Airborne Kingdom has very quickly shot to the top of my list of management games to keep an eye on. I confess that it only took a gif of an adorable clockwork building, but it also promises more than fetching dioramas.
It's a peculiar combination of city management and exploration, tasking you with the construction of a fantastical flying city, which you'll then sail across the skies of a randomly-generated desert, meeting tribes and attracting new citizens.
As well as citizens, you'll need to find food and resources in the desert to satisfy your growing population, build more housing and stick more gears onto things, all while trying to keep your improbable city afloat.
The Steam page teases some of the possible ways you can keep your city from crashing to the ground. Maybe you'll use nothing but ropes and balloons, or you could rely on the power of steam and technology to maintain your journey across the clouds. You can even slap oars onto it, because why not?
It sounds like cities will be able to specialise, too, so you can focus on things like entertainment, attracting new people with glitz and glamour. Supply chains can also turn resources into luxury goods that might draw even more people. As if you needed additional hooks when you've got a city that soars.
I often find, in games where you get to build weird contraptions and then use them to explore the world, that once I've built something neat, I'm ready to move on. I really enjoyed Worlds Adrift, for instance, but got a lot more out of constructing my ship than aimlessly sailing around in it. I drifted away pretty quickly. Having a whole city to manage between engineering projects, however, sounds like just the thing to keep my attention.
Airborne Kingdoms doesn't have a release date yet, but according to the Steam page it's coming soon.