Timberborn, a beaver ‘lumberpunk’ city builder?

Humans aren’t the only beings that build constructs visible from space. Beavers, who have built dams so large that they can be seen in satellite images, do as well. Since the 1970s, a beaver colony in Canada has been working for generations to create a dam twice the size of the Hoover Dam. That’s right, human engineers!

So it stands to reason that beavers should have their own city-building game. Enter Timberborn, a colony sim featuring a group of intelligent beavers that live on Earth long after humans have died. They are now the ones that are constructing villages, cultivating crops, and developing new technology.

Since January, there has been a free demo available, and I finally got around to trying it out today. It’s very fun to send beavers scurrying hither and thon to collect wood, erect houses, and lay roads instead of regular humans. It’s also really sad when they starve to death, which happened when I was so focused on getting power lines going from a water wheel to a woodworking store that I didn’t know they’d run out of berries. I wasn’t able to harvest their carrot and potato farms in time to save them, but hopefully I’ll do better next time. Don’t leave a beaver behind!

Naturally, wood is the primary resource in Timberborn, but you’ll have to send your courageous beavers out into the rubble of the old world at some point to strip down rusting skyscrapers for metal as well. How far up the technological food chain will the beavers get? I’m not sure, but I’m hoping the game ends with them constructing a wooden rocket and blasting off to discover other worlds with trees to nibble on.

If you want to have a bunch of beavers create a lumberpunk settlement, which I have a feeling you do, you can get the preview here until the full game comes out later this year.

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