Banished – Starting life over in a strange new land
In all the Steam offerings I picked up a new game called Banished and it has me quite intrigued. The concept is simple, you control a group of villagers who are starting life over in a new land. Why they’ve been banished from their homes remains a mystery, but they’ve left with nothing more than a few articles of clothes and whatever else fit in their cart. To that end they have to build houses, find food, gather wood, build tools, farm and hopefully build a trade center so they can trade with other villages. It may sound simple and perhaps not even that complicated or engaging, but I jumped into this game with both feet, dropped into the tutorial and found there is a lot of depth here.
You need to get houses built as quickly as possible so your villagers can stay warm. You need to get your farms up and running before people starve. You need to have enough people to clear land and build structures. It becomes pretty clear you need a slew of resources to make your new community a success. I just got things rolling when I realized 3 hours had already gone by. I got my fishery in place, but struggled to get a farm going and didn’t have enough resource stockpiled before people began to suffer from the cold and lack of food. People started to perish and once that happened it all came apart. I didn’t have people to work or forage and the entire town suffered. You only have 15 or so homesteaders to work with. There isn’t a stream of newcomers itching to take up residence in your new shanty town. Once your people are gone, that’s it.
This is a far more complicated "sim" than I originally thought. It’s going to take a lot of work to make this little village thrive. Don’t underestimate this game, there is a lot of complexity and a lot of pieces that need to fit together in order for these people to survive to the next generation. And it’s not just food or starvation, there are disasters as well. Since everything is wood, is something catches fire, it’s a tinderbox! If disease comes through it will decimate the population. I feel I’m going to invest a lot of hours into this. I like sim and building games and this has a nice combo of both.
I grabbed a copy for $9.99 in one of the flash sales. It’s still on sale for $14.99, but who knows when that will end or if the price will drop again. This is a pretty cool looking game that I think falls into that category of it takes a few minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master.
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