User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 121 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 121
  2. Negative: 70 out of 121

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  1. Jun 9, 2013
    Ok game however the development of the game has added some cool new features but in some ways the game has actually taken a step back... i'm not sure what the future holds for this game, but for the price i would recommend buying it.
  2. Jan 18, 2014
    Total junk. Nothing is explained. Very crude graphics (I could draw better) with no animations. This could be a student project in college maybe but to ask money for this is simply madness. Maybe this game just shows how broken the whole "Greenlight" system on Steam is.
  3. Nov 24, 2012
    If you've played Dwarf Fortress, then you know exactly what you can expect from Towns, except you really can't. Great concept,terrible implementation and design. Interface is a horrible mess, lacks any sort of direction. Almost every aspect of this game is unpolished and unplayable. Riddled with bugs and problems this game isn't worth the money they are asking for it. Avoid at all costs.
  4. Jul 25, 2013
    Towns is a very bad and frustrating strategy game, which looks not very good, can be controlled bad and is unclear. The game is too expensive for this quality.
  5. Sep 1, 2013
    An alpha-stage game released as a full-retail product, then abandoned, to call Towns a "game" is a huge stretch. It is surprising that retailers (like Steam) would risk their reputations by allowing a fake game to be sold, but it is an increasingly common practice, and customers must remain vigilant. Towns would be difficult to recommend, even if free. Don't make the mistake that others have made, and skip this one. Expand
  6. Nov 12, 2012
    To say that Towns is a bit rough around the edges might be an understatement. The tutorial is a train wreck. The AI needs some major work. The attack animations look awful. It can be difficult to find things in the UI at first. Despite all this, I can't stop playing the darn thing.
    Towns has a similar game play style to Dwarf Fortress. Instead of directly controlling your "townies",
    you give them orders, and they carry them out... eventually. Prioritizing which orders to give is the trick of the game. Give too many orders, and your townies will run around aimlessly, and become unhappy from being overworked. Additionally to townies, you can attract heroes to your town, who will explore the dungeons below the town, giving you access to the loot that they drop. The graphics are retro, but charming. If you're not sure if Towns will appeal to you, I'd suggest trying the demo. Oh, and avoid the tutorial at all costs. Expand
  7. Koo
    May 12, 2013
    Towns isn't terrible. It's just not enjoyable as a game. The problems: 1) The "soundtrack" consists of a single song that lasts about 20 seconds and loops continuously. The solution: Music volume 0%. 2) Towns has an insane amount of micromanagement! The solution: None. While there are some shortcuts and some automation, it is minimal. 3) The overall experience. Overall Towns sucks. It's just not fun to play. There are too many menus, too many submenus, and the in-game experience basically consists of "point-and-click". Overall, I cannot recommend Towns. I have a limited amount of time in my day, and it is frankly better spent doing other activities than playing this terrible game. 3/10. Expand
  8. Jun 25, 2014
    I would have loved to give more points to this game, as the idea was good. The 4 points are for the addictive sensation you get from the demo, which disappear really fast when you see the time it takes to build anything in this game.

    The AI is stupid, people die all the time and do stupid things, the RPG aspect is non-existent, and you can even ruin your whole map if you make the
    mistake to let water flow in your caves

    The music is so annoying that I had to cut it, and the graphics are not sensational

    Conclusion : I might reconsider my opinion if the game grows a bit faster, but it seems the creators took the money and ran away with it.
  9. Nov 10, 2012
    This game could be so much fun! but everything is downright BROKEN! Seriously, It crashes every 5 minutes, the tutorials barely help you out, the mining is (to me) very confusing and clunky, and the same music playing throughout the game is so repetitive it gives you an instant headache. Don't buy this now, buy it later when (hopefully) all of this is fixed.
  10. May 18, 2013
    Very disappointing. This game had the potential to be a great game but they stopped short. The AI is about as dumb as it gets. The developers may know how to code but they are severely lacking at understanding the importance of time management, efficiency and resource management when it comes to a city building game. Simple things like providing food becomes a logistical nightmare and never ending click fest. The interface is terrible and requires that you constantly verify your building levels otherwise you waste time and resources. Mehhhh...... Expand
  11. Sep 21, 2013
    This game might have been good, with a tutorial. As it stands, I have no idea what the heck is going on. The "tutorial" maps are just easier maps, they don't actually teach you how to play.
  12. Apr 7, 2013
    As a Dwarf Fortress player, I really, really want to like this game. It promises to be Dwarf Fortress without the horrible interface. It's... just not, however. It does have a better interface, mostly. You actually just set how much food you want produced at all times, and townies will butcher the cows on their own to fulfill your quotas that's a solid improvement, at least.

    However, the problem comes with the whole "goal of the game" thing. Dwarf Fortress just lets you do whatever, and is robust enough of a game to make doing whatever crazy thing that comes to mind actually rich and enjoyable. Towns, however, lets you build your town's most basic functions in just a few minutes, then tells you to mine down for the rest, where you encounter the dungeons that are the "real" part of the game. To clear these dungeons, you need heroes, which are beyond your control. Basically, you just run an inn for the heroes who do all the game for you while you just wait for them to finish mopping up.

    Then your townies run in and get eaten by monsters because you can't tell them not to pick up shiny items the monsters drop, much like Dwarf Fortress's notorious mob rushes for the socks of dead goblins years ago. Heroes and townies drop like flies at the lower levels, but there's nothing you can really do about any of that, as combat is nothing but dumb luck against monsters that are just ever-increasing numbers, and nobody listens to your orders when it comes to monsters, anyway.

    Basically, this game is just Dwarf Fortress without the attention to realism, and five years of development behind, but with a better interface. That, ALONE, would still make it a recommendable game, except that you quite honestly have nothing to DO during all the time you spend "playing" the game, but watch the ant farm run itself.

    The only times you are forced to act are when caravans come or sieges come and sieges are a massive pain because of interface problems, at that. The only thing you can do in this game is build more of your town, and even that is ironically best done down in the dungeons, repurposing the old rooms rather than building new ones.

    There's the potential for a brilliant game, if it could just solve some of Dwarf Fortress's old problems, and actually set out to create some new territory of worth to fill, but the pathway from here to there is a loooong one, indeed.
  13. Jul 20, 2013
    Not going to bother with the Day 1 was deceptive alpha release day argument.

    I have never played a more frustrating game. I think ive put more time into managing my idiot townies feeding themselves and building mudhuts in the hopes of one day making a mythical BS screenshot worthy city that the game originally boasted its players could do.

    To this day every attempt at this game has
    left me with a headache and a heartache at what could have been... Expand
  14. Oct 15, 2013
    I bought this game when it was still in early stages (early 2012), I didn't like it much then, I decided I would wait and see if it got better, and it did, but not much. I feel that some of the mixtures in game play were very bad choices and the game is very difficult to understand in the beginning and also very harsh. The game weirdly kind of quickly paced, which doesn't make much sense, I find that some frogman or other weird enemy is attacking my people the minute I start the game and I have no defense. The game is very slow to start up, which doesn't suit it's quicker paced world. It is very hard to get into and I've just given up on it. If the game was like 3 pounds, all this could be excused... but it's not, it's like 7 pounds. Expand
  15. Nov 12, 2012
    The game isn't even finished. Why would anybody promote a "developer" for taking advantage of gullible Greenlight voters like this? I won't even disrespect the indie community by giving this game a 1+.
  16. Jul 6, 2014
    Shameless money-grab; this game did have quite a bit of potential, but a large amount of bugs. The developer stated, in 2012, that the bugs would be squashed, but eventually abandoned the game, stating he did not earn enough. What actually happened; he released a preview-game, rife with bugs, and let tens of thousands buy it. When sales started dropping, he abandoned it, and started talking about new projects. Expand
  17. Dec 14, 2012
    It pains me to have to give Towns such a low score. I purchased this game some time ago when they still admitted it was in alpha and was happy to support development of a concept I enjoyed. I played through several versions of the game before the release to Steam and have 50 hours into that version as well, so clearly if you want to badly enough, you can play the game and get some enjoyment out of it. Sadly, playing the game at this time means fighting with a clunky interface, dealing with a very unpolished product, and working around all the idiotic aspects built into the game currently as well as all the missing features the makers of the game decided not to include at release. There are basic thing that you cannot do at all, like filling in a hole with dirt, and even more things that can only be done by a cheating "hand of God" that has the power to delete items immediately or summon water/lava out of this air.

    I like the concept, and I want to like the game very badly, but this product is quite simply sub par. It feels very incomplete and you would swear you were playing an alpha rather than a released product. When you look at all the other options out there for the same price or less, I can't see how you could justify recommending Towns to anybody.
  18. Nov 13, 2012
    The best thing you can say about Towns is that it has the potential to be a very good game. Basically, you manage the town on top of a dungeon. It's similar to Dwarf Fortress in that you gather resources, tell your townies what to do, make stuff and expand your little settlement...all while defending it from the baddies. The concept is sound.

    The problem is that the game was released
    on Steam in an Alpha state. Essentially, the exact same build that was considered an Alpha prior to Towns being Greenlit, was then released as a finished product on Steam without disclosure that the product isn't finished. It has some pretty severe technical issues with crashes, the tutorials are hideous and the whole thing feels shoddy. That the developer seems to have resisted disclosing their product is unfinished in an effort to generate more sales is just extremely poor business. Presently, with the problems any alpha faces, the game isn't any better than a 3...with the potential for the game to be a 9 within 6 months to a year. The only question is do you reward someone for doing business that way? Well, I don't review for potential and I don't like being ripped off, so it gets what it deserves right now. And that's a 3. Expand
  19. Jul 16, 2013
    Towns is obviously based on Dwarf Fortress, and while Dwarf Fortress isn't perfect it is still a lot of fun. The thing is, Towns takes everything that Dwarf Fortress has wrong (interface), and leaves out everything the Dwarf Fortress does RIGHT, (basically 90% of the game).

    If you are going to make a graphical version of Dwarf Fortress you need to 1) have a good interface, 2) make the
    graphics not terrible, 3) Most importantly, keep most of the game play that makes Dwarf Fortress GOOD. Expand
  20. Aug 21, 2013
    I think this is quite a funny game, even if it could be much better:
    the interface is quite lacking, and the interactions are not so various as it might seems.
    This said, i find it funny and entertaining.
  21. Nov 11, 2012
    This game has great potential, but it still feels very much in Alpha state, and many parts of it feel broken and un-finished. I feel robbed and I'm not sure if it is right for games like this to be greenlit unless they are listed under Alpha/Beta's category to warn buyers.
  22. Nov 12, 2012
    I didn't vote for "Towns" to be greenlit, I had seen a bunch of people raving about it and I figured, what the heck, I'll go for it. Here's what I found: it's a city builder type game, it takes a long while to get anywhere, the graphics are bland, the music is horrible, the documentation is next to non-existent, the animation is sparse, the sound effects are laughably bad. I know it was cheap but I expected more. Part of the problem is that the game is still in alpha... except it didn't appear to be in alpha based on the store page on steam. The game is still rather buggy, the "controls" can be counter-intuitive, the tutorials are just barely there. At the end of it all I was still unsure of how the game was played. I knew enough to get barely started and that was it. So what IS the game about? You build a city by taking a group of inhabitants and telling them to chop some wood, gather some wild grain and apples, mine some stone, etc. You help provide the framework and the citizens will take care of everything else (If you know how to tell them to keep making certain items). Unfortunately the AI is so poor that all it takes is for someone to walk near an enemy for them to attack. At times they'll be almost dead and I'll see the citizen run TO the fight instead of away from it. You can set priorities for things but it seems like it'd be more helpful if you could dedicate one person to a certain job. There are no citizens dedicated to any one job other than military, and other than the fact that you can have military patrol an area, it's almost better to just have every citizen armed and ready.

    If you don't mind paying now for what could become an awesome game later, go ahead and buy this, but don't be mad when the game crashes because you alt-tabbed away from full screen or if the game doesn't behave exactly as you think it should. Hopefully they'll improve as time goes on (and I can raise this score or delete this review) but as of right now, it's really REALLY not a good game.
  23. Jan 29, 2013
    Absolute fiasco; and I fell for it!

    Alpha, pre-alpha, pre-beta, whatever; doesn't change the fact the game is a complete, terrible mess.

    I'm appalled anyone would ask money for that; I'm even more appalled that I paid.
  24. Nov 21, 2012
    I will first state that all these negative comments about how this game can not be played are not true. I played this game a good 10+ hours without any issues. It took some time learning all the little nuances but, with the help of wiki and youtube, I was able to get all of my answers.

    That being said, though, I find this game to be very average. It's just a time sink, imo. Once the
    game mechanics are figured out, it's simply a way to spend endless time managing your town. Much micromanagement is needed as the town AI still needs work.

    But my main issue is simple: the game is not challenging. Even on the highest level, I found the raids to be too easy to defend against, even with wood (the lowest kind) of armor and weapons. And the economy is overly easy. You never have to worry about resources once you get the hang of this game... there's no challenge in gathering the main resources needed. Only in the ways you allocate your people and managing them to make sure they get everything correctly.

    Also, there's no leveling up or skills of townspeople. Everyone can do everything equally well, except for fighting, which there are abilities in.

    If a challenge was added and the UI / AI improved, I would probably change my mind. But, as is, it's just too easy.
  25. Feb 26, 2013
    I first found out about Towns during a Steam sale, and they offered a demo, I liked it. Although Towns can use a better interface, do not get the wrong idea; the interface is manageable. It is its own game, There is no real genre for it. For the most part, it has some RTS elements, because you don't play as (an) individual(s), it also has some sandbox capabilities too. But I must agree with the rest of the comments, the game feels very underdeveloped. One almost has to get some mods so the game runs better. Expand
  26. Nov 10, 2012
    Asking for money via Kickstarter or other venues to finish a game = ok. Posting your game for sale on Steam while being clear that it is still in development = ok Posting your alpha on Steam for sale at full price while not breathing a word of it's wildly unfinished state and posting total **** screenshots = fraud. The game is being thrashed because of the utterly misleading Steam store listing. No links to it's demo, no mention of it being an *alpha*, no mention that the screen shots shown are in no way indicative of the glitch fest you are about to actually buy, nothing. The devs have read these threads and still have not corrected their store page.

    This is a naked cash grab from folks too timid to use a real crowd funding source. Game is well nigh unplayable right now. Avoid until finished. That is if the devs don't simply move on with their pile of ill-gotten cash.
  27. Nov 13, 2012
    Do not buy this game, avoid this game like the plague it is. The game lacks any form of working tutorial, the UI is worthless and the developers are complete jerks to the community. I regret buying this game and will never support any game worked on by anyone affiliated with this game.

    If you are looking for a similar style game get Minecraft, Gnomoria or Terraria. If you already have
    those games then pick up A Game of Dwarves of SimCity 4. Buy any other game over this amateur basement programming experiment. Expand
  28. Nov 12, 2012
    Gameplay: If you ever tried Dwarf fortress you should know how this game is played, and how you build a successful town on top of a dungeon while sometimes besieged by monsters and ghosts, which is hard by the way.
    Graphics: Looks unfinished, but well the art-style fits and it isn't entirely bad.
    Bad things: The UI needs some work, the priorities of the townies seem kinda broken
    sometimes, and some sprites look like placeholders.
    Great game, and despite its unfinished state, a really fun experience.
  29. Nov 13, 2012
    For the die-hard fans, there IS a game in there somewhere. Unfortunately, it is buggy, missing features, and suffers from a poor UI. This is an alpha/beta level game that is in need of a lot of work. One day it may be a great game, but what you can buy on Steam for $14.99 is not that.
  30. Dec 25, 2012
    Towns, as it is now, is a broken experience. This game has a lot of potential to be an amazing game. It has a nice, if different, concept driving it. But as it stands now; to rate this game as if its in "ready to be released" state. It deserves a Zero. Games in this state should not ever be sold and called released, I, personally, want to know if i am buying a game or a beta of one.The sheer amount of bugs and terrible A.I. & U.I can just lead you into depression, in my opinion. If this was a beta it would be completely acceptable. But as a game where you are paying for a 'complete' game. Sadly, it is not yet in an enjoyable state, to me. Some people may enjoy it now for its ingenuity and concept, but i say just hold off and wait for this diamond to sparkle. Expand
  31. Dec 26, 2012
    I made an account on Metacritic just because I wanted to say this. I bought this game although the reviews here we're bad. I understand that a lot of people are pissed of because the fact that this is in ALPHA state is mention nowhere on the steam store page. That's sad, I don't know if it's the developers fault or steams fault, but saying this game sucks, saying this game deserves a zero? No, that's just not true. The actual gameplay is really, really good, and although it's in alpha state, this game has LOADS OF CONTENT, going from lots of enemies and props to build to weird events. There are some bugs (although I didn't encounter more then like two for now) but I'm sure they will fix it. Also the tutorial isn't that bad, okay it's a bit short and only explains the very basics, but compared to games like dota 2 with no tutorial at all it's great.

    It's in alpha and it has lots of bugs, but see it as a long time investment and you'll have loads of fun with it!


    An indie game lover
  32. Jan 8, 2013
    This game has a very interesting premise and if it were competently executed it would be a "must buy" title. Unfortunately, it is not. The game struggles with abysmal path finding and major performance issues. Add to that a total lack of progress on promised updates, deceptive advertising, and a developer that lacks the desire or ability to communicate effectively with the community and you have a bargain bin game. It's amusing for a few hours but the game-breaking bugs and lack of anything resembling mid or late-game content will leave you unsatisfied. Expand
  33. Apr 2, 2014
    This game is unfinished, full of bugs, has terrible AI, non-existent balance in the endgame, and none of that is going to get fixed as the developers have pretty much abandoned the project. There is support for mods, but they are extremely limited in what they can do and can't fix any of the problems. That said, the game is still fun to play. Frustrating, certainly, but still fun.

    worth your money, however. Expand
  34. Nov 11, 2012
    Stay away from this, at least for now. This game is far from complete, it lacks in the most basic features like animations, tutorials, AI, townies walk through mountains, get stuck in the terrain, etc

    But the major problem is that the devs are trying to hide the status of the game, they're trying to sell this as a complete piece of software when it's obvious that it's in a beta stage...

    There's a demo on the official site try ot first and decide for yourself!
  35. Nov 10, 2012
    I first played this game in its alpha state back in April 2012. At that time the developers had spoken of improvements, added content, bug squashing, and the like, all while stating that Towns was still in Alpha. Fast forward half a year and while new content/mechanics have been added, the bulk of the old problems remain. Ranging from management/intelligence of your townsfolk to the ability to control their actions(including the wonderful flood of flour on one's screen or suicide missions across the map).

    Sadly, the game is still in alpha state, despite the dev's insistence to its playability. It *can* be played, with much effort and disregard to logic/intuition. The addition of new content, while interesting, is easily missed by the core mechanics which still fail to function properly. There is much room for improvement, and its current price is laughable given its alpha condition. Even if such a title is thought of as trivial by the devs as well as the die hard fans. There is much potential in this game, but sadly, its current state and its marginal progress after 6 months leads me to believe this game will never reach its full potential.
  36. Nov 19, 2012
    Too many bugs, CTD after 10 minutes of gameplay, poor UI, etc. This game is overpriced for what you get. Towns is just a copy of Haven and Hearth. Which in H&H is an mp game where Towns is only SP.
  37. Sep 29, 2013
    The game was supposed to be great, one of the first greenlit games and it showed a lot of promise. There were A LOT of features supposed to be added along with the overall completion of the game.

    After the initial release the devs abandoned the project because they have felt 'burnt out'. For me as a customer this is unacceptable and I'm done waiting. It's a 2 because the game did
    provide me with a few entertaining gameplays but that won't make me forget what was promised and remains undelivered. Expand
  38. Nov 10, 2012
    This game is full of bugs and crashes frequently. The UI is terrible and there is no tutorial (there's still a placeholder for a tutorial, but no actual tutorial implemented, wtf!) It's obvious that this was released mid alpha testing and that they just skipped beta entirely.
  39. Nov 10, 2012
    The negative reviews are all down to the lack of indication on Steam that this game is a work in progress, hence people have purchased unknowingly something that they consider to be incomplete and/or unplayable. It's a shame this has happened because the game is itself enjoyable and has a lot of potential.

    I've played many hours worth of the game and have never had a crash. The UI needs
    work and some of the behaviours of the towns folk can be a bit bizarre at times but the game is still playable. You can create a sizeable town, farm, mine, manufacture weapons, delve the dungeon etc. As long as you accept that it's a work in progress and that new features are coming all the time.

    The game itself is fun. Set the tasks up for your townsfolk and watch them run around busily doing what you asked them to. Build a massive above/below ground settlement, or just have something simple, make loads of decoration or keep it plain, Swear as your idiot towns folk run into a mob of monsters in the dungeon and get slaughtered. Great stuff!

    Hopefully once the game has developed further then people will begin to realise it's actual potential.
  40. Nov 9, 2012
    I looked at this game on the steam store and bought it after reading the stats. I did not read the forums (won't make this mistake again). There is NOTHING in the steam store listing this as an alpha version of the game. I have read the Developer post about this being a "playable version"; unfortunately I did not pay for an alpha I paid for a full game.

    I understand that the developer
    is going to release new content over time but what is to stop them from ending all updates as of today because they made a little money?

    For this reason I have voiced a complaint to steam asking for a refund (probably won't get it). I have also urged them to remove this title from the steam store. Greenlight has failed by passing this title as is. It has a lot of potential, but it is MY choice to invest in this games development not the developers. Shame on them for the misrepresentation and shame on steam for failing to check the quality of games they have greenlighted.
  41. Nov 10, 2012
    Bought game on Steam after it being Greenlit. Initially, I was really excited about the game. Didn't realize the game was released while STILL IN ALPHA. Paid $12.00 for a game in alpha. Devs are extremely rude to the customers who have been misled about buying the game. Things to Consider: 1. No where on the Steam store is the game listed as being unfinished or in alpha. 2. Devs say "try the demo first idiots" and there IS NO DEMO on Steam. 3. Initial screenshots of the game on the store page are not from the game directly. They are cut-n-pastes done by the devs for an earlier contest regarding the game. Only one of them is ACTUALLY possible to create in-game.
    3. Tutorial is a joke. Fonts aliased. UI clunky at best. Towns people AI is awful. 4. Crashes on many customers systems ... There are plenty of games on Steam that clearly state they are in an unfinished state and link clearly to a demo for users to try (example: These Devs, however, insult customers who bought the game on Steam thinking it was a finished product (if you only use Steam, you'd have no way of knowing otherwise). Blatantly insulting them for "not searching the internet for a demo or to look-up game status". Customers shouldn't have to "search the internet" for a demo for a game released on Steam. Anything customers need should already be available on the platform you've chosen to release the game on, PERIOD.

    I have no problems supporting indie developers - it's one of the things that makes Steam great but ... this kind of blatant misrepresentation and rudeness... No thanks. I'll never buy a game from these developers again.
  42. Nov 10, 2012
    I really like the concept of this game. I like the fact that you start with only a bunch of villagers in the wild, and you do not control their every action.
    This is a game about building a living village/town on top of a dungeon. You do not control the heroes, or anyone for that matter, Your job is to get the town working for the people.
    Nice idea, I like it. Really :)

    However.. This
    should never have been released on Steam as a complete game.
    Current version is 0.8a.

    On their website you cannot buy it. Only Pre-Order.
    It should be labeled in Steam that game is still in Alpha phase.

    There are some MAJOR flaws in the game...
    First off. You don't really need to build a town. Things go slower without enclosed houses, but that's about it.
    The villagers are straight up suicidal. Right of the bat they go of running through half the map, with no armor or weapons, and goes into fighingt with monsters carrying spears. GLHF. There you just lost half your tribe within the first 5 minutes.
    That is, if you even noice... the notification system on what's going on is terrible.
    You cannot rotate the map/build area, which results in items being blocked from vision. You cannot rotate items either. You cannot refill holes with dirt gain. Or stone. You will have to fill holes with the wall blocks.
    There are no animations. Sleeping, fighting, building, working... the villagers all look the same. Like board game figurines that you move around.
    The soundtrack is about 3 minutes long I think. One song. Then it repeats.

    The tutorial is a joke.
    You click on the section "spiders", because you want to learn about spiders.
    What you see is: "Objective - Kill 10 spiders. They are on level -3".
    ...say what?

    It also fails completely to tech you some of the fundamentals of the game, like enclosing your buildings, or that you need 2 blocks (height) of wall for them to be effective.

    Laying roofs is a *******. Especially since you cannot change your view.
    The list goes on. For a long time.

    Sure, the game can be fun. When you learn how to avoid the broken parts. I really enjoy building things from the scratch. Seeing how the village grows into a town. Attracting heroes and caravans. It's nice.
    But there's too much missing for it to be a good game.

    I do hope this game will get more polish though. I can see myself sinking days into this... IF they go past alpha phase.
    The devs said: "We consider the current game build fully playable and enjoyable. We plan to add A LOT of new features. Those features can take years to be finished."

    Playable? Barely.
    Enjoyable? Yeah... might be. When you try and error through the broken mechanics and finally understand how to play it anyway.

    Years? That... ticks me off.
    You sell a game, and then say it might take YEARS for it to be complete? Not OK.

    Great potential but should NOT have been released yet.
    I give it 3 because I like these kind of games, and it has a good thing going.
    But it's nowhere near complete yet.
  43. Nov 11, 2012
    Being sold as completed game yet still in alpha state. Has fake screenshots and numerous bugs. The developer has responded to the complaints by calling it "playable"
  44. Jan 7, 2013
    I am actually being generous and giving it a 1 considering the huge amount of gameplay flaws it currently has.

    First of all, once you dig down deep enough, you suddenly have to MOD the game in order to keep it going. I am dead serious, you have to modify a game that was released ON STEAM for full price. Then we have the complete and utter negligence from the developers themselves. Once
    they released it, nothing new has been updated. Sure, there was a small patch that fixed absolutely nothing but then, nothing, zero, nada. Nothing has been updated, nothing has been changed and they almost left the development process because of some weird "reason". It's quiet on the developers side and the forums have been all but abandoned.

    This game should be pulled off Steam immediately for lying about features, disregarding costumers and bad gameplay.
  45. Nov 10, 2012
    I am a big fan of dwarfen fortress. This game has some elements of it, but not enough. It looks like pre-alpha. Very unbalanced gameplay. I feel cheated of my money. It needs MAJOR updates in order to be worth ANY money. I wanted a finished game. If i want to support devs i go to kickstarter, not to steam. I did not want to wait for updates.

    I ll give 2 points because i like the concept
    and the idea. Expand
  46. Nov 15, 2012
    I voted for this game on Steam Greenlight and I really wanted to like this game but when it was ultimately released on Steam in an Alpha state without telling the customers I knew it was doomed, and I was right. Nothing about this game is entertaining, exciting or fun. It is an extremely poor attempt by amateur programmers to copy Dwarf Fortress. Now they have released an unfinished game as a cash grab and I doubt at this point the game will ever be finished. Expand
  47. Nov 9, 2012
    This game is pre-Beta quality, but has still seen a release on Steam via the Greenlight program. The fact that this is pre-release isn't mentioned anywhere on the store page, which looks to be on purpose. The whole thing reeks of a cash-grab by the developer. The Steam screenshots are disingenuous, and the in-game tutorials consist of single info screens written in broken English that don't explain anything about the game.

    My worst gaming experience in the past 5 years was being fooled into buying this "game."
  48. Nov 9, 2012
    This game is a bit of a tragedy. The concept is interesting, the art style is fitting and yet their decision to release the game on Steam in its current state is outrageous. The gameplay is severely lacking in both direction and polish. Towns is plagued by bugs and awful design choices, most significantly in the UI. Playing the game is a chore, and the lack of overarching context or flavour makes it a chore with little reward.

    One of the most significant issues is the lack of direct control over your population, coupled with an AI that's about as good as you'd expect out of an indie game in mid-alpha state. Your little dudes will run all over the map, attacking far away enemies even if you have not equipped them for combat.

    Another issue is the tutorial. The tutorial starts out by dumping you in the middle of the wilderness with a couple of villagers to do your bidding. You're told to press F1 for more instructions, at which point a large brown box fills the screen with text informing you of what to do. It's non-interactive and obtrusive, disallowing you to carry out the instructions with them still on screen. What's worse, they are written in barely coherent English and are misleading through severe omissions. For instance, you are instructed to build a wall and designate the area inside a Carpenter's zone. You're informed that this will increase efficiency. What it doesn't tell you, is that you need to build the wall in more than one level, and then add a roof onto the top. The game silently allows you to build your little square of shoulder-height walls (which do nothing) then inform you that you've completed that part of the tutorial. Which brings us to the next issue: Each part of the tutorial starts you over from scratch. When you've met the objectives, red text appears over the center of your screen saying "mission completed". You're not offered an option to "continue" or "go back to tutorial screen" or anything like that - you have to exit out to the menu as you would at any other time. And then you get to play the next tutorial, starting from scratch with the work you did on last tutorial level erased. This is especially annoying, since it forces you to play through the exact same sequence as last time, before getting to try the new stuff, with the sequence of unnecessary repeating getting longer for each tutorial.

    It's worth noting that most of this critique is the kind you'd expect to be dealt with before a retail release. The game undoubtedly has potential. However, at the moment it plays like the kind of demo at E3 you won't let players play themselves for fear they'll stumble on one of the many shortcomings. This is compounded immensely by the fact that the game is currently selling on steam with the only portrayal of the game being a bunch of extremely misleading screenshots and a blurb of text which says next to nothing. At a quite severe (for an indie game)
  49. Nov 10, 2012
    I bought this game from Steam after it was Greenlit, only to find that the description of the product was misleading and was not the final version of the game. The version currently being sold on Steam is version 0.8a. The game is extremely counter-intuitive, frustrating, buggy and incomplete. On the official website for the game, you can only Pre-Order the game. Yet the people who buy it through Steam have been misled into thinking that they are purchasing the final copy of the game. I'll be avoiding all products made by this company in the future. Expand
  50. Nov 10, 2012
    I have played this game since mid Alpha. This game was under an Alpha test right before the launch to Steam. There were bugs and Alpha quality features galore before the launch to steam. Just a few of these include: The AI taking the shortest route rather than the fastest route, the AI not prioritizing tasks from what is closest (so the AI will go from one end of the map to the other just for one task, then return to the other end for another task), and the non soldier citizens will fight to the death rather than try to run. There are many, many more alpha quality items in this game.

    However, no patch was issued to fix any of these things before the game was launched to Steam. And, despite the game being still in an Alpha state, their very own developer posted on the forums that he considered this a playable game and feature ready. Their very own community moderator also stated that he considers this game release worthy and not in an Alpha state. And, the steam page reflects this.

    But, that is not the truth. They are falsely advertising this game as a non Alpha quality game when the facts and history show that it is, in truth, an Alpha quality game. The list I provided is just a few of the many unpolished issues this game has.
  51. Nov 10, 2012
    I love the idea of this game, but an idea is not the same as a full game. The developers brought this to Steam as a finished product when there is NO game objective, NO storyline, NO "RPG" element. It's billed as an "economics/city planning sim" and "RPG-themed", and it's not. It's a sandbox. I probably would have supported it if they had been honest, but what they're selling and what they're delivering are different. Expand
  52. Nov 11, 2012
    A really good game. More complex version of majesty with a little touch of dwarf fortress. It is very fun to play, and I cannot believe how this game will look after all the updates when it is already this good. Love to watch my people run all around and doing their daily jobs, it is so relaxing and somehow addictive.
  53. Nov 10, 2012
    I am forced to agree with the negative scores this game has received so far. I saw this on Steam, saw that there was no demo for it, so I decided to go to the website and look for any further information I could find. What I found was a demo, version 0.8a which I then downloaded and tried out. This is apparently the same version as what is available on Steam. Great. it's a little rough, but sort of fun, except for one small problem. I can run the demo I downloaded from their website and play it just fine (until the demo time limit is up). The version which I bought from Steam today doesn't run. It doesn't even bring up a window; it simply changes my status from 'online' to 'playing towns' and then back to 'online' in about 3 seconds.
    I understand that it is currently in Alpha phase, but there are two things which I cannot overlook.
    1: Steam is listing it NOT as an alpha, UNDER DEVELOPMENT title, but rather as a finished product.
    2. I have a demo from their website which runs, and a "finished product" from Steam which doesn't.
    So in short, as this game currently stands (Nov 10 2012), I have to rate it as a 0. When the demo works but the actual game doesn't, there is a huge problem. I am happy with neither parties at the moment; Steam needs to make sure information is CLEARLY stated on a product page, but the Devs need to make sure their products actually WORK before releasing them.
    I'd recommend avoiding this title for the simple fact that right now, it is broken beyond belief, and the reaction of the community moderator for the game is downright hostile towards those who have problems with it.
  54. Nov 10, 2012
    I don't see the fuss with this game. The controls are great, sure its not the *best* graphics, but its not supposed to be, and is fine. This is EXTREMELY playable, and its stupid of reviewers to give it a bad rating for being in alpha - which is still extremely enjoyable. The second i started playing, I've played for 5 hours straight and plan to play more. I give it a great score!
  55. Nov 10, 2012
    This game is super fun! The game, sure is still in alpha, but there's tons to do and I've yet to run into a bug (aside from a misspelling of happiness :P)
    Its everything its advertised to be, and more. I have no complaints!
  56. Nov 10, 2012
    This game is absolutely unplayable and should not have been put up for sale on Steam. There are numerous problems, but perhaps the most offensive of them is the terrible tutorial. It is a tutorial in name only. Here is what you can expect:

    You click on the tutorial, and you get immediately dumped into the wilderness with your townsfolk. This isn't so bad. The game tells you to
    press F1 for instructions, and you do so. You get a massive box that covers the entire screen (and prevents you from taking any other actions while it's up) and it tells you to harvest three apples and ten pieces of wood. It tells you that you can order your NPCs to chop the wood, but at no time does the tutorial show you where these commands are. In a TUTORIAL stage I spent over fifteen minutes looking through the bad UI to find the "Chop" command before I noticed the tiny half-button at the very bottom of the screen (the button is unclickable unless you're playing the game in full-screen mode). Once I harvested my wood and apples, the game just said "Mission completed!" and I had to actually exit the game to go choose the next stage of the tutorial. That is absolutely ridiculous.

    This game has a lot of promise, but I feel completely misled by the developers because at no time did they ever indicate on Steam that this game was in Alpha and still needed a lot of development. I've got no prejudice about knowingly buying games still in Alpha or Beta (I bought Minecraft years before its retail release, back when it was in InDev) but Mojang at least made sure that everyone knew that they were buying an alpha product and that their purchases were funding the completion of the game. SMP Squared has shot themselves in the foot with this release and ought to refund the money of people who bought the game on Steam.

    It's also rather easy to notice that the developers have made their own reviews, as they are the only ones that are above an 8 on MetaCritic. Listen to the reviews that players make, not the ones put up by the dev team because they're delusional if they think this game is in anything resembling a playable state at this point in time.
  57. Nov 11, 2012
    I am highly disappointed in the games devs and mods. In my opinion the behavior of the devs and mod is unacceptable. It was put on steam as a finished product despite being in alpha and the devs and mod are dismissive of complaints that it is in alpha and being sold falsely. The AI is garbage, the tutorial is a joke of spelling mistakes and vague guiding, and you can only place water and lava by spawning it there.

    On their greenlight page they say it is in alpha, on their games site they say it is alpha, on their steam store page they dont say it is in alpha and on the steam discussion for the game they say it is NOT in alpha. This is a blatant cash grab and I would not purchase this game had I seen the steams discussion on it prior to purchasing. I can no longer trust the steam store pages and will from now on be checking out the discussion section and outside sources.
  58. Nov 11, 2012
    Scam. Stay away from this title. The game is in a pre-alpha, yet the developers are trying to push it as "done" in order to grab as much cash as possible from you.
  59. Nov 11, 2012
    This is just a alpha quality game, if you are looking to buy an alpha and hope it might turn into something great. Go ahead and waste your money, but after trying to play the "demo". It was just a waste of time.
  60. Nov 11, 2012
    Why are people complaining? There are games that are sold as finished games that aren't of this quality (mostly indie). This game is being sold as playable, and is fun. The devs commented as to why did they not mention the dev phase, they said they are selling it because it is playable and fun. It is too. I've played it for a good 6 hours, and it's fun. The tutorials work, though aren't very polished. They teach you the basics, you have to go learn the rest. The graphics look fine. I havent run into any bugs (other than random crashes) every hour or so.
    There is even a demo, go to the games steam forum and it is stickied at the top of the page by the dev for where to download it.
  61. Nov 12, 2012
    Fun and addictive. Having bought the game before Steam release I have no issue with it's release. Missing some features and has some bugs but fully playable. Not as buggy as Skyrim on it's release thats for sure. Features will be added in the future and they'll be free. Not milking the customer for existing content like ME3 did. Having said that, I find the tutorials pretty bad and the digging into lower levels a bit awkward. The pathing bug is also annoying. Expand
  62. Nov 12, 2012
    I too was initially disheartened by this game. After viewing a live stream of how to play the game, I have done a complete 180.

    This game is excellent. The learning curve is steep initially, but the UI layout and game functions work perfectly. It is incredibly easy to get sucked into and it has very high replay value. Please, before voting this game into oblivion, have a look at some
    online tutorials to understand what it is you have to do. Anyway, I'm off to slay some goblins. Expand
  63. Nov 12, 2012
    game is unplayable , when i got it to play for 10 mins the controls were unbearable and before i could figure them out the game crashed and has not worked sense, hoping to get a refund off of steam
  64. Nov 12, 2012
    5k characters is tough. Here is the short version. There are 4/12 points listed.
    I have played Towns for 60+ hours and climbing. I enjoy playing the game in the state it is in. However, I will point out that it is a far from finished game that has been inappropriately released as a final version. This single most important fact has lead me to review the game as is and provide honest
    and critical feedback on the functionality and features of the game.
    First off, if you don
  65. Nov 12, 2012
    Anyone who gave this game a 0 deserve what they bought for doing no research before handing steam their $10. This game was green lighted by steam and put on their store. Steam or the dev's didn't put that the game was in alpha testing on the steam page and people are butt hurt about it. If they would have spent 5 min searching they would have found the home page for the game and seen the description correctly there.
    Long story short ignore any 0 ratings for the game as haters going to hate.

    Real review:
    The game is clearly in development. Many features are missing or incomplete, there are bugs in the AI and pathing. BUT it is playable, it is fun, and I've already put 20 hours into the game. Even if I stopped right now that's only $0.50 an hour, better then any other source of entertainment. I call it worth my money and since the game is in development it will be getting constant updates.

    Concept 7/10
    Graphics: 1/10
    Fun: 8/10
    Sound: 3/10
    Polish:: 4/10
    Developer Support: 9/10

    Overall 5/10 (but getting better every month with the version release)

    P.S. Please do your research before buying any game. indie developers can't take the reputation hit when lazy people bash their hard work. This is not a money grab scheme, its not P.O.S. Its an indie developers blood, sweat, and tears and a mistake by steam in the marketing.
  66. Nov 12, 2012
    AWESOME game, successfully combines city building, RPG, survival, and mining aspects. Still in development atm, but already more than playable. Definitely worth the purchase price, I've got much more enjoyment and spent longer playing this game than on a number of AAA, big budget games that were 10 times the price.
  67. Nov 12, 2012
    A good town building game. Not easy, takes some getting used to. Isn't as difficult as dwarf fortress, nor is it as in-depth. Hopefully they continue updating to make it more difficult. "Dying is fun!" :D
  68. Nov 12, 2012
    Awsome game with great potential. Lovely mix of Dungeon keeper + Minecraft + Majesty. Game is still in BETA (yes read you downvoters, its on the damn page!) so the graphics aint great (yet). But they are still working on the game and its improving rapidly. Very sad to see people ourand that dont look at any screenshot or the demo and get it trough steam greenlight. Once they have it they vote it down.
    for those people: What did you expect at greenlight?!
  69. Nov 12, 2012
    Although this game is in beta, it has great potential. Game still needs some work though. It
  70. Nov 13, 2012
    I bought this game a few days ago after playing the demo for hours. At start it did crash (as did the demo) but looking at there forum I quickly found a solution. (Updating my graphic card drivers and my java version) . After doing so it ran like a charm. The game itself has a pretty steep learning curve to start with. And you need to get along the AI. But once you know what you are doing (give or take a few hours into the game + reading some wiki´s) it´s so addictive and great to play. The gameplay is as followed: You start out with a few settlers and you need to build a basic infrastructure. (food, wood, stone). Once you have this going you can really start building houses, forts or whatever you can imagine. (Minecraft like). But your ubergoal is to build a tavern where you can host hero´s. Those are needed to clear underground dungeons that are situated under your town. The bigger your town -> the more hero´s. The deeper you dig, the stronger the opposition. Also other materials can be found in the dungeon where you craft other things with. My conclusion, Are there things that need to be improved? a big yes. But there stil working on it. Is it an alpha game? Well, it runs stable, its great fun playing. Needs to be improved and polished. But I think that if you are in (city) building games and are willing to invest some time to learn you are going to have a good time with it. Play the demo before you buy @ Expand
  71. Nov 14, 2012
    The game is great, while some it is mainly apparent only in potential (which may or may not ever be realized) The negative reviews based on it's alpha state clearly aren't able to do 10 seconds of research. The concept is excellent and very appealing to those of us that desire town management style games. The graphics are fine. The audio could use some overhaul and there are various awkward places in the UI arrangement, but neither were enough to lower my enjoyment of this game. I've probably played over 30 hours already in this game, although 5-10 were probably just letting the game run itself while I was otherwise occupied. If you are worried about the developers or Steam not mentioning the state of a game and are unable to do simple research on your own to find out this info, please avoid this game, and also avoid leaving a negative review on what is already a great game, with so much potential. Expand
  72. Nov 21, 2012
    Unfinished game which masquerades as finished. Reported to be a playable game, but demonstrably false. Looks like a game people in an AP class would make as a semester final.
  73. Dec 21, 2012
    While I didn't know that game has some minor issues when I bought it on Steam, after playing it for some while, I must say it IS indeed playable in the current state. You just need to get used to its gameplay elements.

    Where "get used to" means same as "getting used to" RTS, FPS, RPG or any other genre or subgenre (like JRPG or CRPG). What is genre of this game? I'd like to call it
    "Sandbox town-building game with RPG and RTS elements". While I would never, ever touch Dwarf Fortress because of its graphics or lack thereof (seriously, ASCII? Are we in 80s? Even Nethack, rogue-like with originally ASCII graphics has graphical clients such as Falcon's Eye or Vulture's Claw), Towns are pretty fun to play with.

    Those who say interface is non-intuitive, probably never played game such as Age of Empires 2 or other old RTS games like first editions of The Settlers or Civilization. In case of the latter THAT'S confusing and non-intuitive interface.

    For me it is pretty simple after few (2) hours spend with it. At left you have production automation tools which let you make food, produce items, etc. At right - town building tools (setting up walls and placing utilities/furniture/decorations, etc.). And finally at bottom - order menu - here you can give massive orders, e.g. mining/chopping down trees/gathering wheat/apples/pears/bananas/etc. and set up stockpiles (magazines) for each type of resource, and zones (if you ever played Evil Genius zones are roughly equal to room types).

    Now, final words.

    While that game isn't completed yet, I'd say it's pretty close. If I would need to compare it to level of polish of some version of Minecraft, I'd say SMP is at level of Minecraft Beta 1.6. AI is a bit wonky, but it'll work in time (heard on official forums that AI will be main focus in Towns v9, a.k.a. 0.90)
  74. Jan 5, 2013
    The screen shots are completely misleading: This game is far from what it is advertised as. So far the tutorials are god awful and the gameplay needs work to become more streamlined. The villager's AI is so broken it isn't funny. You sit there waiting for tasks to be completed, often with villagers completely disregarding assigned commands even after changing the task priorities.

    menus are terrible: You have to go through about 10 menu screens to fully complete most rooms/tasks. There are 3 main screens with everything needed buried in each one. The tutorial doesn't cover everything, either. You have to figure out what is needed to complete items/rooms/recipes all on your own. I can't tell you how frustrating this is, having to go back and forth between menus just to make bread. The simplest tasks are made so complex it stops being a game and starts becoming work.

    Combat is a joke. 1 mob will kill an entire village with zero player control. You can't tell them to retreat, they blindly attack any nearby enemy and you literally have zero control over combat.

    Building, the one aspect of the game that should be fun... isn't. Villagers will put walls on locations you didn't tell them to, walls can't be moved (they have to be destroyed if built in incorrect spots), and walls have a tendency to get a nice red X through them if not absolutely perfect. Check the wiki on building: It's entirely too complex for what it should be. Creating more than one story is near impossible.

    I can recommend for you to avoid this game if possible until it's fixed. This game is a prime example of what not to do, where polish really can hamper gameplay entirely.
  75. Jan 7, 2013
    Great game, can not get enough of it. Tutorials could use a update though, but you can learn how to play without them.
    With the promise to continue to work on it more.
    - JackPS9 (Towns Modding Master)
  76. Jan 7, 2013
    I love this game, i spend so much hours playing it that I am shocked.... it has something addicted to it, that I just cant explain.And generally the concept of dungeons underground where heroes go and clear them is really unique.
  77. May 7, 2014
    Unfinished, bad rip-off of Dwarf Fortress. They have pulled development stating that "Sales did not turn out as hoped" despite making 2 mil for a two-person team.
  78. Jun 5, 2013
    I love this game, it improved A LOT since the Steam release. I played for 200 hours and I'm still playing it... just 1 word: FUN

    This game also have a lot of haters, so, the best you can do is check some videos or download the demo and judge it by yourself.
  79. Aug 24, 2013
    Lovely concept, and later versions may refine it to a jewel. As for now (version 13a, Aug 2013) it is mostly frustrating for the player to feel genuinely feel the immense potential, but lose all interest when citizen upon citizen will literally starve themselves to death while completing even simple tasks. If the materials are not next to each other, they will run around the map collecting them until they die.

    The game also lacks an adequate reward system for reaching further into the realm. The deeper you dig, the more apparent it becomes that keeping your town well-fed is such a burden that the citizens just do not have time to haul back the more valuable materials to craft the most coveted equipment... and ultimately realizing that nobody in the game actually needs it: hero upon hero will enter the town and kamikaze the monsters one by one.

    6 for the entertainment lasting up to 65 hours according to my Steam counter. The learning curve takes the player through many fun-to-experience phases: learning how to control citizens that you actually can not control, learning how to optimize the food chain and learning how it is a bad idea to kill all cows on the map.
  80. Sep 23, 2013
    Be aware that negative opinion threads on Steam are being deleted about this game. The developers promised frequent updates and have neglected the game a great deal. The interface is horrible, the game is very buggy, and I would not recommend this game even if it could be purchased for one dollar as part of an Indie bundle.

No score yet - based on 3 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Mar 3, 2013
    This is not a town you'd want to visit for too long. [March 2013, p.99]
  2. Feb 6, 2013
    It's not really worth going to town on this one. Try one of those crazy finished games. [Feb 2013, p.80]
  3. Jan 7, 2013
    Towns is a game with great potential who suffers from many technical problems which undermine the gaming experience.