PEGBRJE: Lieve Oma and Dorfromantik (Prototype)

Sometimes you just need a calm stroll in the woods.

Lieve Oma is a narrative adventure crafted by Florian Veltman, a solo indie dev currently based out of France. This is a title that follows a grandma and her grandson as they adventure to pick mushrooms on a brisk autumn day, and perhaps gain some quality time together.

It’s a simple journey to venture in to a forest, where Lieve Oma simply asks for players to keep their eyes out for mushrooms for their grandma. As she journey’s forward, players will have to keep up with her while on the lookout, for getting to far will cause her to stop like a good guardian and wait for the player to catch up. Mushrooms that are found can be brought to Oma to be appraised — our young minds don’t know much about mushrooms — to which if they are penny caps they are added to our inventory, and the rest are ‘discarded’ due to various reasons. The number of mushrooms collected, however, isn’t really the main focus of the game; instead, it’s a game about spending some quality time with grandmother as a child that definitely is going through a lot at the current moment in their lives.

We may not all remember the exact details, but being a child is a turbulent time of emotions and events that feel completely out of one’s control, for some more than others. Our protagonist has gone through a life altering event, and as one might expect it’s hard for a child to process all of these events that they may not fully understand, or lack the experience to know how to. He does what many have seen children do; pull back in to himself, talk little with his grandmother and generally give dismissive answers, but Grandma understands. She gives him space, allows him to walk through the forest with her to distract him, and eventually help him open up about what troubles him. She gives her advice out of love and hope for him, that they might be able to break free of these issues and grow past them. It’s utterly heartwarming to watch as our little friend begins to feel more at ease with the situation, even opening up unprompted as they walk deeper in to the forest.

Those who we cherish and love are precious aspects of our lives, and Lieve Oma is a celebration of that. While dedicated to the creator’s grandmother, it truly wants you to feel at ease knowing that there’s a loving elder in your life that is there to help you through issues, regardless of whether or not they are actually part of the elderly. We all have our relationships with different family members, and those that have lived for more years than we have may share some nuggets of wisdom out of love for you, especially as a child growing up and trying to navigate through a world that can feel massive yet miniscule at the same time. It’s an homage to those that wish you all the best growing up, even if you’re technically past the ‘age’ of growing up; after all, we never really stop. If you need something heartwarming on a cold day, or just want to tug at your heartstrings about a family member that means a lot to you, this is your small little adventure.

Dorfromantik (Prototype) is a proof of concept for the eventually released village building game made by Toukana, the indie studio created by the four design students in Germany after they submitted this game as their Ludum Dare 46 submission. Players will be creating a countryside out of hexagons in order to draft the perfect cozy aesthetic to relax to.

Given a stack of tiles, players will be attempting to piece them together one by one in order to create a series of villages connected by rail. Each piece in the stack will have different properties to it, such as houses, rail tracks, forests and crops, which can be placed side by side in order to create anything one can desire. Put a few houses near each other, and there’s a village. Connect a rail across the entire landscape, there’s transit. The only ‘goal’ one might have is seen at the top in the ‘To Do’ section. This is a set of goals that players can fulfill in order to gain points, usually centred around a series of tiles. This isn’t necessary at all to progress the game, but it does give a bit of a challenge to those that are looking to race against a high score.

I don’t have much else to say, as Dorfromantik’s Prototype isn’t meant to be something overly complicated; you put pieces down, you create your little piece of relaxation, and you go until the pieces are gone. There’s a bit of strategy surrounding the fact that the tiles are randomized, but not too much that actively worrying about optimization will get you anywhere. If you needed another game to vibe and relax to, try this out and see if you want to purchase the full game — it’s over on Steam and GOG if you love it.

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Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.