Demo code used with many thanks to Stride PR.
Go-Go Town! is a very charming open-world sandbox game with life-sim gameplay. Made by Prideful Sloth it sure piqued our interest, as we know them from some of our favourite games, Grow: Song of the Evertree and Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles.
Start Building Up Go-Go Town
Dumped into a rundown town, you discover that you’ve been conned into this role by the greedy TownCo corporation and that their town restoration project is a giant scam. You, as Mayor, do all the hard work and management of TownCo reaps the benefits. However, with careful planning and a lot of gumption, you have a chance to restore the town to its former glory and maybe even free the town from the clutches of TownCo in the process!
Sounds familiar; it feels a bit like your real-life job, right? In the case of this demo, though, I had lots of fun anyway! The demo of Go-Go Town! gave me a first inkling of what a lovely life-sim management game this most probably will be.
Welcomed by the TownCo rep, it’s clear that you will have to build up Go-Go Town from scratch. The first task is to build your first shop and choose what kind of shop this will be. To build it, you need coins and building materials, such as logs and bricks. So, first things first: you start off cutting down trees with a chainsaw that’s available. The branches and trunks, in turn, are put into a sawing machine to make the branches into logs. Secondly, you go into the mine. There’s a drill waiting for you to break up rocks, and you can put these in a foundry to make them into bricks.
Put the logs and the bricks on the building site, and pretty soon, you will cut the ribbon to open the store.
Managing Resources: Materials and Creatures
After the shop is open, you have to assign a worker and choose what they are going to make and sell. The first one I made was a Fast Food restaurant that could make Deep Fried Gonut or a Shroom Kabob. The ingredients for both of these dishes are readily available in nature. My second shop is Eat’n Go, where I designated Rusty (a robot) as the cook. He could make Grilled Fish and Energy Bars, for which he needed honey and cacao beans.
Up to you, of course, to gather the ingredients and stock the shops with them. I guess the demo for Go-Go Town! is not flawless, as I couldn’t find nor make, honey. Exploring the little town did lead me to find a fishery, a little lake with two crab pots. There was a little farm with a cow and a chicken and a plot of land to sow seeds. A lot of things are already there in the demo, and it’s your job to find out how you can make the most of what you have at hand.
For example, you can hire workers to do the daily tasks for you. Like watering the crops so they don’t go dry and blowing the leaves away on the farm. Or workers who constantly cut down trees or dig for stones. Or metal, as later on, you need metal ingots. Every machine has a setting for another item, too, like changing the menu of the foundry, which meant you could put metal chunks into it and make them into metal ingots.
A very important employee to hire is the courier to automate the delivery of goods. They will carry ingredients to the stores for the number of days that you hire them, for a fee, of course. Coins make the world go ’round, en in Go-Go Town!
Tourists Bring in Ego
But just why are we so keen to build up Go-Go Town? Well, visitors stream in by train. They arrive regularly, and you want those tourists to be happy as they generate Ego. If they like your town, your amount of Ego grows, and this, in turn, leads to unlocking things.
In the demo, there are already some structures that you can build. And items to beautify the town, which in turn makes the tourists happier again. Think of things like a fountain, trees, and pots with plants. It did surprise me how much garbage these tourists left behind too! You can put up garbage bins, but it’s even better to build a Garbage disposal. That contraption will make the garbage disappear for good. And when you assign a worker to it, they will pick up and incinerate garbage lying around. Which in turn ups the happiness of visitors and more Ego of course.
Really, the strangest beings roam around in Go-Go Town! I saw a mummy, robots, ghosts and a wolf called Scruffs. You can ask them to move into town; in the demo, you don’t have to persuade them to do so, but they imply that you will have tasks to complete in the full game to invite them in. I even managed to “phone home”, which led to a huge spaceship spawning some aliens. Of course, I invented them to live in Go-go Town too, and he called himself Ian Humam.
To house all the people you invite in, you must also build houses for them and assign them living quarters.
Steam Deck and An Abundance of Humor
I was very pleased to find that Go-Go Town! works very well on the Steam Deck. The demo ran fine on it, and all the buttons worked without any problem or having to reconfigure them!
Although this is a demo, and the amount of playtime and things you can do is limited, another thing stood out to me: there is such a lot of humour in the game. Even if you’re not busy running things, it’s still fun to watch the people in town going about their business. Some really make you smile.
It’s the little things that promise a lovely game once it’s ready to be released in late 2023. For example, my character didn’t walk very fast, but there was such an abundance of vehicles to move quicker. A skateboard, a little van, a bicycle and my favourite, the Trinicorncycle.
Another thing that I noticed was that the background music is mentioned when a new track starts. And just out of curiosity, I looked it up: yep, real music tracks which I could easily find on Spotify.
Wonderful Life-Sim Expected
Based on what I have seen in this demo of Go-Go Town!, I expect Prideful Sloth to bring us a lovely life-sim with management elements. The demo already feels well-rounded, though some things didn’t work yet as they should. Like I couldn’t get any honey for my recipes, and the storage system could use some fine-tuning.
Expected in late 2023, Go-Go Town will release on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch! Stay tuned, as we will surely follow the game. And meanwhile, if you want to know more, here’s the information page.