Steam’s newest hit citybuilder has near-perfect reviews and asks the brave question: what if Lemmings but capitalism?

Particles flying around in a screenshot from (the) Gnorp Apolgue
(Image credit: Myco)

Steam’s next city-building hit mixes two endlessly endearing things: Lemmings-style people-guiding to collect money and an incomprehensible amount of particles flying around the screen. 

The oddly titled (the) Gnorp Apologue came out on Steam earlier this month - December 14 - and the storefront describes it as the “journey of the gnorps as you guide them towards their goal of delightfully excessive wealth accumulation.” The cutesy gnorps - those pixelated cuboids - seemingly only have eyes for one thing: money, money, money. 

Much of the above trailer’s focus is sucked up by an odd rock thingymajig that spews out screen-filling particles that tickle a very specific, childlike part of my brain. “What is the rock?” the storefront description asks, “Irrelevant question - when struck, it outputs shards, and shards are amazing.” The resource allows you to purchase ever-increasing waves of gnorps and build new structures. “The gnorps must have them,” but reaching them after they fly across the level is half the battle. 

Gnorps also happily come in different varieties for shard collection: “Some slam the rock with their heads, others shoot it with arrows and guns.” Some others grow flowers and others use psychic powers. And some others are less naturally talented and are instead relegated to building drones and rockets. 

In around ten days, the game has already reached an “Overwhelmingly Positive” rating based on over 950 Steam user reviews. Many players gushed about the cutesy comedy and moreish loop that had hours go by with each play session. One user review called the game an example of “The Pikmin Effect,” whereby it’s a game about “watching a bunch of cute little guys [doing] things [that are] extremely fun.” Sounds like a perfect vibe. 

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Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.