Banished Image
Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 568 Ratings

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  • Summary: In this city-building strategy game, control a group of exiled travelers who opt to restart their lives in a new land. They bring only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland. The townspeople of Banished are your primary resource.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Feb 28, 2014
    90
    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. Mar 3, 2014
    83
    With resource management at its core this medieval village-builder is a sure alternative to the likes of Sim City.
  3. Apr 22, 2014
    80
    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.
  4. Mar 1, 2014
    75
    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.
  5. Mar 27, 2014
    70
    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.
  6. Feb 21, 2014
    70
    A nice change of pace for city-builders, but it loses momentum once the immediate urgency of survival goes away.
  7. Feb 24, 2014
    20
    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.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 151
  1. Apr 3, 2014
    10
    After many years of reading metacritic reviews I decided to sign up to recommend this game wholeheartedly.

    The gameplay is beautifully
    After many years of reading metacritic reviews I decided to sign up to recommend this game wholeheartedly.

    The gameplay is beautifully balanced and really rewards intelligent planning. There are no hidden mechanisms behind the town's operation, instead you can see every single resource moving around, and every single citizen doing their part. It reminds me a little of Tropico in that respect.

    The complaint that you get a 'world without end' and 'no scenarios or achievements' is in my view very short sighted. It is a very interesting challenge just to get all the basics up and running and even then the great thing about the game is how fine tuned it is. If you imbalance the town by growing too quickly or neglecting a certain type of resource then you can find yourself in difficulty. There are also occasional disasters to keep you on your toes and force you to react and rebalance.

    And after all that, without having exceptional graphics, the game somehow has a very pleasing look to it that really rewards aesthetic planning.

    Thoroughly recommended.
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  2. Feb 23, 2014
    10
    This game looks simple, but it is a lot tougher than it looks. Everything seems to affect other things. I lose some people to starvationThis game looks simple, but it is a lot tougher than it looks. Everything seems to affect other things. I lose some people to starvation because I can't keep them fed. So I finally get that issue fixed and build up a surplus of food, then their tools start to wear out. I finally get a blacksmith shop and a blacksmith, but all the while, they cant build as fast or farm or hunt because of worn out tools, so my food runs out, I run out of coats to keep them warm because they can't hunt deer for the leather (or venison), so they freeze to death. Now I don't have enough population to spare one to be a blacksmith, because I need them to gather food.... well, you get the point. This is NOT a complaint... this is a challenging game, and well worth the $20. This runs circles around SIM CITY and those types of games. Looks simple, easy controls... but don't let that fool ya! Expand
  3. Feb 18, 2014
    10
    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! Expand
  4. Mar 2, 2014
    9
    This is a town-building survival game. You have to make sure your civilians get food, clothes and shelter. At times everything looks stableThis is a town-building survival game. You have to make sure your civilians get food, clothes and shelter. At times everything looks stable and easy, wonderful isn't it? Not so fast. Once you start facing problems like running out of food, tools or clothes (mostly after a baby boom), that's when the whole town can start crumbling like a deck of cards, faster than you might expect. Prudence is your friend here, dear reader, and this game will be pretty mean and unforgiving if you're negligent.

    You might be thinking: "All I have to do is avoid the baby booms, easy peasy". So what do you do? You logically stop building more houses because that means less room for families to expand (and have babies), and then it's all good, right? Wrong. If you wait too long you'll have to face the problem of regress, with a population that's too old to make babies. With very few births your population will die off faster than it reproduces and that's obviously a problem. While babies and students mature you gotta have enough workers left to produce food and clothes for everybody. That being said: It's hard to maintain a stable population. It's challenging, and that's great if you love challenges. If you don't -- if you want a walk in the park until a screen pops up saying "VICTORY!" -- this game is not for you. Also: There is no victory (that I know of), there's no apotheotic triumph. Only despair and misery awaits you. The question is: how long will you last? How far can you expand your town before everybody is wiped out by your incompetence or lack of resources (usually both)? The game is still delicious even though the future of your town won't look pretty in the long run.

    Trade:
    There is no money, it's all about trading resources of a kind (raw materials and produced goods) in exchange for resources of another kind... For instance: trading a bunch of firewood for some chickens.

    Producing food:
    You can buy seeds and plant your crops and orchards too, it's actually nice when it comes to agriculture, there's a lot of variety to choose from (once you're powerful enough to afford all the seeds).
    If you don't want to produce food through artificial means (agriculture and pastures) you can always treat your town as a hunter-gatherer society, but that's likely to be troublesome once the population growth hits a variable threshold (it depends on how much food you can collect at any given time). Remember that, historically speaking, human societies have thrived thanks to agriculture and other technological advancements (read "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond for more info, if you enjoy anthropology), so you might wanna invest in agriculture if you wanna survive later on.
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  5. Mar 9, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. [Condensed]

    There are no wars or deadly encounters with other civilizations here. There is only the ongoing battle against nature and her cruel, cold embrace. Surviving famines, winters, and plague outbreaks are the steps you will have to take in waging your personal war of survival. The most crushing and interesting aspect of the war is that you could be winning it all the way until the moment you're suddenly left crippled and defenseless, as your last settler succumbs to old age, disease, or some other unparalleled consequence in the world. The graphics aren't too poorly rendered, the story is relatively slim in content, and the sound effects are mundane at best, but the experience is certainly worthwhile and intuitive for those who enjoy the sort of planning required in staking your claim and defending it in a simulated landscape.

    Concept: Build your settlement from the ground up, survive the harsh winters and outbreaks of disease that will inevitably attack it, and attempt to make your way in a simple, deadly world.

    Graphics: Simple and basic overall, but not terrible in their concept and design. Could use improvements of course, but run smoothly enough with their lower levels of required power.

    Sound: All the basic sound effects you would hear in an olden town can be found here, with nothing really out of the ordinary to distinguish them from other games' sounds, aside from knowing what actions are being performed.

    Playability: Quite an accessible title as command giving goes, and the controls are pretty easy to grasp once you get the hand of them. The game is addicting and the goal is simple, making for a worthwhile experience as well.

    Entertainment: An entertaining simulation and planning/building game that is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy interesting computer games and factoring in your overall survivability in a dangerous, unforgiving world.

    Replay Value: Moderately High.

    Overall Score: 8.5
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  6. Feb 26, 2014
    7
    The game has an inverse difficulty curve in that making it through your first few winters is probably the games greatest challenge. Get beyondThe game has an inverse difficulty curve in that making it through your first few winters is probably the games greatest challenge. Get beyond the need for simple food and shelter and your settlement can start to grow and you find yourself in a relaxing well-made village builder. Once you start playing it has that, just one more year, quality that keeps you sat at the PC engrossed as the hours fly by.

    However, a week on I find myself with little incentive to replay. As the game currently lacks any higher goals or real sense of progression once you have a viable settlement.

    While I’m hugely impressed this all came from one person I feel the game needs more depth. In its current form it has too little replayablity. As a foundation to add greater depth you could not ask for better than this, and I hope in time the dev and modders flesh out the game. I am glad I purchased, but I will now be taking a long pause until the game gets built upon.
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  7. 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. MyI 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

See all 151 User Reviews