Banished is a recently released medieval City-Builder/Survival game, created by Shining Rock Software (Consisting on one guy). The game has done very well for itself since its release managing to stay the top seller on steam for well over a week fighting off competition for the tenacious DayZ and Rust.
When you start a game of banished you are given a handful of citizens, a small stock of supplies such as wood, fuel, stone and iron – that is all you have to begin construction of your city. How you progress from this point is entirely up to you, prioritising tasks and ensuring your citizens are both happy and healthy. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong!
Banished is a very brutal game and you will fail multiple times before getting anywhere with it. My first two towns died out within a matter of hours because I failed to bring in enough food to support the number of Citizens had and my third nearly failed because of a lack of housing for the population to grow sufficiently. Just when you think your town is doing well it will find some way to ruin you – be it through starvation due to a bad harvest or god forbid a hurricane which can decimate your poor town.
There are multiple types of buildings you can create to help you survive such as crop fields, pastures, hospitals, wood cutters and herbalists. Each of these buildings will need to be manned by a worker in order to produce anything useful. Therefore the prioritization of resources and workers becomes very important throughout your play forcing you to balance out your workforce in or to survive.
I have reached a someone respectable population of about 200 hundred people in my current town, granted there were times where my people were dying and freezing to death but I’ve learnt some useful techniques and strategies for playing banished which I’d like to share with you.
- Food Glorious Food – The first time you lose a town will more than likely be due to a lack of food. While it may seem like a great idea to start using crop fields from the outset, it isn’t an efficient method for the early game. Instead use Gathers and Hunters which should provide more than enough food until you reach a bigger population.
- Finding Balance – You really need to learn to micromanage with Banished, for instance during winter farmers are of no use to you because there are no crops to grow. So during winter you may want to reassign your farmers to gathers or hunters to keep the income of food at a respectable level.
- A New Generation – People need ample housing before they can begin to reproduce, so plan out the amount of houses you want carefully, you don’t want to cause too much of a population boom. This can cause real problems as your people demand more food, tools and clothing – so make sure you’re ready for them!
- Education is key – Education in Banished is very important, it allows your citizens to become more efficient in the work that they do. It can sometimes double to output from a job compared to an uneducated worker. Build your schools early to ensure that your population is educated from an early stage.
Banished is a very fun but an extremely challenging experience, one which I myself have enjoyed very much so. After 20 hours on the game I feel like I might take a small break from it as my latest town is on the verge of collapsing in upon itself but I’ll be sure to start a new game soon.
This game is not for everyone by any means, those who hate to micro-manage items will find it very infuriating but there are those out there who will love it too. I can certainly recommend it.