Developer: Xavi Canal & Ben Palgi Publisher: Independently/Steam Genre: Simulator/City Builder/RPG Release Date: 02.03.2012 Official Site: http://www.townsgame.com
Towns was recently greenlit by the Steam community and can now be purchased directly of the popular digital game distribution program, Steam. Towns is an itty bitty game (byte-wise), the size alone made me look forward to seeing what could be done with a byte budget of 19MB. To put it into a bit of context, 19MB is a 2 minute video on YouTube. The Bieber would (much to the benefit of my sanity) be cut off on the second chorus of „Baby, baby, baby NO!!! “ So, I did expect minimal graphics, and got just that; I was greeted with shapes and a colour palette that is only rivaled by my beloved my Nintendo Entertainment System. The music makes one wish for elevator music, but, honestly, I don‘t mind. I just went straight for the sound settings, and there are two options; Sound FX on/off and Music on/off--hey-why complicate things? right?
Well it turns out that I may be a little bit of spoiled brat; I really missed an option of zooming in and out (and damned near broke my scroll wheel trying), and I am apparently also rather used to and also rather fond of the option of being able to change the angle. There is only one option when it comes to graphics, and that is toggle full screen. Ahh well, 19MB, I kept thinking.
So, let's move on to the tutorials... if you can even call it that. Each tutorial had one piece of written guideline for the task ahead. And those instructions did not cover what one had to do. The tutorial also did not cover major game elements like resource gathering, the market, trading, and population explanation, etc. As I started, the „real“ game I felt was a bit lost, confused, and very blond. So, the blond in me Googled and found a Towns wiki; it covered the things that tutorial neglected to mention,or most of it, anyway. I am still trying to figure out how to place a floor-tile on the second story.
Off I went, and found a game concept I like; I am a Sims, Civilization, Sim City and Settlers kind of person, so I was still chanting my little „19MB“ mantra, and watching out for the silver lining. Unfortunately it felt raw, unfinished, and the common logic of life, and gameplay simply did not apply.
I missed having hot keys, and the menus were rather tedious to navigate. I was not sure what part of the game I had control over. I had no way of making my townies bow to my rule, I could try by changing their priorities, but that did not always work. Out of the blue 3 heroes appear, they are even more unruly than the townies, and I could not even get them to use armour. As my townies worked on mining they come across a dungeon, and, presto, monsters, and spiders emerge, and the „naked“ heroes spring into action.
That is about all the action there is. My part was trying to make sure everybody has everything they need in order to fight monsters, mine, and milk cows. My „19 MB“mantra was wearing rather thin... I guess size does matter.
I was not impressed by the fact the all the glitches and flaws mount up to a game that is barely into its beta testing stage, and is being sold as a complete product. But who can resist the pull of future unslain goblins and blue slime, I will probably be playing this game for some time, given my weakness for this kind of gameplay, I will go back for more, despite its flaws!
But it must be said, that this game is still in development and the potential is palpable, so I look forward to upping the grade as the game progresses.
We liked Graphics can sometimes be hilarious, and many possibilities for great modding communities.
We disliked Not very logical, unfinished, and objective unclear.