First Impressions: Banished

First Impressions: Banished - The fun part of RTS games, city-building!

I’ve heard a lot of interesting things about Banished in the last two weeks, with people recommending it and others crying in frustration at their village being destroyed by a tornado. I knew I had to check it out, and I was only too pleased that it wasn’t an Early Access game; even if it’s just a perception the Early Access phenomenon really bothers me.

I wouldn’t say the game is especially pretty, but its aesthetic fits what it’s trying to do, and it’s extremely impressive that it was all created by one developer. The premise is that you have a group of exiled people who now have to rebuild their life. Think somewhere between Sim City, Age of Empires and Black & White (but without the pet). It’s actually a lot of fun, and I’ve been able to throw 10 hours at it without really noticing. I have just finally stopped starving my citizens, something I feel pretty proud about.

The struggles you’ll face are what you’d expect: starvation, freezing, disease, and natural disasters for example. Most of these can be easily combated by collecting food to store for the winter, gathering logs and changing them into firewood, building hospitals etc. However for a long time I seemed to be perpetually terrible at feeding my people! It’s hard to manage your population as if you build too many houses, your population will slowly expand, and if you don’t have the resources to support that growth your people will start dying. Luckily, Gatherers seem to be an insanely good early game food production method, so I’ve been able to start off a new town and grow to 50+ adults (plus students and children) with pretty steady growth.

All in all, though, it’s a great game for someone like me, who enjoys the building and resource gathering phases of an RTS, but not the micro-managing aspects of army-building and invading my enemies. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys building and resource simulations, it’s a lot of fun and not too badly priced! Pick up Banished for €18.99 on Steam now.