Volantia: Kingdom in the Sky is a locally developed title that was originally a Humbe Bundle exclusive. It has now launched on Steam and is a fun, almost fantasy city-builder, where you have to rebuild your kingdom in the clouds. Volantia offers a quaint city-builder experience and is a great title for family-friendly fun.
Volantia follows the events of a devastating earthquake that shatters the kingdom into pieces. During the earthquake, the Magisters awaken the ancient Zardim to raise what is left of the city into the clouds. Here is where the journey begins, as you align hexagonal fragments to conjoin islands, in order to keep the city afloat, as well as continue expanding it.
In this whimsical floating kingdom, you must gather and manage your resources to build and create your own luscious and thriving ecosystem. There is also an abundance of technology to research, which makes it easier to produce and harvest the necessary resources. Much like The Sims mechanic, Volantia allows you to pause time (although you can still see workers moving extremely slowly), as well as speed it up, for those who would like a second to strategise or watch everything fly by.
The adorable art style of Volantia makes it incredibly light-hearted despite the context of the game, in which your city will literally fall out of the sky if you fail. To keep this fantastical kingdom afloat, you will need to employ some Tetris-style thinking and align your islands, in order to build roads without affecting resource harvesting, so that you can activate a Zardim tower.
Tangled Mess Games, who brought us the critically-acclaimed Desktop Dungeons, has done a wonderful job in creating a great city-builder/resource management game. It is a relatively straightforward game; you need to house workers to collect resources and expand your city, making sure that you connect all the Zardim towers to keep the city afloat. Intensely challenging it is not, but it is incredibly fun and sucks you in.
Volantia would feel better on a mobile platform, not as small as a smartphone, but a tablet or even a Switch version would be perfect. It would be an excellent on-the-go title to keep you busy while you are on the move. Sitting at a desk and playing for a long time, you will not, but it is a great way to kill a couple of hours without getting too invested in something.
For me, the best part about this game is that it is the second highly praised title from a local developer, so much so that it was originally a Humble Bundle exclusive. This just proves that South Africa is a huge hub for great gaming titles and really cements us in the gaming industry worldwide.
Another beautiful thing about Volantia is that it is voiced by a South African actress with an incredibly distinguishable accent, but not the accent that is in Black Panther or Titanfall 2. It’s a normal South Africa accent. The reason why I love this so much is because local titles in the past have typically used an American accent to try assimilate with that audience to increase sales, so it is nice when a local title proudly represents SA.
Overall, Volantia’s whimsical feel sure makes you feel like a kid again, playing a simple little strategy game to pass time. It is a meditative experience, with the audio and colourful imagery creating a tranquil, dreamy, and low-pressure gaming experience. For Tangled Mess Games to come out with two great titles definitely puts South Africa on the map for game development, and it will be interesting to see where Tangled Mess Games goes from here.
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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Tangled Mess Games
Tangled Mess Games
3 May 2018
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