Settlers II is an absolute classic and Widelands does a pretty good job of carrying the torch. Recently, a huge new update went out in the form of a Release Candidate. A Release Candidate means it's not quite finished but ready enough for more public testing. Build 21 of Widelands is absolutely massive too, full of new features and fixes.
The changelog is frankly ridiculously long, too long to fully go over. Safe to say though, it's going to feel like a whole new game. The AI is smarter, there's new official maps, the build system to compile it has been upgraded, support for advanced graphical features in the game engine like mipmaps, some new graphics throughout the game like road textures and footbridge eye candy, a complete overhaul of the sound handler and a ridiculous amount more.
After trying out Build 21 RC, I have to say I am loving it. It brings back some great memories of spending hours playing Settlers II back in my early PC days. The later games really lost a lot of the original charm which Widelands definitely captures with plenty of modern enhancements. Multiple different game modes too with different ways to win, there's even a never ending mode to just keep on building as much as you like.
With the RC now out, they're aiming for a full release of Widelands Build 21 on July 18, 2020. Find out more on the official Widelands website. Another wonderful free and open source game you should try out. We will let you know once the full release of Build 21 is out too.