Check out this town builder with a deep simulation of ecology and climate

A fascinating new survival city builder called Of Life and Land released on Steam this month: Of Life and Land is the debut game from new studio Kerzoven. In it, you build medieval settlements from scratch in remote, wild places. 

The big change from other colony or city builders is that Of Life and Land really cares about the details of environment, behavior, and weather. How these variables affect people and animals is the baseline of the simulation—both people and wild animals have homes, form groups, need social interaction, and need food, water, and sleep. They also need a healthy temperature range and weather to live comfortably. Plants, too, need the right temperature and enough water to thrive.

That's all tied to the econominc simulation at the heart of building and expanding a settlement: Wipe out too much of a prey animal, or pollute too much, and the local population can disappear. Wipe out a predator and the local prey population can explode.

One of the simplest, but coolest, examples is in making sure your little settlers can get around in hot environments without getting heatstroke. Making sure you have the right clothing to protect from the sun is important, but so is smaller stuff like minimizing transport distance so they can spend most time inside, or making sure longer paths are alongside the cooler air near a river and have trees planted nearby for shade and heat absorption.

You can find Of Life and Land in early access on Steam for $25, though it's 10% off until April 16.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.