Developer Gideon Griebenow has announced that his wholesome colony sim World Turtles is coming to PC soon. The game, which has more than a whiff of Terry Pratchett's Discworld about it, has you building a colony on the back of a giant spacefaring turtle.
What is World Turtles?
You've heard of beaver-based colony sims, but what about turtle-y city-builders? That's exactly what solo dev Gideon Griebenow, also known by the rather unwieldy moniker of Re: cOg Mission, set out to do with World Turtles. It's a colony sim that presumably takes place on an astral plane that was never meant to fly, and it's your job to build up your colony while also catering for the turtle's needs. You can check out Griebenow's "mini-trailer" for World Turtles, which gives you an idea of the game's idiosyncratic approach to colony-building, right here.
Griebenow describes World Turtles as "a wholesome strategy game" in which you play as a colony of Meeps. You must find a way to peacefully coexist with other Meeps, as well as the great cosmic space turtle and the vast expanse of space itself. Depending on where the turtle is in space, you'll notice different climate and weather conditions, so you'll need to adjust for the turtle in order to advance through the tech tree and grow your civilization. Gameplay-wise, Griebenow told us his game is influenced largely by The Settlers 2; Griebenow says he's "never been the biggest gamer", so World Turtles is more influenced by the general old-school style and aesthetics of games like Civilization and Starcraft 2, even if it doesn't emulate their gameplay. Still, if you're getting echoes of the recently-announced The Wandering Village, it's fair to say the two games are somewhat of a piece, although World Turtles definitely owes much more to Terry Pratchett than to Mortal Engines.
In fact, Discworld is just one of the many influences on World Turtles. Griebenow told us that while he's a "HUGE Discworld (and wider Terry Pratchett) fan", World Turtles is also strongly influenced by world mythology and the "world turtle" myth, which is, of course, also where Pratchett got his idea. Nevertheless, Griebenow says he contacted Rhianna Pratchett about the game, and she told him that as long as it wasn't essentially a Discworld ripoff, he was fine. Be that as it may, Griebenow says that if he's able to gather enough funding for World Turtles, he might consider adding in some giant elephants too. After all, as he says, "the myths wouldn't lie about something like that, would they!?".
When is the World Turtles release date?
We don't yet have a specific release date for World Turtles, but Griebenow has revealed that the game will land on Steam sometime in August this year. Appropriately enough, today is also World Turtle Day, which makes it a pretty darn good day for Griebenow to announce the arrival of Great A'Tuin (or whatever his turtle happens to be called) to the gaming world. Griebenow says he wants to use World Turtles partially to raise awareness of turtles' plight in real life; just as World Turtle Day is all about "encouraging human action to protect and help endangered turtles", World Turtles is intended to teach you all about coexisting with nature, albeit vast cosmic nature.
You can wishlist World Turtles on Steam right now. There's also a demo coming as part of the Steam Next Fest, which begins on June 13th, so make sure to watch out for that if this one's on your radar. Where other city builders, like the recently-announced Aquatico, have a survival focus, World Turtles is all about wholesome, relaxing environmentalism, so it should be the perfect antidote to the more brutal and unforgiving side of the colony sim genre. We'll bring you more on this one as soon as we get it.