Flotsam Developed by Pajama Llama Games and Published by Kongregate
I want to start off this review by stating that this game is Early Access on Steam. While some people don’t like playing early access games because they don’t want to deal with little content that is buggy, which is understandable, I have also played games that were past the early stages and just buggy as hell. Now to dive into Flotsam which if you didn’t know Flotsam means debris that is floating around, pretty great name for a floating garbage town survival game.
Let me tell you about the graphics because honestly, we see what we play first and this watery metropolis is adorable. You see the cute illustration from the beginning of the game, which I’m sure was a challenge since frankly, it’s a game about trash. The drifters, which are the people that build your town, are nicely detailed although some look the same, that could change once out of early access. The waves are relaxing and I love that you can see the detail under the water. You can’t help but want to clean up every piece of trash floating around, the tree hugger in me just screamed to get out.
Now for the gameplay about the briny blue town you call home. There is no set campaign, you explore each section that you pick on the map which is kind of relaxing since you go at your own pace. You start off with a couple of drifters which is good because there’s plenty to do. Once you gather enough resources you can build the items you need, just keep an eye on food and water. It's easy to understand what you are needing to do, and there is a little book at the top left that you can click if you need help. The toolbar at the bottom you will use to build the things you need as well as telling your drifters where they need to go to grab the floating mess. There is a circumference that you can only build to so keep that in mind at the beginning or you might have some issues with developing once your town gets bigger.
You get research points when you go explore places, with those you can unlock different items that will help build your town, like workshops, water, and food resources. You pick up new drifters and even a plucky little seagull named Steephan to expand your floating heaven. I felt I couldn’t get enough help. Don’t forget to build a bed for your little friends or they just drop down in the middle of the planking with their butts in the air trying to get a restful sleep. You can tell people what their jobs are or you can sit back and let them take control of what needs to be done. I played with both aspects of this and I couldn’t tell a difference.
You can get about 1.5-3 hours of gameplay as of this review, if you go back and try each avenue which I did do, but it was a bit repetitive. This is a tricky game when you have to juggle everything but on the plus side, none of my nautical townsfolk died.. not going to lie it was a little bit hairy at one point without food and water. Overall Flotsam is such a wonderfully fun city builder with big reminders of our climate and pollution crises. There are many things that Pajama Llama has said that they will be adding to the game and I look forward to it. So, everyone dig deep and let your little environmentalists inside you out and go get this game. Build your floating paradise out of driftwood and plastic trash, and be a hero for those stranded.
This game is a must-have if you're like me and big in to simulations.