Here comes that city builder set on the back of a giant space turtle

An oddity of a city building survival game comes out on May 1st: World Turtles, where you're in charge of establishing a civilization of peaceful little dudes who live on the seas and continents atop the back of a giant spacefaring turtle. You'll have to convince the Meeps to join the cause, uniting them all into a peaceful and sustainable society capable of feeding and caring for the giant turtle they live on.

"Cooperation, not conquest, will be necessary for success when the Turtle wanders into the more treacherous stretches of space or - perhaps - meets others of its kind," says the developer. I'm excited to see it releasing, even into early access, as I've been following development ever since Chris Livingston highlighted it last year.

Created by a single developer out of South Africa operating under the name Re: cOg Mission, World Turtles is clearly a passion project by someone who just absolutely needed to see this specific game get made. They describe it as a "wholesome colony builder with the primary goal of sustainability" where your big job is to help the Meeps organize, something they just won't do without you.

The idea of a world turtle, of course, is probably most familiar to many of you nerds from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. In truth it's a common bit of mythology, and turtles or bits of them propping up and/or comprising the world appear in Hindu, Chinese, and Native American mythologies.

World Turtles has big goals, with the game starting by your Meep tribe exploring the turtleback to unite the other tribes under one banner. From there they establish economies, build a society, and figure out how to take care of the Turtle as it traverses the universe. 

But that's clearly not where it ends: "Once the turtleback knows world peace and the hungry, hungry turtle is safe… it's time to launch the Meeps Space Program!" You'll then be able to direct the Turtle's progress through space, exploring new space sectors that can impact the climate and conditions on your Turtle.

World Turtles will launch into early access on Steam on May 1, 2023.

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.