Back when I was a kid, I really enjoyed playing The Settlers: having these cute little villagers running around, micromanaging their lives and waging war against everyone. They stopped making good Settlers games years ago ,so I was really happy when I saw that Handy Games’ Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt was out.
This interesting indie game is a town building sim that pays a lot of homage to the Settlers series. You start with a tiny village that will steadily grow until it becomes a bustling medieval city!
But is it a good replacement for my city-building obsession? Let’s find out!
The Eternal Catch Up
The game starts you off with a very extensive tutorial. I am talking three hours of tutorial if it’s your first time playing a game like this. This is a good thing, though, since Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt is a game all about micro management.
Just like other city builders there is not much lore, story or deep quest lines. But the game continues to throw new challenges throughout. Usually it is to achieve a certain rating in a variety of fields. Even though this seems simple at first, the demands get back-breakingly hard very fast.
This is where my main complaint is with Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt. It feels like you are playing catch-up the entire time. Your resources suddenly disappear, your villagers are unhappy, and some of them leave. A house gets destroyed because of it and all of the sudden all food is gone. All of this happens in an instant!
Currently, the game has a campaign which consists of the tutorial and little else. The rest of Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt are scenarios and different endless modes.
Instead of these, I would personally have liked to see a more fleshed out story – any story would do. Considering the cute art style of the game, the plot could have been silly and still be enjoyable. It would also have made the title a bit longer.
AI, Flesh And Potential
Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt is a game that relies on switching things on and off and letting the AI sort out the rest. This seems like a good concept on paper. Unfortunately, the truth is far less pleasing. The villagers take the longest walk possible to get resources seemingly at random and suddenly building plots gets abandoned.
I really enjoy micro management as a concept, but it needs to function properly for me to appreciate it in full. I would like to recommend Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt in its current state but I simply cannot justify the price tag. The game is enjoyable but needs more fleshing out before it’ll be worth 20 bucks.
A story mode, better AI and a way to foresee the chaotic catch up game would all be nice additions. With that said, I heard that the game is getting constantly updated and the devs seem to be really involved with their community. All gripes I have will hopefully be resolved soon.
I see a lot of potential in this game and I will keep an eye on its development in months to come. I recommend you do the same! Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt is currently available on steam and on the Switch.