Most of my time lately has been spent playing Banished, which is a city builder game that I picked up on a Steam sale for $6. This might be the best $6 I’ve ever spent on a game.
I love this game. Historically, I am terrible at city builder games and usually give up on them quickly because it’s no fun to watch people starve to death. (That’s how my cities usually end up.) Even going back to the earliest city builder game I can remember, a type-in BASIC program called Hamurabi that I played on a TRS-80 Color Computer, I almost always starved my people.
But for some reason, Banished is simple enough for me to grasp the mechanics of it and actually enjoy playing it. Maybe it’s all of the cool built-in graphs that you can see, which gives you a pretty good idea of where your settlement needs work without having to wait for people to start dying.
It’s fascinating to watch all the little people milling around like ants as they do their jobs. It’s a little weird that people age at a faster rate than the seasons go by though. It’s sort of like a Game of Thrones world where the winters last 10 years.
Banished also has a time-traveling feature: Somehow time disappears when I’m playing it so I can only assume it’s transporting me into the future somehow.
Here’s one very important tip if you decide to try Banished: Do not build two storage barns next to each other. You do not want to see what happens to your fledgling town if a tornado touches down right on top of them and destroys everything you’ve produced.