The opening moments of the reveal trailer for "cozy survival game" Solarpunk shows some familiar crafting activities: chopping down trees with an axe, building the floor and walls of a little house, watering some plants in the garden, and tending to livestock like pigs, chicken, and sheep. Stuff we've done in all sorts of gentle farming and crafting games before.
But then there's a reveal: The picturesque little island you're building your farm on isn't surrounded by water but air, and you can explore a beautiful world full of distant floating islands in your own personal blimp. I know, everyone likes to call them airships, but I still like to call them blimps. And as blimps go, it's a darn cute one!
Just about everything is cute in the trailer, from the fluffy clouds to the livestock on your ranch to the farming robots you can craft and put to work watering your crops. Along with automation like bots and sprinkler systems, Solarpunk has quite an eco-friendly theme as you use wind, water, and sunlight for all your power needs. And even though you can raise pigs, they're not for turning into bacon and ham—your little piggies will find truffles for you to eat instead.
In such a comfy looking world, it's not a shock that the survival systems look pretty relaxed. You have a meter for health, hydration, and hunger, there's some harsh weather, and there are limitations on how far your airship can travel on solar and battery power, which means carefully planning your trips to avoid getting in trouble. But as survival goes, it all looks pretty peaceful and serene. As developer Cyberwave says, "Solarpunk is a cozy survival craft game that focuses on the sandbox and doesn't want to pressure you too much."
I love the look and the relaxing vibe the game has, though it's a bit hard to tell what about Solarpunk makes it punk, particularly. On the other hand, maybe I don't really care if it's punk or not because I get to fly around in a cute little blimp. Solarpunk only just popped up its Kickstarter and it's already fully funded, aiming for alpha access early next year and early access in fall of 2024 on Steam.