With the right attitude, I was told as a child, you can survive almost anything. That’s definitely the case in Pajama Llama Games’ Flotsam. Bobbing along in an endless sea, stripping clean floating car wrecks, shattered vessels and more, your little citizens bounce contentedly, paddle with mirth and work away at their assigned tasks with joyful abandon.
Flotsam is, at its core, a garbage-town builder set on the open seas. Where recent colony building games (Frostpunk) have been preoccupied with death and imminent catastrophe, Flotsam remains cheerful, happy and colourful despite its setting — hinting at a rough fate for most of humanity.
There is some danger in there. Running out of food and fresh water is never good, nor is your floating town smashing into obstacles; as such, you’ll need to steer the settlement away from danger while trying to keep your workers assigned to production duties. But to be honest, the cheerful music and upbeat, cell-shaded visuals will likely distract from those dangers.
I played some of Flotsam while I was at EGX earlier in the year, finding myself drawn into the game thanks to the aforementioned chipperness. Its user interface was extremely easy to understand, and resource gathering was as simple as painting what you wanted collected, then waiting for your workers to collect it. Objectives drove the demo forward, culminating in the natural progression from a single boat and a handful of planks to a network of walkways, a water-filtration system and a pretty robust fishing setup.
While I didn’t get to to see much under the water besides the occasional whale, Flotsam’s description eludes to ruins protruding from the depths and breaking the surface, giving more than just coral and hulking wrecks to avoid. There was also mention of the ability to reel up scrap from the depths — a lucrative alternative to waiting for the waves to bring new resources to you.
Flotsam is currently scheduled to release in 2019 for Windows PC. Those interested in staying up to date with it can do so by following the developer on Twitter, via @_PajamaLlama, or by subscribing to the newsletter on the official site.