Digital Dragons Indie Spotlight: The Wandering Village

Ned Jordan
In Short
In The Wandering Village, your survival depends on your ability to build a thriving village on the back of a colossal beast.
The Wandering Village

One of the things I like about indies is that you can find a lot of intriguing game concepts that you would never see backed by a big publisher. The Indie Zone at Digital Dragons 2023 was filled with those kinds of games, giving attendees a chance to feel like kids in a candy store. If you’ve been reading my Digital Dragons Indie Spotlight articles, you’ll know that I found a number of novel games on display at the conference and I am now adding The Wandering Village to that list.

On first look, The Wandering Village is a city-builder, but look closer and you’ll see the city is built on the back of a giant creature. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which mysterious plants are covering the world and emitting toxic spores. Abandoning their original village to the spores, a group of people take refuge on the back of a giant creature they name Onbu. Together with the creature they begin a journey to find a safe place to settle and live.


You’ll need to build a thriving village on the back of Onbu in order to survive your journey, which means building housing and production buildings, growing food for your people, and harvesting the resources needed for building and production. Since your survival is dependent on the survival of the creature, you’ll need to ensure that the resources you take from it don’t harm it, and that the things you build and do don’t have an adverse effect on the creature’s health. It’s a microcosm of the need to carefully manage the environment – poisoning the world is the same as poisoning ourselves.

The creature is not completely oblivious to your presence, though, and you’ll eventually be able to build a bond with it and guide it where to go. You can try to earn the creature’s trust through your actions, or you can take shortcuts to force it to obey your commands. The latter course isn’t without consequences, though, as if you anger the creature too much it will shake your city off of its back and be dome with you.

Where should Onbu go now?
Where should Onbu go now?

You’ll need to have some control over your course because the world is filled with different biomes, and you’ll need to visit them to scavenge for vital resources unavailable from the creature. There are also side quests in the game that can require you to visit certain locations, not to mention your overarching goal of solving the mystery of the spores and locating a safe place to build a permanent new home.

The Wandering Village features a unique art style inspired by pop-up books. If you look closely, every structure is rendered as if you could reach out and gently push it flat back into the page.

Pop-up village
Pop-up village

The Wandering Village generated a lot of buzz at Digital Dragons, taking home the third-place prize from the Indie Showcase Gala. If The Wandering Village seems like it might interest you, I encourage you to have a look at the game on Steam where it is currently available in Early Access.

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Transmitted: 10/2/2023 8:00:48 AM