Villagers is a beautifully illustrated and richly detailed town-building game where you build a thriving community using the people and resources around you. Success or failure depends on your ability to create a town that can grow and p...

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Review: A villager has died

Platform: PC (Microsoft Windows) - 503 views - 0 likes

So a few days ago IGDB made a give-away facebook comp of a couple copies of this little indie game that took my fancy. Naturally I lost the competition but decided to get a copy anyway on the account I am a fan of RTS and indie... also that I have the worlds worst laptop and this is the only game that wouldn't turn it into a smoldering pile of molten disappointment. My reception of this game could be very easily mean and jaded like I would give to a triple A, but I give BumbleBee-games a chance and try to BumbleBee positive.

The game has two modes, freeplay and story, like most historical RTS games. Naturally I choose story and am immediately immersed into a text based narration of the protagonists biography. The narration jumps between a real time conversation involving a scribe and some random chick at a bar, then to the book they/he is writing, then to the events unfolding and finally to the game it'self. So it's kind of an off putting narration-ception... can I say that?
The game starts easy and limits the buildings and stages you can take as a beginner, in what is to be a tutorial that makes up the entire campaign. The story promises all sorts of adventures, war, disease and the looming duty of royal city builder but after three or four maps of tutorial it finally gives up and decides the ultimate goal in the game is to build a bath house and roll credits. What a rip off! Yes there is 6 hours of promised story game play but literally all of it is spent in tutorial. The final building you are allowed to build is a bath and the moment you build it the king's buddy pops up and says the war's over, let's all go for a pint.
The game is also buggy. Very buggy. Aside from the aesthetic bugs like birds being permanently stuck in buildings and the narrator repeating himself. There is no end of 'map-reset' bugs, like villagers not being able to reach their spots, traders blocking the harbor despite having left the map and unable to place buildings anywhere for no reason. All of that might be forgiven had they not made it IMPOSSIBLE to manually close any window without opening the quest screen.

All in all, a buggy game (can be forgiven) with a short and pointless campaign (can also be forgiven) with basically nothing going for it that every pre 2004 historical RTS hadn't already done. One redeeming fact is that the game is genuinely a refreshing little addictive muse that plays on my nostalgic strings and has good music.

Positive points
  • Soundtrack and art
Negative points
  • Read above... oh wait, €20??? Yea... that too.


Total score