Farthest Frontier looks like comfort food for city-builder fans


With options ranging from “idyllic” to “brutal”

Grim Dawn ended up hitting spot for a lot of action-RPG fans, and this year, Crate Entertainment is coming for all of the city-builders in the room. The studio’s next project is Farthest Frontier, a game about starting a town “at the edge of the known world.” We’ve seen screenshots on Steam before, but today, there’s a cozy gameplay trailer.

As the trailer footage shows, your colony will start off very small — and very vulnerable to the elements. One moment, your villagers are chopping trees, growing crops, and fishing; the next, there’s a bear attack. And a raging house fire. And a brutal winter.

That’s just the eye-catching stuff they’re showing us now, too. Think about all of the long-term threats to a quiet village life that are lurking beneath the surface, simmering.

Before you panic — admittedly, I’m starting to! — there will be options. As the Steam listing for Farthest Frontier explains, “customizable difficulty options allow players to turn off features like invaders and disease, for a more tranquil experience or max out difficulty to truly test their town-builder prowess.” I’ll avoid the latter at all costs, thanks.

Some of these bullet-points really are worth a look, whether it’s talk of avoiding “old-timey diseases,” planning out “crop rotations to maintain soil fertility,” and developing an economy with the right mix of raw materials. There’s plenty to consider beyond just which specific road should go where and who’s responsible for what duties.

If you’re curious why everyone is constantly running around, Crate Entertainment says that “villagers actively live their lives and perform their jobs in real-time.” The hustle!

When does Steam Early Access start?

Stockpiling resources to survive winter in Farthest Frontier
Stocking up for a long winter.

Farthest Frontier will be playable on PC sometime in 2022, but it’s kicking things off with a Steam Early Access launch. From there, the road to a 1.0 release is expected to last “probably 4-8 months, depending on how much we feel the need to alter gameplay systems or add to the scope of the game before we’re ready to call it finished.”

As it stands, the game will have “four tiers of town-building” and “10+ hours of gameplay,” with “all listed features [working] when we release in [Early Access].”

It may look very familiar, but I don’t consider that a knock against Farthest Frontier.