I’m a sucker for anything based on Dwarf Fortress or Rimworld, and so Dream Land is right up my alley. It’s cutsier and simpler than its colony management forebears, but it makes some smart choices to streamline the experience to make it a good fit for mobile devices.
Dream Land put me in charge of a rag-tag group of either pioneers or bounty hunters, depending on which one of them you ask, who have crash-landed on an unknown planet in pursuit of someone named Liam. The English translation is a bit iffy, and so I was unclear on the relationship between the characters—burly, red-haired George constantly calls everyone else “children!” when addressing the group, but I took that as a strange character trait he picked up in space.
If you’ve played Rimworld or Prison Architect, Dream Land is going to make sense right away. My four colonists can cut down trees and forage for food right from the start, but I got straight to work directing them to build shelter and workshops. Everything can be upgraded, as long as I have the proper materials, and I’m always looking for ways to build better weapons and armor for my little cartoon gang.
Dream Land does an admirable job of making the building interface work on handheld screens—I can build an enclosed room by placing the first corner and confirming its placement, and then dragging the opposite corner out until I’m satisfied with the size and shape. Then I add a door, lighting, and whatever furniture goes inside. Finally, I’ll confirm my construction orders by tapping “build,” and the team will get to work on it. It works remarkably well, which was a nice surprise.
Once I got to more advanced materials and gear, the timers for production started getting longer. There’s premium currency you can spend to speed production up, but everything keeps ticking along if I decide to take a break and pocket my phone for an hour.
If you’ve never played Rimworld, Dream Land is a great introduction to the colony management genre.