Banished is a town-building indie game from one-man studio Shining Rock Software out today on your favorite game download services (Steam, GOG, Humble Store). I spent thirty minutes blindly playing the game to see how things worked. Let's see what I managed to do.
I did read a good deal of the included tutorials, so I wasn't completely blind while playing. Nevertheless, I still enjoy feeling my way around a game instead of reading about it, particularly with city builders.
We start off by setting up the game. It gives you options like Town Name, Terrain Type, climate, and difficulty. I my case I decided that I wanted to be the mayor of TAYville with standard conditions. I also started on easy. Don't judge.
The game starts and I'm greeted with the sight of a small unassuming town next to a river. I'm flanked by a mountain and a large forest. So far things seem to be going well. I look around the screen and start experimenting with the various menus and tables that you can bring up with the gear-looking menu at the bottom right of the screen.
Once I have my preferred menus where I want them, I find that I have a population of about 23 people (12 adults and 11 children) and everyone starts off as jack-of-all-trade laborers.
The first thing I did was experiment with the resource gathering function. Considering the large forest next to me, I decide to carve out a small chunk and place another stockpile, just for fun.
It works swimmingly once I figure out how to do it and it gives me a little bit of experience with both building things and cutting things down.
In my first taste of weather in the game, TAYville gets a little rainy.
It doesn't do much right now, but I can only imagine how this game must look come winter (snow!).
It suddenly hits home that I've done almost nothing so far in regards to food production, so I rush to figure out what my food production strategy is. I decide on a fish-and-farm approach, so I build a fishery right next to my village and tell my villagers to take down a giant chunk of the forest to the northeast of the town. I also specifically assign a couple of people to building, marking the first time I've used the professions system.
Everyone comes together to quickly get the job done and, before I know it, it's done. I set down some dirt roads and a small pasture before I get to the farms themselves.
The builders finish the pasture, roads, and fishery quickly and I assign a couple of townspeople to the fishery and the pasture. After a little while, the first few batches of fish get deposited in my barn (food storage), much to my delight. Starvation disaster: averted.
Unfortunately, I'm out of time at this point. My thirty minutes are up. I managed to learn quite a bit in a very short amount of time. I think this will be a relatively successful file after a bit more learning.
TAYville is still a quaint place, but I like it all the same.
So far, I'm enjoying Banished in the same way I enjoyed games like Anno and SimCity. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the game though. I have only a tenuous grasp of the basic functions of the game, let alone the more complex things like blacksmithing and firewood production.
I think the next couple of days will be filled with trials and tribulations for the fledging TAYville. We'll see if I'm able to lead them through our first winter together. I'll be sure to record the tale of TAYville's first winter for you all.
All around, I think this was worth the $20 price tag. There's enough content here to justify it so far.
Good job so far.
You can find all my posts on Dex's Corner.