Available On: PC – Steam and Epic Games Store (later this year on PlayStation, Switch, and Xbox)

Fabledom is a city builder, though perhaps a more accurate term would be kingdom builder. Players manage their growing population of fablings, and their intricate economy where every fabling lives, eats, and works, among a fairy tale world of neighboring princesses and the occasional marauding dragon.

Read on for our review of Fabledom!

Once Upon a Kingdom

In a generic fairy tale fantasy world, we’ll expand a little hamlet from humble beginnings into a thriving kingdom.

After randomly generating a world, I’m given only a handful of building options, including homesteads for peasants, farms for food, and lumber yards to gather wood.

Fablings arrive in my kingdom every few in-game days, depending on the happiness rating, and if I have room for them. Homesteads must be kept happy by keeping them far enough away from noisy sawmills and coal makers, but close enough that they don’t have to walk too far to get to work.

Ah, city management.

As my kingdom grows, I unlock new buildings and infrastructure, including mills and bakeries for bread, hospitals to treat ill fablings, and an embassy to send them on missions to neighboring kingdoms. Soon I’m laying out entire condominiums to house a new class of fabling: the commoner, who can work more advanced jobs.

These new buildings and milestone upgrades keep perfect pacing with my understanding of the game, and I found the Classic difficulty setting just right for a first-timer (Fabledom includes four difficulty levels). Managing the fluctuating economy is always engaging and well-balanced, alongside expanding territory and completing missions for rewards.

Fairest of Them All

The fairy tale theme is a bit hit and miss. The actual art style is colorful and cute, and there are several special objects or events from classic fairy tales, such as growing a giant beanstalk, finding a glass slipper, or dealing with some pesky witches.

But I also wanted a lot more of them, and most of the events boil down to “pay this fine to avoid a penalty.” I’m also given a hero fabling to interact with those special fairy tale objects, but this isn’t exactly an RPG, and the hero is almost an afterthought.

The most interesting event occurs from a witch curse that temporarily transforms all fablings into skeletons. More of that, please!

The theme is also stretched a bit too thin when the mid to late game introduces combat. At a certain milestone I can train soldiers and archers to send on missions, and to attack troll camps that spawn in my own kingdom.

Combat is almost completely hands-off, poorly animated, and not at all exciting, even if the actual mission and troll camp rewards are very much worth it. I would’ve preferred a 100% cozy, violence-free fairy tale theme, however.

That being said, I was impressed with just how big and complex the game gets. While the new buildings and unlocks tap out around 300 fablings, the kingdom can continue to grow for hours and hours afterward, expanding the territory and maintaining the food, coal, and production economy.

It’s also incredibly easy and intuitive to quickly create an aesthetically pleasing village thanks to the colorful art style and grid-based structure.

The end goal is to befriend a neighboring kingdom, build our own impressive (and modular!) castle, and marry our favorite prince or princess to live happily ever after.

Or just keep playing.

The Rating

With Fabledom coming soon to consoles, it’s recently been given an E for Everyone rating by the ESRB, with Mild Fantasy Violence.

The Takeaway

I haven’t put this many hours into a medieval colony sim city builder since The Settlers. Beneath its cutesy veneer, Fabledom is a nicely balanced, satisfyingly deep kingdom builder that’s worth sinking dozens of hours into.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.