Review: Fabledom – A Serene and Calming City Builder Set in a Gorgeous Fairy Land World

Fabledom Reviews

Developed by Grenaa Games and published by Dear Villagers and Doyoyo Games, Fabledom is a city-building game set inside a fairytale world. You can expect to see witches, climb giant bean stalks, decide the fate of Little Riding Hood, and even go up against trolls in this beautiful and calming city building. Fabledom is a dream come true for players who love fairy tales or worlds inspired by fairy tales and this time around, you will literally build a fairy tale kingdom however you like and find yourself a prince or princess, and get settled. This is our review of Fabledom on PC in which we climb a giant bean stalk to find a golden goose and build the greatest kingdom ever seen in a fable.

After starting Fabledom, you are greeted with a decent main menu where you can start a new game, load a previously saved game, or check out settings or credits. Nothing too fancy but if you linger around, you get to hear a witty comment from the in-game narrator. Click New Game takes you to the main screen where the game will randomly generate a map for you, and you can choose a realm in this map to start building your very own Kingdom right away. If you are not happy with the map, you can either press the dice to randomly generate a seed for a new map or input a seed yourself to get a desired map.

Review: Fabledom

Each realm in these randomly generated maps will be unique in terms of size, number of hills, ocean, and forests. Depending on your liking, you can pick a realm and jump into it. Before you begin, you can also choose what type of game you would like to play. There are two modes in the game, one is Standard while the other one is Casual. The Casual game mode is straightforward as there are no missions, objectives, or anything to aim for and everything is unlocked right from the start. You can build your Kingdom freely without worrying about resources or any other technicalities in the game. The Standard mode is the main gameplay mode where you will get different objectives and you progress in the game by meeting these objectives.

These include both main and side objectives. These range from village development to bonding with your neighbors to simple ones like collecting a specific type of vegetable through farming. This mode also unlocks buildings and structures gradually and you have to purchase new land to expand your kingdom. The Standard Mode also progresses towards the ultimate goal of Fabledom which is to find a Princess or Prince and get married in order to complete your rule in the game. To really make the kingdom feel your own, you are given the option to design the Kingdom Crest as well.

Review: Fabledom

Every map starts the same with you arriving in your realm with a few Fablings with a Material cart with some of the basic supplies to get you started with the game. Your main test early in the game is to manage and run the resource collection structures with a full workforce. There is no manual way of adding new people to your Kingdom and your only way is to wait a few days until new people will arrive at your borders and if you have space, you can invite them to stay and work for you. The Fablings are divided into three classes peasants, nobles, and commoners. The peasants are there for the dirty work like chopping down wood, working in stone and iron quarries, or farming. The commoners work in somewhat upper-class places such as hospitals, and bakeries while the nobles are there only for diplomacy and other top-tier work in the game.

Fabledom progresses just like any other city builder where you start by creating resource collection structures like lumber camps, quarries for stone and iron, and many other basic resources. You will need to pay upkeep in gold for these structures and hire peasants to run them. For food, you will need to create farms and then expand to bakeries, mills, and other complex structures to offer a diverse range of food to your Fablings to keep them happy. Apart from creating separate residential and commercial sectors, you will need to keep your Fablings entertained to keep them happy as well. Your people tend to get upset very easily which causes problems later on in the game for you because for some reason, if a Fabling is upset, they tend to remain upset for a very long time. You can make them happy by creating good roads, building decoration items, and most importantly keeping the taxes low but you need to generate income as well so it is always a scenario-based option that you will have to keep in mind.

Review: Fabledom

After building on your initial land, you will need to spend gold to purchase additional areas for your kingdom’s expansion. As you continue to expand, you will gradually get access to more resources as well because mines and deposits are spread all over the map and you will need access to them once you have exhausted the ones closer to your starting location. Building a good and effective kingdom in Fabledom requires thinking because you will need to expand and build in a way that your Fablings remain happy, and you can reach more resources easily as well. This becomes tougher because Fablings do not want resource collection structures closer to their residential areas and if you decide to ignore it, you will put a permanent negative buff on their mood and you do not want that.

After spending some time creating residences, farms, resource-collection structures, and other amenities, you will finally be able to spend some time and coin on building your army. These are fairly advanced structures, and you will need Fablings to train them as well. You can build armies of archers and swordsmen and also have your very own hero to lead them in battles and war. You will either fight your very own enemies or assist your neighbors in their fights. Your hero will also allow you to explore the map and interact with different ‘Encounters’ such as the Witch, Stone Giant, Ruins and more. Sometimes you will get a cool item from them but different encounters like the Witch will lead to a negative, permanent buff if you are unable to keep them in control. Some random encounters happen on their own as well for example I received a magic bean which after planting, turned into a giant beanstalk and I got some gold from it.

Another important element to keep in mind in Fabledom is weather. Fabledom follows a four-season calendar and while things remain pretty much sane throughout the year, during the winter season, your farms stop producing food, so you have to ensure either you have enough food to last through the winter or try to find alternate food collection methods like fishing or using raw food to have cooked variations of food. The game represents seasons pretty well and it is always a charm to see the game world change with every season. During winters, the whole map is covered with snow and when spring arrives, you can see the snow melting away. This is pretty cool. You assign Fablings to other jobs when your farms are not operating and this is really easy thanks to the simple UI of the game.

As you build, expand, and improve your Kingdom, you will unlock the premium resource called Nobility which is used for most executive decisions in the game. To turn these decisions to your favor, you will need to spend Nobility which is earned by completing time-constraint side quests and many other tasks in the game. As you continue to grow, you will ultimately contact other kingdoms, and it will be in your best interest now to find a prince or princess and form an alliance with them. You can completely ignore this element and be at war with everyone if you want but you will benefit greatly by using diplomacy and maintaining good alliances with your neighboring Kingdoms. You will need to be aware of the nature of your alliance or potential love interest and help them out no matter how ridiculous their demands are.

Review: Fabledom

Fabledom is a pretty calming game but depending on your mood, you can increase the difficulty of the game to your liking as well. The game offers four unique options including Calm, Classic, Challenge, and Cruel. As you increase the difficulty level, different options are made harder for you such as being required to pay more gold for Family Aid, your people getting hungry more often, your soldiers having lesser health, winter being extended by a specific number of days, and you get no gifts at all. Playing on lower difficulties will offer you more incentives and truly make the game chill but if you want to test your town-building skills, you can increase your difficulty and test yourself.

You will love the calmness of the game, the beautiful fable worlds it creates for you, and how everything just oozes wholesome and cozy vibes all around. While it may be true that the game could benefit from some more depth the encounters are just text-based interactions and they do not do much to your game in terms of gameplay and random events like a fairy tale character dropping into the game are pretty rare as well. Adding more encounters to each map and giving them more depth and consequences would further increase the risk and reward offered in exploration. Additional game modes in future updates would be a great addition to Fabledom as well such as custom scenarios or challenges. These will certainly give a new life to the game after a few months because, at this time, there is not much else to do in the game apart from building Kingdoms and getting married.

When it comes to games like Fabledom or any other city builder, offering something new can tend to become a challenge because this is ultimately a city builder and there is very little that can be added on top of it. It is not a game like Age or Empires or Anno where after building your Kingdom, you can engage in huge campaigns to conquer the world or challenge other players online to see who fares the best in a war. Fabledom has everything done right to the point where it starts to feel a little repetitive because while there is a combat element and army building, it lies in the background and the diplomacy is restricted to you finding yourself a princess. There are no all-out battles where your kingdom is threatened to the point of destruction, and this just eliminates that challenge from it.

Final Verdict:

Fabledom is a gorgeous city-builder that offers you low-stress gameplay as you continue to build your very own kingdom in a fable world. It is easy to understand, and the gameplay mechanics are fairly simple. The low-stress gameplay means that you can enjoy the game no matter how experienced you are with city-builders of the past. The combination of a fairy tale world with a city-builder is perhaps the best thing that has ever happened to this genre. Fabledom is no doubt filled with excellent moments and in the starting hours, you will absolutely love it, but the excitement only lasts for a few hours if you are not a fan or Fairy tale worlds and the fables that we grew up reading. If you are looking for a beautiful and calm city building with cool mechanics Fabledom is a great option and if you love fairy tales and old-school fables, you can expect to sink tons of hours into the game easily.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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