Sunday, November 6, 2016

Banished - Initial Thoughts

About The Game (From The Steam Store Page)

 In this city-building strategy game, you control a group of exiled travelers who decide to restart their lives in a new land. They have only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland.

The townspeople of Banished are your primary resource. They are born, grow older, work, have children of their own, and eventually die. Keeping them healthy, happy, and well-fed are essential to making your town grow. Building new homes is not enough—there must be enough people to move in and have families of their own.

Banished has no skill trees. Any structure can be built at any time, provided that your people have collected the resources to do so. There is no money. Instead, your hard-earned resources can be bartered away with the arrival of trade vessels. These merchants are the key to adding livestock and annual crops to the townspeople’s diet; however, their lengthy trade route comes with the risk of bringing illnesses from abroad.

There are twenty different occupations that the people in the city can perform from farming, hunting, and blacksmithing, to mining, teaching, and healing. No single strategy will succeed for every town. Some resources may be more scarce from one map to the next. The player can choose to replant forests, mine for iron, and quarry for rock, but all these choices require setting aside space into which you cannot expand.

The success or failure of a town depends on the appropriate management of risks and resources.

Previous Playtime

1 minute

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

I don't remember my specific reasoning for getting it when I did, but looking back at my transaction history, it looks like I bought it at 60% off over Thanksgiving weekend, 2014, so this was surely in my more games = better phase. I do remember putting it on my wishlist because I felt like I didn't have enough city-builders and this one looked to be intriguingly unique.

Expectations and Prior Experience

I guess I must have started it up at least once, but if I got anything from the experience, I've completely forgotten about it.

The city-builder genre is a tricky one for me because I love these games on a bone-deep level, but that just gives them the power to break my heart. If my virtual citizens are happy and thriving, then I'm on top of the world. If my mismanagement leads to famine and plague, then that's really going to bum me out. So much of my enjoyment is going to depend on the specific learning curve and the fiddliness of the mechanics.

I'm looking forward to Banished, though. Its barter and resource-dependent gameplay strike me as exactly the sort of infrastructure challenge that tends to capture my imagination.

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