I recently purchased the game Banished from a Steam Sale and I was super excited because I love building/resource management games, even though they infuriate the hell outta me.
I’ve been playing on the easier levels and, even at easier levels, I had to restart at least 20 times before I had a working town that would survive more than the first few years.
Banished has no real story. As far as I can tell this game is about a group of people who’ve been banished to this land and have to rebuild/start over. You have trees to harvest, iron and stone to mine, herbs to gather for medicine and food to collect.
I enjoy that the food isn’t simple. You can grow a vast amount of crops once you have bought the appropriate seeds. You can gather in the forest, yielding roots, onions, berries. Herds are also available for chickens, cows and sheep, however fishing is where I tend to get most of my food. I build a lot of fishing huts on the largest body of water I can find.
After doing that, you have to assign your villagers to where you want them to work. You simply open up your worker panel and click the number of people you want working in a specific area. It will tell you how many open jobs you have so that you don’t over-assign. Doing so results in a very confused villager wondering around, trying to figure out what to do.
You build houses, extend the resource storage areas, create barns. All very simple things, but this is by far not a simple game. The problem I kept having was striking that much needed balance between housing and food. I know that sounds simple, but it’s far from it. I kept building too many houses, then not gathering enough food and forgetting that winter slows the collection of new food. I’ve basically committed mass murder several times via starvation. I am a cruel overload.
Even when you find the happy balance, anything could happen to change it. You gain new citizens via childbirth and groups of nomads. I once accepted a group of 30 nomads and didn’t compensate quickly enough to ensure I was producing enough food. A lot of people died from starvation (I recovered, though, thankfully). Also, your people can contract the flu and the measles, along with a slue of other diseases. These can kill if they spread around the village. Your people can freeze to death if you don’t have enough fire wood and warm coats.
I don’t even want to know what would have happened if the natural disasters setting was turned on.
All of that being said, I love playing Banished. You can earn achievements throughout your gameplay for completing certain ‘goals.’ Unfortunately, there is no end of the game, so you can keep your village going on forever. As much as I love open ended games, sometimes I feel lost and get bored when I run out of goals. So, I will start a new village on a harder difficulty and see where that takes me.
Not to mention, the community is huge and the mods are endless. I’ve added several already and think I’ll be adding a few more to my next game. I want a Japanese village and a medieval kingdom, which are all possible through the community mods.
Do you play already? Send us your screenshots!