Stonehearth has been in development for a while now, releasing at the end of 2013 in an ultra-early state and getting regular updates in the last year and a half. Up until today it’s only been available through Radiant Entertainment’s web site and the Humble store, but with the release of Alpha 10 the other day and a little testing to make sure nothing exploded, Stonehearth is now officially on Steam. It’s Early Access for a reason, of course, but if you don’t mind watching an excellent game come together it’s not only one of the better fantasy city-builders around but also the most adorable.
Stonehearth is a game about turning a small collection of peasants with little more than a handful of tools to their name into a functioning town, complete with tradesmen, guards, builders, and a nice collection of buildings to call home. It’s not anything we haven’t seen before in other games but it’s put together so well, with such a charming style, that it’s impossible not to bond with your villagers and the town you have them create.
The latest update continues the regular feature-building with water, multi-story houses, UI upgrades, combat improvements, and even a mini-quest to free wolves from the goblins. Build 11 is in the works with an indeterminate release date, but it will improve water, add a new character class, and help with the inventory management of the stockpiles. Stonehearth has evolved and constantly improved since its earliest days, turning into its half-baked but still enjoyable current form, and watching it become everything it promises to be has been a lot of fun so far.