I want to start out this post first with a thank you, I hit my first month last night in the blog world as well as passed the 1k views milestone, which is about 990 more views than I anticipated to have, today. So I am pretty happy about these small and personal achievements that are all thanks to everyone who reads the blog.
Anyway today I want to talk about Banished, an indie city builder game on Steam, and I want to say I am hesitant really in calling this a review, because I think you should only review something you have played most of, especially the main campaign, or have beaten when it comes to games. But that is where Banished kind of deviates from, and I will get to that in a moment. So let’s start what is more just my general thoughts on the game, more than any great review.
Starting out I want to point out that Banished is ran and created by one man. It wasn’t a team of guys, it wasn’t some big corporation, it was one dude. So while this information usually might turn some people away, when you see all that Banished has to offer it is absolutely amazing. The music is great, the graphics for an indie city builder are pretty top notch, and the game play from what I have at least tasted is great.
Now with that out of the way I will say this: Banished is not forgiving. This isn’t to say it is necessarily difficult if played correctly, but it can be unforgiving still. There are three difficulties easy, medium, and hard, but each of those can be further increased in difficulty by allowing disasters to be on. Disasters include and I am sure are not limited to: crop infestations, widespread disease outbreaks, forest and/or town fires, and I heard of (but have not personally seen) tornadoes.
I say it can be pretty unforgiving because it is a fairly realistic city builder even without disasters on. Your people need homes to live in, food to eat, firewood, clothes to wear, tools to work, and other such things like that. So of course building homes allow your villagers to populate more by having kids, but this requires more food, homes, clothes, etc etc. I will admit I am not amazing when it comes to comes, so I am sure some people out there are able to do fine in a city builder like this. Me though? I barely broke even in my food produced/consumed graphs.
So of course you may be wondering now. What do you do in Banished? Right now, you just build. There are no goals, there is no end game, there is no finish. You build until you are bored, cover the map, or get wiped out by some disaster. There are achievements now for the game so I suppose you could work for those, but me personally I have gotten no where near these achievements. They are all for long lasting towns that firmly have themselves performing well for many many years.
I myself have only lasted for about 50 years I believe with only a population of a little over 200 in my best game, and that was right before my village starved to death because I had grown far too rapidly. It is one of those counter intuitive games sort of where you need people to work to make the food, but if you work at getting more people you don’t have enough food to feed them.
Personally I have not yet played with disasters on, I thought I should at least learn HOW to play first. But despite knowing how to play for the most part now, I have not quite made it successful as I keep starving myself out or dying due to a disease like influenza. But I am ever curious to see a game with disasters on, so I may try one out just to see how badly I may end up.
Overall I am looking forward to the future of the game. It has room to grow if the developer so chooses. But as it stands right now it really isn’t bad either and could possibly stay this way. I would recommend the game to anyone who likes a number of things: 1) Likes supporting the indie game crowd. 2) Likes city builders. 3) Likes 2 but needs a little bit more difficulty than other city builders offer.