Banished - game review

I think that everyone has heard about The Settlers series. At some point we can call Banished a reboot of this classic game. I can promise you hours of great fun with this one.

I was always a great fan of The Settlers series, especially the first three games. I've spent hours of playing on building my own kingdom and that's why I was really excited when I heard that someone is trying to create a new game based on similar gameplay. I was also intrigued that there was no big studio behind this production, but only one man - Luke Hodorowicz. We all remember what Maxis/EA did with the last SimCity, and the latest The Settlers games weren't that "shiny" as well.

Now, Shinning Rock Software gives us a great production that perfectly captures the reality of building a village in the Middle Ages. Sometimes it is hard and the winter can kill more than half of our population, but this is how people lived at the time. Some may complain about the lack of multiplayer, but I like it the way it is.

A pickaxe in hand, and do your work

Banished offers us only one game mode, without any specific guidelines or objectives to be achieved. We choose only how large our map will be, the difficulty, the climate and if we want to experience a natural disaster (if you don't have experience in such games - disable it).

In the initial phase of the game we focus mainly on building the houses and, most importantly, on providing food to our little society.

Brace yourself...

We can collect resources simply by selecting the area that we want to "extract". For several years it will be enough, but later... Place a forester, or even several, because without trees there is no firewood, and without this element many of your residents are not going to survive the winter.

You can and should get food from several different sources. Farms are the most obvious solution, but we should also remember about fishery or pasture. The variety of food directly affects the health of our residents.

When you have already provided them with shelter, food and firewood for the winter, you can take care of building something that will increase their satisfaction. This refers to the taverns, churches and a number of other possibilities. The happiness of our citizens is one of the factors influencing their desire to have children.

Children are completely useless for the first several years, and empty food magazines like nobody else. But this is just like real life - a necessary evil. :-)

Without hard work there is no society.

Our little fellows don't have their roles assigned automatically so we have to manually assign them to specific tasks. We have a complete freedom of choice - everyone can work in any profession but remember that, for example, farmers have something to do only during the spring-autumn season, so, if you do not assign them to a new job, they are going to be completely useless. Each profession has a predetermined maximum number of employees dependent of the number of buildings of the profession. Everything here is of course linked -  each material is useful for something, and some products require several different materials to be able to create them - like better clothes and more durable tools.

A tornado is coming!

As in real life also here are various types of disasters. Some of them won't cause much damage but when you see a Tornado... prepare to rebuild your town from scratch. You can also prevend some disasters - if you have enough hospitals and wells you can easly survive the epidemic.

Finally, I will tell something about the graphics. I did not expect much from a game designed by one person... And I was amazed! Of course you can not expect AAA+ design but damn, it looks nice. Also music, even though is not anything special, can set the mood for the game, and doesn't hurt our ears even after few hours of playing.

Banished to the better world.

Everyone who likes real RTS games should try this production. Even though thare is no multiplayer, or military aspect, they may be added in nearest future. Do I recommend this game? In scale from 1 to 10 - hell yeah!

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