Banished

Good
  • Realistic medieval feel through game design and graphics
  • Wealth of options to generate your randomised game world provides plenty of opportunity to tweak your challenge
Bad
  • Lack of goals and direction can make it difficult for goal orientated players to dive into Banished and stick around
9

Banished joins the ranks of the city build genre with a 2014 release that takes it into a unique medieval setting where you’ll build from humble beginnings into a thriving economic powerhouse. Banished opts not to throw abundance of resources at players either and instead looks to force players into resource scarcity so that every decision is one of balance as you try to survive and with some luck, thrive.

banished-gameplay-settlement-graphs

Banished starts you off with your own community of outcasts who have come together and decided to start their own settlement fleeing from various other parts of the kingdom to find a new home. Importantly Banished randomly generates a new world each time so it’s always challenging and fresh which requires some adjustment and allows for multiple playthroughs. With the map seed option it’s also easy to share your favourites with friends and other fans of the game in the various online communities.

Other settings of Banished gives players control over in each individual game include terrain type, size, climate, disasters and the starting condition of your settlement. By mixing and matching these together it’s easy to create something casual and fun or difficult for the hardcore city building fan which is more attuned to the intended Banished experience.

banished-gameplay-settlement-river

Starting out in each Banished game you’ll have minimal resources (depending on your settings above) and slowly start thriving in what are generally harsh environments. Because of the medieval setting all the resources and mechanics are based on the era with wood and stone being your main construction resources while food comes predominately through farming and fishing and used to feed your population. Unlike other titles in the genre Banished does away with any sort of construction paths with all buildings available from day one.

As you clear land you’ll be able to create houses, farms and other buildings while assigning your villagers to these structures (which will then become their job). With over two dozen professions for your townsfolk there is a lot to manage and balance between micro and macro plays. This ranges from your general labourer and builder to the more advanced teachers, physicians and clerics who server as your later game objectives. Early on you’ll find the majority of villagers work as farmers, herdsman, gatherers, fisherman and hunters as you maximise food from the randomised environment.

banished-gameplay-settlement-stats

This randomised environment also has a strong influence on the availability of different resources which requires players to adjust accordingly and potentially trade heavily through the barter system with travelling vessels. Reaction to the weather also ensures players can’t rest easy at any point in Banished with seasons introducing dropping or rising temperatures to contend with.

Ultimately your goal in Banished is to keep your population happy and improve their lives, a journey that is full of challenges and promises lots of replay value thanks to the random world design. The graphics really bring this adventure to life with a good balance of realism and providing information at a quick glance so it’s easy to get immersed in the game as you build up your dream settlement.

Summary:

  • Medieval city building adventure that focuses on survival of your settlement.
  • Randomised maps and seeds ensures that each game is a new adventure with ample control over the world generation.
  • Utilise 20 varied jobs to assign to your villagers allowing them to specialise in mining, hunting, healing and many more.
  • Balance resources such as logs, stone, iron, leather, herbs, wool, food and tools.
  • Impressive graphics and weather system bring the world and your settlement to life and further builds your connection.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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