Hidden Gem Spotlight – Odd Realm

I love Dwarf Fortress and the games that have taken inspiration from the amazing Colony Sim. There’s just something about forging my own path and the victory of survival that just draws me in immediately. The other massive draw for me is the micromanagement of my settlers. It becomes such a fun challenge. Almost puzzling, if you will. Finding a way to get maximum efficiency and happiness of each person.

With all that being said, today I’m showing off an amazing game that falls into the criteria listed above and is definitely a game not to miss out if you like the genre. Odd Realm by Unknown Origin Games is an indie colony sim that released into early access on January 10th, 2019. It’s primarily a one-man team doing all the work and man does it not only look awesome, but it also plays great too.

The first thing that drew me immediately to this was the art. A lot of people struggle to play Dwarf Fortress because of it’s ASCII graphics. I understand that I’m in that boat too (I use tilesets to help with that.) Odd Realm’s minimalist pixel art graphics are immediately grabbing. From seeing the waves in the water to the tops of the trees. This game is beautiful. Each item has it’s own look, is distinguishable, and adds to the feeling of this world you’ll be forging forward in.

Upon your start, you get to choose your race. You have five to choose from, Human, Ancient, Ardyn, Gwdir, and Tomek. At its current spot of early access, only the Humans and the Ancient are available to play. Each has it’s own style too. Humans are the all-around balanced class and they have a “resourceful” trait which allows them to find more resources. The Ancient is a bigger challenge to play. They utilize the void to spawn workers to assist them. They start with a higher rank in void based skills.

With your settlers chosen, it’s time to embark on the world! There are four biomes, Taiga, Desert, Voidlands, and Tundra.

You have varying traits for each of these from temperature, to how amicable the wildlife and your neighbors are. Regardless, prepare to struggle to live. Once you choose your biome to embark upon, you’re able to choose a settler loadout. You can go with a couple presets for everyone, customize it or go solo in hermit mode (my personal favorite.)

Once you start in your new home you can see the gorgeous landscape. Scrolling from the tops of the trees all the way down to the rock under the oceans. You have a large area to work with and create your settlement. If you choose Taiga, like in the gif above, you will see trees, grasses, maybe even some berry bushes or mushrooms too!

You spawn in with a limited amount of supplies so shelter is your first main objective. If you spawn with multiple settlers this is easily handled by sorting their jobs. Having some focus on cutting trees and the others building, allows for quick work. What’s really cool about Odd Realm is the buildings take into account that you are on a 3D world. You will need to make multiple levels and even add a roof on top of these levels. 

Settler Management

Building a house

As you build your settlement there’s a lot of things to watch for. Food, Water, health. You can equip them with better tools, weapons, and armor too. As time progresses you’ll have traders come by, people that want to join your settlements, and hostile people or animals come through. You’ll also find tameable animals to have on your farms. Farms become super important, especially with winter coming, you’ll need reserves. You can still fish and hunt when the frost comes, although it’s not nearly as plentiful. Farms are an absolute staple for your settlement.

Speaking of seasons, this game has such beautiful season changes. Even the available food changes. It’s always fun to see the next season come through. Not only because it’s a sight to behold but you also get to pat yourself on the back for surviving that long.

This game is in early access and isn’t complete but there is a lot here to keep you busy. The Tundra was a recent addition to the game and starting there offers some unique challenges. The Biome is cold and farming isn’t easy. Water freezes and fishing becomes scarce. There are giant trees in the tundra that allow for treehouse builds! The dev works hard and updates come at a good pace with this. I for one hope for more lore and world-building. Nothing like Dwarf Fortress (let’s be honest that would be insane) but more to explore in this world.

This game is not one to miss, it’s one of my favorite colony sims and a consistent fall back game for me. I highly recommend it.

You can get the game on itch.io or Steam. You can also follow the developer on Twitter or Check out the Odd Realm Website for more updates

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