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Banished Review

Banished does not pull it's punches. Set in medieval times, this city builder gives the player control of a band of people who set out in search of a new place to call home. With the traditional city management aspects of resource gathering, job distribution and building construction, the game is easy to get into for any lover of the genre. The game throws all it's tools at you from the very beginning, there is no skill tree or technology progression, if you have the materials you can build it. Your main focus will be on your people, keeping them alive and assuring you have enough of them to fill all the jobs demanded by your growing town. Seeing your town grow gains a sense of achievement and gravity that not many other games in the genre can replicate.

Your most important resources are guided by their respective necessity in survival, as such food and firewood are primary, especially in preparation for winter. And oh boy winter will test your preparedness. The first few winters hit hard and give you an initial challenge which makes you run against the clock. Luckily that clock can be paused, giving you all the time necessary to get everything in order and everyone working towards the same goal. Once these first few winters have been dealt with and you have the necessary production and storage for these resources you get to focus on developing your town and focusing more on the production of stone and other materials needed for building. But do not forget to keep accounting for new members of your village, or you may run out of food in the middle of winter, leaving your town to slowly starve away.

Banished will give you a challenge. But with it's great balance and cyclical design it won't leave you drained or overwhelmed. Instead it comes with a great sense of achievement despite opting out of a technology progression that so many in it's genre rely on. I can wholeheartedly recommend Banished to anyone who enjoys the city building genre. It may take you a while to build a huge and magnificent city, but you'll be more proud for it.

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