Land Above Sea Below

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a game by Glasscannon Studio
Platform: PC (2023)
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Best Casual Games, Sandbox Games, Strategy Games, Puzzle Games, Building Games, City Building Games, Turn Based RPG
Land Above Sea Below
Land Above Sea Below
Land Above Sea Below
Land Above Sea Below

Land Above Sea Below is a tranquil, beautifully crafted game that challenges players to build and expand an island paradise before rising sea levels wash it all away. As a fan of sandbox building games, I was immediately drawn into this imaginative world.

The core gameplay loop is addictively satisfying. You're given an endless supply of procedurally generated map tiles – autumn groves, rocky mountains, tranquil villages and more – to carefully arrange and build up your island. The key is choosing tiles that interact and synergize with each other.

Placing them strategically results in height increases, awarding you points to unlock aids like extra season length and sea level decreases. It becomes a zen-like puzzle trying to maximize tile synergies so your island flourishes. This strategic planning is crucial, because at the end of each season the floodwaters rise dramatically. As long as your starting Tree of Fall remains above sea level, you continue on. But if the waters swallow it, the game ends.

A Beautiful and Calming Experience

This push-and-pull between tranquil building and impending flood works exceptionally well. Despite the existential threat of rising seas, Land Above Sea Below maintains a peaceful, almost meditative atmosphere. The minimalist art style is simply gorgeous, with rich autumnal forests, quaint seaside villages and misty mountain peaks rendered in vivid color – perfect for Minecraft fans.

The soothing ambient soundtrack perfectly complements the visuals. It's easy to lose yourself in this alluring world. The gorgeous visuals and the inspired visual design are certainly two of the game's strongest suits.

Rewarding Progression and Near Limitless Replayability

Unlocking new rewards like extra season length or lower sea level provides a great sense of progression. It allows you to expand farther and access new areas each game. And the procedural generation ensures near limitless replay value. No two islands are ever the same. There's always new tile combinations to discover and new strategies to try.

Even after dozens of failed islands, the core loop stays engaging thanks to the relaxed atmosphere and satisfying synergies of linking the right tiles. It reminds me of soothing games like Islanders in that way. The laidback gameplay is compelling without ever feeling frustrating.

Minor Bumps

Land Above Sea Below isn't perfect. The procedural generation can occasionally repeat tile patterns multiple times in one game. This exposes the repetition inherent in procedural generation.

It's also missing a free build mode without the rising sea threat. Being able to casually build with unlimited space would make a nice addition. But overall, Land Above Sea Below is a captivating and polished entry in the landscape builder genre that fans will love.

Sure, the game could do with some more variety, but as it is, Land Above Sea Below is just what die-hard lovers of the genre are looking for.

8

Land Above Sea Below delivers a uniquely chill yet challenging building experience. If you enjoy sandbox builders, the imaginative world and compelling progression will sweep you away like the rising tides.

Pros

  • Gorgeous minimalist art style
  • Addictive strategic tile placement gameplay
  • Soothing, meditative atmosphere

Cons

  • Procedural generation can repeat patterns
  • No freebuild mode

Download Land Above Sea Below

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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