Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Feb 28, 2014
    If you’re a fan of God games and have found yourself disappointed by recent entries in the genre, such as the latest SimCity and the Early Access version of Peter Molyneux’s underwhelming Godus project, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this game.
  2. Think of it as a kind of rural Sim City with the difficulty ramped up and no nuclear power plants to lay down. It’s a game that tests your abilities as a pioneer to make it in a world where people need food to survive and if you don’t deliver they’ll die.
  3. Mar 2, 2014
    Banished challenges you to give your best and if you provide, it will reward. Perhaps you need to be a bit of a masochist to enjoy the game, but it is easily the most fun I have had in a sandbox city builder in a long time.
  4. Mar 3, 2014
    With resource management at its core this medieval village-builder is a sure alternative to the likes of Sim City.
  5. Feb 20, 2014
    As a pure city-building game, Banished is dazzling. It combines simple charms with transparent, complex systemic interactions, and a tough-but-fair difficulty curve.
  6. May 11, 2014
    A classical city-building game where you help a group of settlers to build a new home for themselves. That's Banished in a nutshell. In a surprising twist, the game doesn't feature any combat at all, but I personally didn't even miss it because after all it's a peaceful game where the main focus is planning your town's future and not fighting against evil aliens. Even though Banished was made by just one man, it feels really polished. In particular, the interface is really well done. Of course, no game is perfect and Banished has some issues. The biggest of them all is that there are no objectives or end goals so you can never really win or lose. [March 2014]
  7. Apr 22, 2014
    Still, it’s hard not to see the missed potential within Banished. It’s an excellently crafted city building and survival game, made even more impressive by the fact that it was created by one man.
  8. Mar 4, 2014
    Banished is a great example of an excellent game created without massive resources. Shining Rock Studios combined well-known solutions with new ideas that generate hours of interesting and very demanding gameplay set in a likeable world. Creating and expanding your own settlement provide tons of fun, and giving food and shelter to your subjects is extremely satisfying. Banished is one of the nicest surprises of the year so far.
  9. Feb 27, 2014
    A single developer did a far better job with Banished than the whole team of Maxis with Sim City. Yes, there are still some things missing, like upgrades or more buildings, but there will be mod tools for the community.
  10. Feb 27, 2014
    Banished is both challenging and addictive, and allows you to create your own unique medieval society.
  11. Feb 26, 2014
    Banished reinforces the human drama with its brutal difficulty and negative feedback loops. It's fertile soil for some of the most remarkable emergent storytelling around.
  12. Feb 24, 2014
    Powered by a single developer, Banished is a unique city-builder game with a strong sandbox component. Deep and technically well done, is a recommended purchase for all fans of the genre.
  13. Feb 20, 2014
    If I didn't know better, I probably wouldn't be able to tell Banished's all the more impressive solo-dev origins. It achieves everything it set out to do and has no real weaknesses. Also, 20 Euros is a fair asking price for a complex city-building survival-sim that knows full well how challenging and enjoyable it can be to start out small. If you need quests, missions or declared goals in your sims, this is not for you. Everyone else: Enjoy! Winter is coming and the children are starving.
  14. Feb 17, 2014
    While the genre can be difficult to get into due to clunky interfaces, obtuse or cryptic instructions, and infuriating citizen behaviors, Banished offers a fairly intuitive take on things and it’s also easy on the eyes.
  15. Mar 28, 2014
    Past the steep learning curve and trial-and-error gameplay of Banished lies a methodically crafted labor of love that is as precise as it is thrilling.
  16. Mar 1, 2014
    This tough city builder takes you and your capital delightfully serious, but thinking logically and rationally. Once you figure out the system, the game unfortunately loses its challenge though.
  17. May 4, 2014
    Unfortunately there's a lot of fiddly menus that don't always make things easy. [June 2014, p.78]
  18. Apr 2, 2014
    First hours with Banished are very enjoyable, but when the town starts functioning like clockwork, the game loses its appeal, because it's short of features – there’s no campaign here, no scenarios. [04/2014, p.68]
  19. Mar 27, 2014
    Banished is a rare technical achievement, pure in design and of purpose. Its many deaths almost always feel fair, and the battle up to self-sufficiency is gripping. But the absence of a long game beyond this early toil makes it hard to find reasons to settle down here, except for the views, especially if you’ve established yourself on these frosty plains before.
  20. Mar 5, 2014
    It is an entertaining title that offers some freshness... but that will soon run out if it is not completed with new content to grant a bit more variety. An interesting option for those who love simulation and management games, with a pretty reasonable price that makes it even a more desirable offer. A must buy just if we can assume it will be updated in the future.
  21. Feb 26, 2014
    Banished is a good city builder game that needs some refinements, but still has a charming atmosphere and interesting ideas.
  22. Feb 21, 2014
    A nice change of pace for city-builders, but it loses momentum once the immediate urgency of survival goes away.
  23. Feb 19, 2014
    Banished is like the quiet kid in school: unassuming, down-to-earth but also filled with hidden depths. If you're looking for a no-nonsense city builder that demands you keep a handle on important things like food, warmth and how much beer your citizens have. Once you've figured out the basic mechanics, Banished's appeal can dip slightly but there remains something weirdly engrossing about watching the seasons pass.
  24. Feb 18, 2014
    Life on the frontier wasn't pretty and neither is Banished, but it does provide an interesting city-building simulation with an excellently designed user interface.
  25. Feb 17, 2014
    A solid city builder that will appeal to most fans of the genre even if it's currently lacking in features and scope.
  26. May 7, 2014
    Banished, as it stands now, looks like a game from Steam Early Access rather than a finished product.
  27. 60
    An interesting twist on the concept of a tycoon game that falls short of its ambition. [Issue #240]
  28. Mar 4, 2014
    A picturesque city-building strategy game by a one-man developer team only, which mixes complex city-building features with brutal struggle for survival. Banished will initially flog you, then blow your mind. However, it will bore you eventually.
  29. Feb 28, 2014
    I liked playing Banished. It was complex, but never fiddly, difficult, but rarely cruel, though it would benefit from a little more transparency. But as soon as I had a handle on it, as soon as I'd started to see through some of the fog of its complexity, I wanted to grasp for something bigger, something greater. Banished is satisfying, but never spectacular. That's not quite enough for me.
  30. Feb 27, 2014
    If you put the lack of missions aside as a consequence of the budget price tag, Banished is still a flawed game. There's brilliant concepts and a core that shines, but a troublesome interface and a general lack of breadth of content is clearly an issue.
  31. Feb 24, 2014
    What really kills Banished for me is the overwhelming sense of pointlessness. There are no goals, no scenarios, no unlockables, no longterm luxury goods or endgame wonders or upper level populations or advanced buildings. There is no finale. There is, instead, a world without end.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 577 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 154
  1. Feb 18, 2014
    Amazing game for me. This type of game is really rare, and hard to make it good. It has some deficiency, but the game is combined perfectly.Amazing game for me. This type of game is really rare, and hard to make it good. It has some deficiency, but the game is combined perfectly. The fact is that this game is made by one guy is making it more amazing! I mean SimCity is made by a big company, compared to this they made nothing. I mean it. Anyways this game is a must buy if you like RTS and city building games! Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2014
    Finally a great city builder type of game that doesnt filled with always online DRM and other non sense.

    although its not like Sim City
    Finally a great city builder type of game that doesnt filled with always online DRM and other non sense.

    although its not like Sim City where you build an utopia, a dream city .. here you build a village and not just a village it has to be very balanced village, with everything thought out. there is rogue like element here, where you have to restart over and over until you using trial and error method find your way to build a proper village.

    this is sort of survival city builder game, the only game i've seen that is some what similar to this one is dwarf fortress.

    I would recommend this game to anyone who likes the city building genre.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 19, 2014
    One of the best city builders that as come out in the last few years. For once you have to think before you do anything . Some may not likeOne of the best city builders that as come out in the last few years. For once you have to think before you do anything . Some may not like the interface . I keep a few windows open and i do fine. First time i played , it was 4 am by the time i looked up ,says a lot about how much this game sucks you in. You end up feeling about your villagers and there plight. Full Review »