Stories are great. Not all stories get the audience they deserve though. Every week, Geek Errant is going to pick one Book, Game, TV Series or Film and give it the spotlight. Some of these will be very niche, something that only a few people will ever care about. But that’s why they matter.
Everyone deserves to get their story heard.
Wouldn’t you like to start again? Just strike out with a band of likeminded people and try and face the world from scratch. Struggle against the elements, cultivate your resources and do what you can to survive.
Try Banished. There are plenty of strategy games out there on PC. Very few of them are a complete strategy experience like this.
Where Simcity was a disaster on launch and Cities Skylines turned out to be the utopian successor that everyone hoped for, Shining Rock Studios took another path.
Banished is a game where you watch over a group of outcasts and do everything in your power to make sure they survive and thrive. From an isometric view, players gather resources like wood/food/stone, they build houses and other buildings and try to grow their town in a manner that will be balanced and economical.
And this is the crux of what makes Banished excellent.
Don’t collect enough wood for firewood? Everyone will freeze to death come the winter snows.
Collect too much rock/stone/iron without planning? Your village will be cut off from key resources and die a slow death from being unable to expand.
And I hope you grew your population appropriately, because those initial settlers are getting on in years. Someone needs to take their place, or you will have a lot of empty production buildings and graves.
Oh and watch out for Tornadoes. Tornadoes are the game deciding you need to suffer some minor panic. For no real Reason.
The focus on balance and proper planning makes the game challenging, but not unfair. (except tornadoes)
Your mistakes are your own. So are the successes. You earned all of it. Plan correctly and you can go on forever.
There’s a sense of ownership that can be missing from games that end in sprawling metropolises and endless roads like SimCity or Cities: Skylines.
Scanning over fields of wheat, watching families that you housed and fed walk the streets and seeing trails of smoke filter out of chimneys. That’s what Banished is about. Get through the hard winters and the summer will come. You can collect the harvest. Your People will survive and thrive.
And then there’s Mod Support when you eventually need a new challenge to strike out on.