Havendock Review

Welcome to my review of Havendock. This game is brought to us by developers YYZ and is published by Different Tales (Backpack Hero). It is a cosy colony sim game about trying to survive after being stranded at sea. Havendock is available now on Steam Early Access for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

To celebrate its launch, the game also has a 10% discount applied if purchased before 27th April 2023. It reminds me a lot of Raft even though it’s a completely different type of game.

Raft This is Not!

Continue reading to find out why I scored Havendock the way I did. You can also check out our previous reviews here.

The Game

Ok, so I mentioned Raft up above. This game is actually nothing like that, it just reminds me of it. I even asked my son (he’s 18) what Havendock reminded him of when he saw me playing it. He immediately said “Raft, one hundred percent“.

I think it’s because you’re stranded at sea and objects float toward you so you can collect them to help you build further as well as survive.

It begins.

That’s not a bad thing, as Raft is a decent game. But Havendock is something completely different and for the better. This game is so chilled out it’s unreal. I whacked it on and before I knew it I had lost 2 hours just learning the basics and trying to expand further.

Back to the game.

So, Havendock is a colony builder. At first, it may not seem that way, you’re in a horrible accident and you become stranded on a small island. Your protagonist builds a simple deck and this is the start of the colony.

You will have to fish items out of the water to expand on this colony. Such items are scraps of wood, fish, leaves, crates, and more. Most of those items are obvious, but the crates contain different items each time. A small tip for you is to make sure if you see a crate, you grab it before it’s too late. You will most definitely need the items inside such as steel and food.

The materials you collect (wood, steel, etc) are used for you to build more platforms for your colony. There’s also a load of buildings you can build, each having its own benefit to your colony. For example, if you build a pump, this will suck up seawater. You can then build a distiller, which will turn that seawater into fresh water for you and your colonists to drink to help you/them survive.

It’s all very manual. Even though you have a pump, you must crank it over manually or assign a colonist to it when you have some. I quite like this way of doing it as it means you have more to focus on and it’s not just a case of building a pump and there you go, endless amounts of seawater for your distiller.

You also need to move the seawater from the pump to the distiller manually. Of course, your colonists will do it for you if you assign them to the task.


As I mentioned, there are a lot of different buildings for you to build. These vary greatly, from the aforementioned pump and distiller to a workbench, houses, and cooking stations. You can unlock more once you have built the workshop, unlocking buildings requires different amounts of time as well as certain materials.

This isn’t all there is to it. As you expand your colony and build further from the starting point you will come across various points of interest. One of them nearby is a lighthouse, once you build up to it, you will have to repair it. In turn, this will obviously fix the lighthouse and the powerful light will start shining out to sea. This will attract the attention of a trader who comes by in a speedboat to sell you materials, food, and more.

There is also a giant penguin nearby, again, build up to it and you will be able to interact with it. If you feed it fish you have a chance of it dropping sand for you to collect. If you feed it enough normal fish or a golden fish, you will have a chance of the penguin dropping some “penguin poop”. The funny part is I’m not even lying, you literally pick up penguin shit.

At present the game does not have any achievements for players to unlock. These may or may not come at a later date, remember this is an Early Access game. Speaking of Early Access, the game actually runs like a dream. I did not experience any problems whatsoever whilst playing Havendock.

I will admit that I have not actually played this game on my Steam Deck. However, there is no information about it on the game’s Steam store page hence why I have marked it as “unknown” up above. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work because when you launch the game it does actually ask if you have a lower or higher-powered machine.

Look & Sound

I say this a lot and I know I do… But the graphics, I absolutely love them. It’s crazy that a game that is kind of basic can look so good. It runs really well too. I also did not experience any graphical or game bugs/glitches.

I mentioned a few paragraphs up that the game has lower and higher-end profiles for you to choose from. The main difference is in the reflections. They look absolutely incredible on the higher-end profile. I wouldn’t say it’s using ray tracing but it certainly does look good regardless.


One thing I will say is I had to turn the music off. I felt it was quite tedious after a while as it seemed like a fairly short loop. I don’t usually like doing this for review games


If you’re a fan of colony builders, relaxing, and casual games then Havendock is for you. You may even enjoy the music in the game. All in all, it’s a great game and certainly not one to miss if this is your kinda jam. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the music as I felt it loops a bit too quickly.

I score Havendock a 9/10.

A code was kindly provided for us to review this.

We Score This Game

rating score: 9


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