One thing that has been missing from farming games is the possibility of your farm being flooded.
In Lowlands, players are farmers in the lowlands near the North Sea, a rough area where people have to work hard just to get by. They are under a constant threat of flooding and heavy storms, banding together to create dikes to keep the rising tides away from their farms. These dikes will help everybody, but people have to strike a balance between staying on the farm benefiting the family and building the dikes to help the community.
This push and pull is pivotal in Lowlands
“In Lowlands, you carve your farm out of this unforgiving land, gathering and spending resource cards to transform your farmyard into pastures that allow you to profit from breeding sheep. Adding expansions to your farm will unlock new options and score you victory points, but helping to build the dike that collectively protects all players is also rewarded. No matter what, the tide will rise and, if the dike isn’t high enough, it could rush in and sweep away your hard-earned profits. Will you sacrifice your own farm for the good of the community, or will you pursue your own agenda? The choice is yours.”
Players will be given a group of farmers who will be assigned to various activities around the farm to help improve it, or tend the sheep and sell them for profits.
As the game progresses, players can add different sorts of tiles to their farm, taking it in the direction they want and earning victory points all the while. You can build feeding troughs to feed your sheep and bring more sheep in. Or you can build a cabin on the lake which will increase the point values of adjacent tiles.
In addition to farm improvements, your farmers and resources can be assigned to help build the dikes that will benefit everybody. The tide rises, new flood pieces are chosen, and players will struggle to keep the dike high enough to keep back the raging waters of the North Sea.
Helping with the dike will give players bonuses as well, so it’s not all selflessness.
Lowlands gives an added twist or two to the farming game genre.
No release date has been announced, unfortunately.
For more information on Lowlands, please check out the Z-Man Games article.