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Aaron - MrIrelandish

20 April 2023


Havendock is a resource management, base-building, and simulation game developed by YYZ Productions and published by Different Tales. It is coming to Steam early access on April 20th (April 21st for New Zealand) with a planned release date of June 2023.

​In Havendock, you wake up in a daze on a small sandbank in the middle of the ocean with no recollection of how you got there. You must expand your deck and hope that others will find you. The game combines the fun of collecting resources on the ocean, such as the game Raft, with the satisfaction of colony simulators.


Starting your adventure in Havendock is as simple as selecting the 'Play' button, which takes you to the player creator or allows you to continue a previous save. The character creator is a fun and easy-to-use tool that allows players to customize their character's appearance, from hair colour and style to clothes colour and accessories. Additionally, players can choose their character's name, gender, pronouns, and quirks to make their character unique.

Once you've created your character, you can further customize your gameplay experience by checking the 'configure world settings' box, which can be changed at a later time. These settings include happiness, player and settler depletion, research, settler and trader arrival durations, building costs, speed, buildable space, and trading tax. Additionally, players can enable or disable features such as character deaths, kicking settlers, pollution, and fires. By default, pollution and fires are enabled, while character deaths and kicking settlers are disabled.


Queue the cutscene, narrated by a monotone voice telling you what has happened. Watching your character wake up alone and craft his initial, singular deck with some easily accessible debris around. Havendock quickly tells you how to navigate, using WASD to move the character and the right mouse button to rotate the camera. The game then tells you to collect the debris around you and expand, giving you an idea of where you are meant to be headed next.

Expansion of the deck allows for the player to build more of the necessities that will be needed. Eventually, you make a workbench that will allow you to research new technology in order to advance, unlocking the ability to repair the places that allow for settlers or traders. You will need to be able to accommodate them otherwise, they will not join. Once a part of your colony, you can assign them tasks to give you more time to do other things. Or you could try renaming them and get denied as they only want to be called by their birth name.


The graphics in Havendock have a distinctive low polygon aesthetic, with simple shapes that help create a unique visual style. In addition, the player has several visual meters that help them manage their colony, including pollution, power, population, average happiness, food, and water for themselves. These meters provide information on how well the colony is going and whether you will be able to spend resources on that new dancefloor to make the colony happier.

Havendock also includes several helpful menus, such as priorities and overall statistics, which allow players to manage their colony more effectively. These menus provide detailed information about the player's progress, making it easier to identify areas that need improvement. Setting up the priority hierarchy can be a bit finicky, as you use a dragging method.

Havendock has a soothing soundtrack that complements the relaxing nature of the game. The sound effects on buildings also add to the immersive environment, making it feel like you're really constructing and upgrading your own colony. Additionally, the settlers who have joined your colony will speak as you pass by them, adding another layer of personality to the game. All of these audio elements combine to create a rich and engaging world for players to explore and build in.


Overall, Havendock is a great resource management and base-building game that combines the fun of collecting resources on the ocean in Raft with the satisfaction of colony simulation. The unique low polygon graphics and user-friendly interface make it easy to manage your colony and keep track of important metrics, although some changes to sorting out priorities would make it smoother. In addition, the soothing soundtrack and immersive sound effects on buildings create a relaxing atmosphere that can quickly become a time sink for players who enjoy automation and building self-sufficient colonies. Overall, I highly recommend Havendock to fans of the genre, and I'm excited to see where YYZ Productions takes the game in the future.


The Bad

- Timesink
- Soothing Soundtrack
- Resource management - Base building
- Character customizability

- Timesink
- Priority menu

The Good

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