Fabledom citizens talking on street
via Dear Villagers/Doyoyo Games

Fabledom excels in the visual department with its vibrant, colorful graphics and lively animations. The aesthetic is charming and perfectly suits the fairytale theme. Watching my little villagers — referred to as Fablings — go about their daily tasks was a delight, and the seasonal changes added an extra layer of immersion. Winter, for instance, blankets the map in snow, increasing the need for resources to keep homes warm and citizens happy.

The game’s soundtrack complements its visual charm with harmonious, soothing music that enhances the relaxing atmosphere and draws you in even more. That said, while the music is enjoyable, it can become repetitive after a while. The narration, though fitting the storybook vibe, occasionally feels a bit off in tone, with some lines feeling a bit underbaked. However, these minor issues don’t detract from the overall enchanting experience.

Easy-Peasy Kingdom-Building

Fabledom menu screen
via Dear Villagers/Doyoyo Games

As alluded to, one of the standout features of Fabledom is its user-friendly interface and clear objective system. The game gently guides you through its various mechanics, making it easy to understand and follow. As someone who typically finds city-builders overwhelming, I appreciated how Fabledom kept me focused on my progression without bombarding me with too many tasks at once.

The tutorial is particularly well-designed too, providing valuable guidance and rewarding you with coins for completing tasks. These coins are then used for constructing buildings and progressing through the game. The absence of high-stakes challenges and time limits means you can play at your own pace, enjoying the journey without the stress of potential failure.

Happily Ever After

Fabledom witches flying on brooms over snow-covered kingdom
via Dear Villagers/Doyoyo Games

Despite its slow progression, Fabledom offers plenty of replayability. The game’s fairytale setting and magical elements create an immersive experience that keeps you coming back for more. Whether you’re exploring new regions, interacting with mythical creatures, or building relationships with neighboring rulers, there’s always something new to discover.

For those who prefer a more relaxed approach, Fabledom offers a creative mode where you can build without constraints. This sandbox experience allows you to experiment with different layouts and structures, showcasing the game’s potential without the usual limitations.

I approached Fabledom with skepticism, but it quickly won me over with its charm and accessibility. The game’s enchanting fairytale setting, combined with its user-friendly mechanics and stress-free gameplay, makes it a standout title in the city-builder genre. It’s a game that even someone with little patience for meticulous planning can enjoy and appreciate.

Fabledom might not revolutionize the genre, but it offers a delightful and engaging experience that’s hard to resist. Its unique blend of fairytale magic, romance, and adventure sets it apart, making it a must-play for fans of city-builders and newcomers alike.

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