Banished

Genre: City-building Strategy / Survival / Simulation
Developer: Shining Rock Software
Gamemode: Singleplayer

In this game you start with a handful exiled travellers who decided to start a new life in a new country. You will start on a random generated map and can choose the level of difficulty you want to play at. Your people got no money, only the resources they collected and grew. You will start with a woodcutter, a forester and some hunters and collectors of mushrooms and roots to feed your people and get materials for giving them shelter. The success or failure of your village depends on your wise management. Once you reached a point that your peoples basic needs are all fulfilled you can start trading for new seeds or animals for your farms.

Your first goal is to get enough wood for the fireplaces in your houses and enough food for your people. The winter is going to come and you will need every helping hand to get all done. The need of firewood can be reduced by upgrading the houses to stone houses. You will also need clothes for the winter and they will be produced by the tailor but he needs either a hunter or a sheep farm to get the materials.

Don't expect to be able to just build anything, you need to plan each building because getting recources isn't that easy and some will not repawn except you got for example a forester to plant new trees. The moment your workers get hungry they will just go home and eat something, but no worries, they'll come back for working. The more different food you provide, the more healthy the villagers will be. If you also place an herbivore and a little hospital you will make sure that no epidemic can spread.

If your people need to hastily bury their relatives behind their house they will be depressed and unhappy. So you better build a cemetery. Depressed people won't work very well and they won't reproduce. Educated children will of course work more effective later on. You should also keep in mind that refugees that ask for the permission to stay might bring diseases. Luckily you can turn on or off natural disasters when you start a game, so don't need to have a tornado on your map. Other than that you will have to watch pretty much everything. Only automatic function is that dying workers get automatically some replacement as long as you got any unemployment.

The graphics of Banished are detailed, the textures simple and not really very nice, rather average and they fit to the medieval theme. The sounds and weather effects fit. Technically the game runs very well and auto save will take care that no crash will get a disaster. A tutorial provides help for new players and the menu is easy understandable. To build a bigger town is possible but also a challenge. The play mechanic is working perfect and the raise of a city won't be easy. It would be awesome to have any new buildings by updates from time to time, but it might not be easy to integrate those in the existing economy and this game left the early access already, so we can only hope for additional mod content.

Our recommendation: If you love city-building strategy games you definitely need to buy this one!