Summary: "I guess that explains why they were Banished in the first place." Someone quips over Twitter. Honestly, I'm a little mortified. I don't care if it's thematic. I know medieval tweens were keener on marriage than some 30-year olds are today.
Excerpt: It’s not often that a game will begin with the members of a town being banished to live out the rest of their days in the wilds away from the kingdom, but, as the title would indicate, that is precisely the starting premise of Shining Rock’s Banished .
Conclusion: If you put the lack of missions aside as a consequence of the budget price tag, Banished is still a flawed game. There's brilliant concepts and a core that shines, but a troublesome interface and a general lack of breadth of content is clearly an issue.
Summary: SimCity's influence, both on the strategy genre and on gaming in general, is immense. Still, the past few years have seen an explosion of clever city builders taking some huge steps toward developing personality and becoming more than their progenitor.
Pros: Brilliant network of interlocking mechanics makes every system relevant, Riveting, emergent drama, Solid menus with a customizable interface keep all the information you want accessible, Wonderfully challenging, steady difficulty curve
Excerpt: Banished is a city builder for people who haven’t played city builders and therefore don’t know what they’re missing. It doesn’t do anything that about a half dozen other city builders haven’t already done better.
Conclusion: As a city-building game, Banished is dazzling. It combines simple charms with transparent, complex systemic interactions, and a tough-but-fair difficulty curve. My only real criticisms of it is that it left me wanting more, such as strong overarching long-term goals, like a campaign mode.
Excerpt: Banished is an indie sandbox city building simulation, in which you have free reign to grow a nascent medieval town using only the resources gained from the land around it. You build and you harvest, and you keep your population healthy enough in order that they might breed and expand.