User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 528 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 528

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  1. Mar 1, 2014
    3
    I am shocked by all the 10 score reviews. I love city builders and this one looks good and feels good but there are way too many issues.

    Bottom line, this game feels like a beta. Constantly, I assign builders to work on a building but they just scamper off to chop wood. I'm having to try to find work arounds to get workers to do what i want them to do.

    I look forward to updates
    because the game has loads of potential but is so frustrating to play at this point. Expand
  2. Feb 25, 2014
    3
    Based on the fact it has been done by only one person, this could be a good game, and this indeed have its qualities and its strengths. But i can't base a critic on this basis, as this would mean i'd rate one of the less finalised gestion games i have ever saw... Let's be serious, i explored the possibilities of this game in only a few hours, which let me build all the existing buildings, and led me to understand that the mechanism of population reproduction is not even thought : people just make babies by the will of Random Gods, placing them eventually in the same house or not, and this cannot work if you have too many houses that you thought you built in the purpose of, that is, making room for the next generation. Old people stay in the houses and the younger can't reproduce... Or, you make too many houses, and people just forget to leave together to do it... That's so annoying that it's forcing you to build just in time, just the right amount of houses, and then you have literally to pray so that people of the opposite gender inhabits one same house, because if this doesn't happen, there's a chance that you can't even destroy the too many houses you built : your population decrease, then it's impossible to destroy the overnumeral houses AND managing to have sufficient people working in the necessary jobs.

    I tell you : this is not a good unforgiving game. It's a bad unfinished game with some mechanics that weren't even thought or made. There have to be an algorithm for the people making couples and having their own house for growing their children, but there's not, it's purely random, and all the "difficulty" of the game goes from there. All the remaining is far too simple to constitute a decent gestion game. I gave up on my first day, after having easily understood all the mechanics, because they're basics, and they seem to work in the first few hours, but in the end, they don't, or they do by pure luck, or by pure exercise of mathematics. It's not gestion, it's probabilities and randomness. Quite sad, because the game, as i said earlier, has its qualities, but it's nor enough for me, by far. Unless there are very important patches to the major problem i tried to explain (i'm not an english speaker), I'll simply never play it again. Admitting i would, what would i do with this game ? When you have built you're huge town, you have nothing else to do. No real threat, no real depth beyond that, no real depth in the gestion itself which is essentially driven by randomness... Enough said. Avoid it for now, and hope that a Banished 2 comes one day to overcome all of this.
    Expand
  3. saz
    Mar 17, 2014
    4
    Pretty fun but done after 6 hours. There are no enemy's only disasters which aren't fun. The maps aren't that great. Rate of consumption seems to awkwardly eat in big chunks probably because I spent the whole game at 10x speed. Land should have some production rates for crops/hunting. It sucks waiting for trade boats. Trade could be improved by factions that are on the map and you have to explore to find. Would like to have knowledge based upgrades. I don't see any depth to the game. Expand
  4. Apr 8, 2014
    4
    I don't understand how anyone could call this the best city builder or survival game in years. I don't see how anyone in their right minds could rate this 10 out of 10. When Banished was just released, there was an enormous hype. The game stood at the top of Steam's bestseller list for weeks. At any given time, 13.000 people were playing the game. Now, 7 weeks after release, those 13.000 have shrunk to 1.300. The game is no longer at the top of the bestseller list, not even on the first page of it. And all the media attention has gone. Why is that?

    Because Banished does not hold people's attention very well. When I first started playing I was obsessing over it. There were new mechanics to learn, great visuals to look at, and a real buzz of something new. After about 15 hours of playing, I was working on my third city and it was all going well. I had obviously mastered many of the games mechanics. And that's where my attention started to wane.

    After a while that city reached a population of 600, and that's where the game started to act up. At first, people started starving because they were running from one end of a large map to the other for some menial task. Yes, they would rather die from starvation than pick up food from the barn next to them. After that, my food production started to fail because of the same problem. And from there, it was a cascade of death.

    I didn't give up and started two more cities, trying each time to do better. But the game had already lost most of it's appeal to me. I liked it at first, because it was relaxing and peaceful to build. But the further I got into it, the more punishing and destructive it became. On top of that there are some bugs and glitches that the developer acknowledged, but still hasn't fixed.

    And that is another one of my gripes. The developer that releases a game, is taken aback by all the bug reports, and just disappears. Seriously. Shortly after the release, we got two blog posts and a beta patch. Then, weeks of nothingness. Followed by one report saying that he doesn't get to code as much as he needs to. And that he won't do overtime because he doesn't see the point of it. A very, very apologetic blog post indeed. He knows that the game needs work, but he won't be doing it.

    He is supported by a very combative and poisonous community. Both on the official forums as on the Steam forums, there are a few teams of people who will respond to every post. They will say that in order to criticize a developer, you first need to develop a game of your own. That you should own a business yourself before you can have complaints about someone else's. That the bugs aren't bugs, but minor glitches. And that you just don't know how to play. That you should leave the developer alone, because he really has a hard time of it, and that he deserves a life too. So, no support to speak of.

    A game like this, to me, feels more like a blueprint. At best, it looks really nice and has some fantastic ideas. But it isn't finished by a long run and there's a good chance that it never will be. This game left me empty and a slightly frustrated. 4 out of 10.
    Expand
  5. Apr 9, 2014
    0
    Very bland and generic 'city builder'. Some UI elements are confusing, no signs of challenge other than trying to redirect the horrible NPC A.I. which just walk around and starve to death.
  6. Apr 7, 2014
    0
    I really want to like this game. However, it's unplayable for me and my husband. My husband can't even access the game without crashing. My gaming computer (4 months old) can access it but constantly has save game crashes that have been known since release with no update in sight. The problem is, I can sometimes save it on my own. The autosave feature can crash the game. If I set the autosave out as far as possible, I have to remember to save often and 7 times out of 10, this causes a crash and reverts to the last save state losing much time and work in the process especially if I haven't saved in a bit. It's clear according to Steam, the numbers are dropping off fast for a game so recently released and there is radio silence from the dev on when these bugs will be fixed. At $20 a pop, it's almost unconscionable to have such glaring errors be in the game on release, but further - this long after it became a known issue. Expand
  7. Mar 17, 2014
    4
    The ideas behind Banished are nice and the game even plays nice until your city exceeds a certain size. At this point you have build everything there is to build at least once and the only motivation left to expand any further is to reach new personal high score for the number of citizens that live in your town. So my biggest complaint with this game is long term motivation. The second issue I do have is that it is just far to easy even on the highest difficulty setting after you figured how it works. One last thing so, the after sales support and the communication of the developer is to say it nice "very slow". Expand
  8. Jul 13, 2014
    3
    A great game that is tragically fatally flawed.

    Once you move into the middle game (150 - 300 peopled town) you will begin to clearly see that software flaws. Resources in your Trading Centers will magically begin to disappear...specifically food and coal. After reaching the mid-game in three separate games and seeing my hard earned resources vanish into thin air the frustration became
    too much.

    I love city building games...but not ones that are fatally flawed.

    Sadly, Banished offers outstanding potential but clearly is not worth investing ones time into a game that undermines many hours of game play with the unrelenting disappearing of hard earned and well planned resources.
    Expand
  9. Feb 27, 2014
    4
    The game is not rewarding at all. You can spend plenty of hours building your village just to have it destroyed by starvation or disasters. I would not recommend this game.
  10. Oct 27, 2014
    2
    This is supposedly an all new game but in fact uses exactly the same (attractive) graphics as the Settlers. It also has the same failings but with a lot more bugs. It needs a lot more coding to make it work.

    First of all there is no object or "goal" to the game - nothing to achieve and no sense of progress or attainment of any targets. The main problem however is the characters. No
    wonder they are "banished". It's almost impossible to get them to do anything. In the classic Age of Empires II (for example) you click on a villager and then give them a task - build a building, gather resources etc. In this game you cannot do that - you can only select that a building should be built - a house or food resource, then the villagers just stand around doing nothing until they die of starvation or cold (Duh) !! Very exciting !!! What the game needs is an electric cattle prod to push into these lazy buggers to force them to do what you want them to do...but, of course, as there is no aim to the game then (as the villagers must think) what is the point ??? Expand
Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. May 11, 2014
    80
    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]
  2. May 7, 2014
    60
    Banished, as it stands now, looks like a game from Steam Early Access rather than a finished product.
  3. May 4, 2014
    72
    Unfortunately there's a lot of fiddly menus that don't always make things easy. [June 2014, p.78]