Timberborn is a city builder simulation game with an unusual twist: You’re building a settlement for beavers.
Timberborn takes place in a setting where human civilisation ended and the beavers have taken over. Like most settlement building games, you collect resources, ensure that your residents are housed and fed, and expand your city. But Timberborn offers an important addition that most other games don’t: adorable beavers with floppy tails. According to the Steam reviews and the trailer video, they can even swim in the rivers. Having to keep beaver residents alive adds another layer of high narrative stakes.
The trailer shows off a gardening mechanic, forestry, industry, vertical buildings, and the ability to terraform the earth using bombs. True to beaver ingenuity, you can build unique dams, waterways, canals, and floodgates. If you need metal, then you scavenge it from the fallen human ruins. While there doesn’t seem to be any natural predators in the post-apocalyptic landscape, the city is under constant threat from seasonal droughts and opposing beaver factions. That type of situation is pretty devastating when the entire settlement is built out of timber. If the beavers are going to do better than the humans they outlived, then they can’t repeat the same sustainability mistakes.
The game has solid potential for a game in its early access stage. While many Steam reviewers have complained that an in-development game lacks content, there have been no issues about the level of polish. One player stated that “[Timberborn is] a fun zen game, where you just build stuff and enjoy looking at the beavers go ham.” Frankly, that’s all that a game with a beaver settlement premise needs. The trailer itself feels satisfying, and there’s inherent comedy in watching beavers build complex societies. Who knows. Maybe they are better engineers than we are.
The developers have stated that the full game won’t be released until late 2022 at the earliest.