Timberborn landscape key art logo FHD

Timberborn Early Access review

Timberborn, the charming city-management simulation game from Polish developer Mechanistry, has carved its place among the best in the genre. With its recent Update 4 release, the game has grown even more captivating, making it an opportune time for newcomers to immerse themselves in its whimsical world. Embracing the theme of “lumberpunk,” Timberborn weaves together harmonious environmental interaction and limitless creativity, resulting in a delightful gaming experience that is as endearing as it is engaging.


As a dedicated player of colony sim games, I can really recommend Timberborn for its standout features that set it apart in the genre. The water and drought mechanics, reminiscent of Frostpunk’s cold snaps, bring a unique challenge and complexity to the gameplay. The need to stockpile resources and unlock new buildables creates a satisfying progression curve that keeps players invested and engaged. While it may seem initially intimidating, the balance between scripted difficulty spikes and open-ended sandbox gameplay strikes just the right chord. Timberborn manages to deliver a relaxing and atmospheric experience, thanks to its whimsical flavor text and amusing simlish voice lines that infuse the game with a dose of lighthearted humor. Here’s a short beginner’s guide to Timberborn.

Despite being in early access, Timberborn already showcases remarkable polish. I have yet to encounter any bugs, and the game offers a substantial amount of content even in its early stages. It does lack in-depth explanations of some core mechanics, such as water management and building descriptions, but exploring and discovering these intricacies firsthand adds to the sense of discovery and learning that makes the game rewarding.

1 Bird s eye over a not so huge city IT

What truly sets Timberborn apart is its innovative vertical building mechanic. The game encourages players to create towering structures, utilizing every inch of irrigated land to its fullest potential. With multiple maps featuring varying levels of elevation, players can unleash their creativity to construct awe-inspiring beaver skyscrapers. Building vertically, however, poses a challenge, as each structure must be connected by a road. This limitation adds a fascinating layer of complexity as players navigate the intricate web of interconnected buildings and platforms to unlock new possibilities.

Through a combination of dams, levees, and dynamite, Timberborn allows players to reshape the environment in profound ways. The ability to destroy terrain blocks and redirect rivers adds a dynamic twist to the gameplay, enabling players to create deep lakes and alter the course of water flow. This level of control over the land elevates the game beyond a simple city-builder, offering a satisfying blend of simulation and artistic expression.

The game also introduces two distinct factions: the hat-wearing Folktails and the gruff Iron Teeth. While the Folktails focus on farming and living in harmony with nature, the Iron Teeth excel in industrialization and advanced machinery. Each faction provides unique building options, resources, and architectural styles, allowing for diverse playstyles and strategic choices. Switching between factions adds another layer of complexity and replayability to the game.

12 Bird s eye over a huge city FT

Managing your colony effectively is crucial, as productivity and resource management play a central role in Timberborn. Balancing your roads and buildings to maximize productivity while avoiding overextension is key to sustained success. By planning strategically and establishing separate districts, players can optimize resource distribution and productivity. The ability to exchange resources between districts adds another layer of depth and flexibility, while the option to automate certain processes keeps the game manageable without sacrificing challenge.

The difficulty levels in Timberborn cater to different playstyles and preferences. Easy mode offers a relaxed experience, focusing on building grand cities rather than survival. Normal mode presents the standard Timberborn experience, gradually increasing the length and severity of droughts. Hard mode provides a challenge by offering the least amount of starting resources and longer, more frequent droughts. For those seeking a customized experience, the game’s Custom mode allows players to fine-tune various parameters to match their desired difficulty level.

16 Beavers up close FT

Timberborn succeeds in creating an immersive and engaging experience thanks to its simple yet well-crafted mechanics. The game’s approachable nature makes it an excellent entry point for newcomers to the genre, while still offering enough depth and challenge to captivate experienced players. The whimsical aesthetic, endearing beaver inhabitants, and rich gameplay mechanics make Timberborn a standout title, worthy of an 8.5 out of 10 rating.

With its ongoing development in early access, Timberborn holds great promise for future additions and expansions. I eagerly anticipate further content updates and the potential introduction of additional game modes, such as separate story or sandbox modes. If you have a penchant for colony management or city builder games, Timberborn is an absolute must-play. Immerse yourself in its enchanting world, unleash your creative spirit, and lead your beaver community to prosperity amidst a stunningly crafted lumberpunk setting. Timberborn is a true gem that stands tall among its genre peers.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.