System: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: UK 3/ USA E
Price: £17.99|$19.99|€ 19,99
Release Date: November 9th 2018
Also Available on IOS/PC
No code was provided I bought it myself 😆
I’ve been playing a lot of simulation games recently and with the release of Townsmen a sim/strategy game by HandyGames on the Nintendo Switch I thought I’d give it a go too.
Townsmen has been out on PC and iOS for a few years now. For its debut on the Switch it’s been optimised and given a new UI. I haven’t played the game on the other systems so I can’t compare how the new UI works. However, I can say that Townsmen controls very well be it via joy-con or touchscreen. You can use both.
First: a lengthy tutorial
There is a lengthy tutorial that takes you through different scenarios (3-4 hours depending on how quickly you get through them). It’s laid out in 6 chapters that teach you all aspects of the medieval life and managing a town.
You are the new lord of a medieval town with the task of keeping everyone happy, healthy and safe from bandits. Building houses, bakery’s, sawmills and what ever else is requested by your townies to build a thriving metropolis. The story of how you ended up in this town is told during the tutorial chapters.
Different scenarios make for different gameplay
After the tutorial there are 26 different scenarios to choose from, all with different sized maps and with different levels of difficulty, some are military maps where your town will be attacked and some are peaceful maps. The scenarios range from throwing a birthday party for the king and making sure it’s a huge success, to protecting a city from a siege by the nearby bandits or dealing with a drought.
Added to that, 24 sandbox maps are available to play. Here it’s up to you to rule over the life of your townies who all follow their own individual daily routines.
There are quests to complete during the different scenarios and maps, such as making 30 planks of wood or supplying 20 bunches of wheat, or building special entertainment places that your Townsmen and women like to visit. Completing the quests earns you XP and money (Thaler) or crowns. Crowns can then be used to instantly construct a building or level it up for more production.
The life of a Townsman is a busy one
There is a main castle on every map, which doubles as your warehouse where the townies store all their food, wool, and wood etc…. You can set 4 townies to walk around the town and collect all the supplies which your other townies are busying making. There is always a lot to do: someone is looking for supplies or you are building more houses for new townies to move in and repairing the buildings you all ready have constructed.
The chain of supply and demand buildings needing to be built in your town is very impressive. To make clothing you need a tailor with cloth supplied from a mill which needs wool from the farmer which in turn requires a sheep pen. All in all there are 45 production buildings and 129 other structures to build. That will keep you busy for a while! All these buildings need townies to run them so you find yourself always building houses for them to live in to increase the towns’ population.
Earn rewards by researching
75 technologies can be researched on a range of things from making your buildings more productive to increasing quest rewards by twenty percent. What you’re able to research is rewarded as your XP increases.
You can check your stock in the warehouse, check the townies happiness, what their desires and needs are. You can raise or lower taxes and there are lots of other details in the in-game menu, which is well laid out and easy to understand.
Be sure to make the Townies happy
Townies work harder when they are happier and their happiness can be increased by placing decorations around town from a fancy fountain to a bale of hay. Building entertainment like a fairground or juggler camp helps too. If they are not happy they will soon let you know by waving their fist while a dark cloud hovers over their head, it’s one of the nice touches of humour in the game.
Not all is peaceful…those awful Bandits
While all that is going on in your medieval town, your town and little workers are under threat from random bandit attacks. These bandit attacks occur on various maps and you need to have Barack’s and watchtowers built so your town has some protection….oh and fire towers as bandits seem to like setting fire to buildings.
Once again you need townies as Guardsmen and so begins the chain of needing wood, stone and planks to build more houses. Battles take place randomly and other than a notification that your town is about to be attacked, your guardsmen (if you have them) attack the bandits automatically. That’s a load of your shoulders!
The weather plays a part in how well your town will manage. It ranges from thunderstorms with lighting that strikes houses causing fires, to all the 4 seasons with winter where you’re unable to grow wheat to make bread. Beware not to cause famine!
You can save lots of games, whilst reviewing this game I have 8 different save slots, all on different sized maps. Whilst playing Townsmen saves automatically but you can save it manually to.
The look of the game is…well medieval. Cute medieval since that’s the era it’s set in.
Watching your townies going about their daily business is fun. When I increased their taxes to maximum there was a LOT of fist waving going on and a few townies uped sticks and moved out of town.. oops 😅.
Music is good and lively and there are sound effects of daily life. Some townies whistle whilst walking through town or hearing the crash of thunder all adds to the game.
All in I think Townsmen plays and looks well on the Switch. There is enough variety of gameplay to amuse for quite a while. I’ve been playing it everyday since release, checking out what my town needs. I’ll leave the switch for a while but get pulled back into the game again. Townsmen may be a few years old now but paired with the Nintendo Switch it feels like it has found its perfect home.
I like Townsmen a lot.