With a minimalist art style and a more casual setting, Lueur and the Dim Settlers is a genuine little delight to play for those after a city-builder with survival elements but there's a more relaxed game mode too. Mentioned here on GOL recently, there's now a demo available for you to give it a try and I think this one is truly worth some of your time.
After leaving Ubisoft, developer Darenn Keller has created something rather unique that sucked me right in straight away. Everything you do in Lueur is based on the tile system and there's many different types of tiles from forests to seas. Some may contain treasure, animals to farm and all sorts to discover as you go. You start off with only a small amount of tiles actually explored and as you expand, you don't know really what you're going to find so it has some fun exploration and mystery to it too.
Most tiles can be built upon and various buildings have adjacency bonuses too, so you're always thinking about how to best build up your city. In the survival mode it's pretty important too, since resources are constantly an issue and the timer is ever-ticking. Placing wheat fields next to a windmill would boost your food output for example, and so surrounding it with fields would be best but then you might not have space, so you might even need to demolish things you've already built.
My favourite feature are the little mini-games though. Say you need a quick bit of extra food or wood - so you find a tile with forest or animals, and do a little mini-game to collect the resources. Like the storms that come along to spread darkness, it's like a mini space-shooter where you're trying to defend against bullets coming down directly inside the little tile.
It's a seriously clever idea just to make things a little bit different and quirky. I love it. The game will just keep surprising you as you play through and this is only the demo, it really does build up the excitement and intrigue for the full game that's now moving up quite a number of places on my wishlist.
The main thing is that it's not particularly long, or difficult. Even the survival mode is still pretty relaxed with the timer, events and exploration. The demo has one playable level available to play in three different modes, they estimate it will give you about 3 hours play time to finish it all and beat the challenges.
You can see their previous video to explain it better below:
It has full Native Linux support built with Godot Engine and supports Steam Deck too.