I decided to re-subscribe to Apple Arcade, and I found a fun little survival game called Outlanders. It’s a mixture of strategy and simulation where you control towns and make sure they have enough food, while building other things to meet goals.
- Age: 12+
- Category: Strategy
- Players: 1
- Developer: Pomelo Games
- Size: 390.9 MB
There are multiple levels; I don’t know how many but I recently reached level four. In each level the leader of the town has a specific goal called the Mission, along with Optional goals. In the first level your villagers have to produce so many wooden planks to repair their ship. In the second level you have to build three farms and produce so many tomatoes, as well as have a specific amount of population.
There are various buildings your villagers can build, like roads, houses, farms, sawmills, lumberjack cabins, and more. Each building has a different resource requirement. To build a fancy house you’ll need wooden planks, but to get wooden planks you need a sawmill, and to get a sawmill you’ll need to build a Lumberjack Base to get wood. Oh, and you’ll need to assign villagers as construction workers.
You do start out with a limited amount of resources though, in a common area called the stockpile. This is an area where resources are placed after the villagers collect them.
That’s where the strategy comes into play. Building structures takes time and each building can have up to four workers. The amount of villagers you have is limited, that is until they have children, and of course you’ll have to wait for them to grow up before they can work. More workers in one building means less workers in another.
For example, to keep the villagers fed you have to build a Forage Base to have workers collect red mushrooms from the forest. If more workers are assigned to the base, mushrooms will be collected faster. Once the mushrooms run out, you don’t need as many workers so you can assign them elsewhere.
Resource-collection buildings have a limited range in which the workers can collect resources. You can tap the building to see its range. You can’t move buildings, so once the resources run out you have to build another base in an area with resources. But your overall space is limited, and resources like mushrooms and trees are finite. I think mushrooms do grow back but slowly. So you’ll need self-sustaining resources like farms.
Mushrooms need trees to grow, and you need trees for wood. The more trees you cut down, the less mushrooms you have, and the trees don’t grow back so you better build a farm and grow tomatoes or wheat quickly to have an alternative food source. The days go by fast and the villagers walk slowly (building roads speeds them up) and they don’t work at night. There’s a fast forward button to make time go by faster, and a play/pause button.
I don’t find it to be a stressful game, though. There’s a beautiful soundtrack, and you can hear birds chirping in the background. If you listen carefully at night you can hear some kind of animal wailing in the background.
There are a couple things I don’t like. On an iPhone you can only play in portrait mode, which seems awkward to me. The user interface also takes up a large part of the screen, even on my iPad. There’s a big white bar at the top and in the bottom-middle. But overall it’s a fun survival game, and I hope the developer adds new features and levels. Like, what about hunting as another food source? Time to go after that roaring animal.