In this city-building strategy game, you control a group of exiled travelers who decide to restart their lives in a new land. They have only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland. The townspeople of Banished are your primary resource.
User reviews: Very Positive (17,638 reviews) - 91% of the 17,638 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 18, 2014

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October 30, 2015

New Beta Build Available

Beta build 1.0.5 is now available to test major engine changes that have been made to support multiple platforms for Banished. It also contains a few bug fixes, and some changes to the mod kit.

Read more about the release here:
http://www.shiningrocksoftware.com/2015-10-30-betabuild/

50 comments Read more

About This Game

In this city-building strategy game, you control a group of exiled travelers who decide to restart their lives in a new land. They have only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland.

The townspeople of Banished are your primary resource. They are born, grow older, work, have children of their own, and eventually die. Keeping them healthy, happy, and well-fed are essential to making your town grow. Building new homes is not enough—there must be enough people to move in and have families of their own.

Banished has no skill trees. Any structure can be built at any time, provided that your people have collected the resources to do so. There is no money. Instead, your hard-earned resources can be bartered away with the arrival of trade vessels. These merchants are the key to adding livestock and annual crops to the townspeople’s diet; however, their lengthy trade route comes with the risk of bringing illnesses from abroad.

There are twenty different occupations that the people in the city can perform from farming, hunting, and blacksmithing, to mining, teaching, and healing. No single strategy will succeed for every town. Some resources may be more scarce from one map to the next. The player can choose to replant forests, mine for iron, and quarry for rock, but all these choices require setting aside space into which you cannot expand.

The success or failure of a town depends on the appropriate management of risks and resources.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Win XP SP3 / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible card (shader model 2)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 processor (or greater)
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 10 compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
Helpful customer reviews
225 of 233 people (97%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
111.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2015
After over 100 hours of playing it is definitely time that I write a review for this game.
I bought Banished on a whim during the summer sales, I played lots of Sim City 2000 during my childhood and I was after another game like that but of course at the time Cities Skylines was out of my budget, so after a bit of YouTube research I added this to my games collection.

When I started my first village I was completely lost, in fact my first four or five villages were complete failures. This game had a lot to balance up, a constant battle for resources that I always seemed to lose, it was very frustrating at first and I almost abandoned the game with about five hours playtime. I took to YouTube again and learnt the basics of making it through winter and keeping up with farming and eventually I made it past the usual three year mark and got a village that was actually growing and moving forward. With the town in full swing I was able to expand further and further, making smaller communities that would join with marketplaces and eventually with trading ports to bring animals, all leading up to the town hall which is great for prediciting resource consumption, housing needs and allowing the entry of nomads.

At this point I was spending almost entire days just tending to my village, I built a huge bridge spanning across a lake to connect up two distant communities and made both self reliant, with each year adding more houses, schools, forester lodges and so on. The problem is that if you don't maintain just one element of your village, the collapse is VERY sudden. One year my sheep got sick and this affected the whole herd, meaning I had to kill them all; in tern this meant that my tailor couldn't make the highest quality coats and since I didn't change the settings to a lower material, I had no coats stockpiled for winter, leading to many of my villagers freezing to death.

My newest village is going strong with around 280 citizens but everything lies in the balance, the further you get the more you have to keep track of, but it feels very rewarding to make it through a year without someone starving to death. I have to juggle my farmers around so that once a harvest is finished they are then pushed into the mines and quarries to retrieve resources until spring comes again, if I forget to change that option in time then that causes a huge drop in my food production, so yeah you need to stay on top of everything. My screen is usually covered with all my building objectives that need to be filled and the town hall stats that will show where to put my labourers.

That all being said, Banished isn't going to be a game you will return to every week, I could play for days on end at first but now its a bit intimidating returning to my town, that could be because of the stress of it all. The music can get quite repetitive but overall I did really enjoy the soundtrack, very appropriate for the theme of the game, but when you hear the music on start up everytime it can just get you out of the mood of playing, i'd put a playlist of your own on standby if you're going to play for more than two or so hours. I have been lucky to avoid most of the in game disasters unlike other players but that can be toggled to your preference. I agree with some players that there could have been a few more build options on top of what there is, more types of housing is something I would have enjoyed, but i've been playing without any mods so far and haven't felt the need (yet) to go in search for them.

Once you get your first successful town, the game is very cosy and its great to have the different map seeds with flat land or valleys to spice things up. You are going to need patience at first that is for sure, look up guides if you get caught in the lag of the first few years and that will help move things forward. The art style is quite detailed for such a small game and the camera feature that lets you cut back and forth to far apart settlements is so useful, in fact many of the shortcuts available make management of the game a lot less stressful as you go along.

Banished is a game I would definitely recommend to anyone I know. While it has difficulty options available to you, I would say this game is for people in that middle zone with it being a bit challenging for casual players and maybe lacking that complexity a more hardcore simulator player would prefer. Go watch some videos and add it to your wishlist!

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69 of 71 people (97%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
104.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2015
Banished strips the complexities of the city-building genre to their essentials. Shining Rock Software has rolled the genre back to the middle ages. There's no sewer system to manage, no power grid to maintain. Just a group of settlers pushing into the wilderness, and a wilderness that pushes back.This simplicity creates a focused game in Banished. It starts as an intimate simulation and grows to be a taut, strategic experience.

Banished feels more like a survival simulation than a traditional city builder. I was plopped into the middle of the wilderness with a dozen people and some supplies, which they immediately began consuming. The race was on to clear enough land to plant crops and build houses before winter.

Each step in this arduous process is shown off by delicate animations that give life to the individual tasks. And each of those animations has a one-to-one relation to the city's production. Ask a citizen to fell a tree, and watch as they chop it down, carry back and deposit a single wood resource into the town's storage. Banished's towns look like a busy little ant colonies from afar, but all the activity is something more. The game rewards careful study, and those rewards made me begin to care about my little citizens.

At the expense of making laborers anonymous, Banished provides an enormous amount of control over their virtual lives. The game's mechanics are closely tied to the cycle of the seasons, so in the spring and early summer I shifted everyone into the fields for planting. In the autumn I pulled laborers out of the mines to bring in the harvest. With such high-level strategy driving my decisions, I felt like a leader, not just a deity pushing at abstracted levers. While I couldn't get to know my citizens as individuals, I had control over their lives.

This worked perfectly until the mid-game, where the simulation gets tedious. Once I pushed the population over 50 workers it became less about dictating the free time of each individual and more about the careful accounting of performance of the population as a whole. But at this level of gameplay, Banished struggles with giving players solid feedback on their actions. For instance, a gatherer will roam the area around town and carry back little baskets of roots and berries. But when the forest has been picked clean they just mutely wander. You have to zoom in, below the trees, and check to see if their hands are full. When you're tracking a small population of workers on a one-to-one basis, this is fine. When the population has ballooned, it becomes a major frustration.

The struggle for information makes Banished especially difficult at points. As I swung wildly from feast to famine and back again, lots of people were left cold and hungry. Entire towns died off before I had an understanding of how to cycle through methods of generating food in order to reliably collect enough to make it through each winter. And even then it was more guesswork than fact; let's try hunting more this year, fishing more the next. While future towns benefitted from my experience, Banished put me through an emotional wringer to earn any pride I felt for my little ant farm.

My only comfort during these tough times was to zoom into the gorgeous fully 3D world. Banished looks phenomenal, and it ran without a hitch at maximum settings, even in the late game when my town of nearly 200 began to sprawl across several screens. At such a large scale Banished resembles a little clockwork machine with hundreds of tiny parts. And as the movement began to slow, the complexity of the simulation allowed me to easily pull off the gears and reassemble them in clever ways. When a disaster, say an infestation of insects, began to attack the crops, I pulled workers from the quarry to quickly bring in the harvest. At the same time I repositioned workers from the coal mine to clear more land for fast-growing, alternative crops. It was a joy to find that sometimes my improvised solutions even worked.

Banished demands your attention. It's a game that shows instead of tells, and at times I wish it had told me more. I failed over and over again as I got my bearings. But the grand scale of those failures just made my improvements feel all the more genuine. Past the steep learning curve and trial-and-error gameplay of Banished lies a methodically crafted labor of love that is as precise as it is thrilling.
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54 of 63 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
98.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2015
Finally decided to write a review for this game as it's on sale. The developer deserves all the praises he can get.

AAA quality game under 300 mb. Reminds of good ol' days of PC gaming when hardcore coders not artists / modders used to make games.

Yes its true that 'reinventing the wheel' is waste of resources. But it doesn't mean to forcefully fit the same wheel on every cart/car regardless of its purpose and size. When game are made from scratch with less reliance on generic ready made engines or recycled tools and more under the hood coding, they require less resources and run blazingly fast even on old hardware.

And that is the first thing you will notice with Banished. You can feel the engine underneath while playing. It feels like you just need to press a hidden button to see everything in code Matrix style. It reminds me of the days playing Quake 3 Arena. Very raw yet very crispy.

Banished is developed by a lone coder so it doesn't have detailed tutorials, introductory videos and all other sorts of babysitting that gamers of today have gotten used to. But for someone like me that just adds to its appeal of truly open ended sandbox game. The difficulty I had to stop letting my village starved to death was the best part of the game. And I think that is how the game should be played. Stop reading guides and experiment on your own. Because that is what the game is all about. There is no specific objectives in the game. How city building games should be. The way they are meant to be played.

Having said that, the game doesn't have a huge scope like that of Total War or Civilization games. So without multiplayer, it's not a game that you can keep on playing forever. So don't rush it. Enjoy the game and try different things.

This game will appeal to you if you are a gamer who likes to explore, experiment, decorate and set your own objectives. But if you are someone who likes hand holding, being told what to do while following scripted sequences one after another with specific objectives to accomplish than look elsewhere.

Highly recommended!
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195 of 291 people (67%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
30.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2015
I love this game, but there is just not enough replay value to be worth it. I guess the only goal after a while is to see just how big you can get your city, but it feels empty.

It's a good quality game, with few bugs, but not enough in it to make it worth the money.
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22 of 26 people (85%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 26, 2015
*Artwork/Animation 8/10
-Artwork: The graphics in this game are basic. All the textures flow together nicely and I have not experienced any breaks or lines in the textures on any of the items in the game. Over all pretty nice graphics, not much to complain about here.
-Animation: Similar to the artwork, the animations are simple and standard. The people walk around, pick up things, put things down, build, etc. The animations are clean and I have not experienced any bugs thus far. The only thing I can honestly complain about for this is that they people with in your town do not recognize buildings. Therefore they do walk through things like pastures, farms, and when they pick up food to bring to their house sometimes half their body will be inside the wall. This isn't major flaw and doesn't take away from the game play, however, it was enough to make this topic lose two points because it could easily be fixed in an update if the devs decided to work on it.

*Sounds/Music: 10/10
-Sounds: The sounds in this game are detailed & very nice. You can hear trees that fall or get chopped down, you can hear the rain, and you even hear the livestock and birds chirping. Very nice quality and the sounds aren't loud or annoying.
-Music: The music is on a soundtrack in a way. You'll go from hearing medieval themed music, to very slow casual music you barely notice, to no music at all then it repeats in that order. The music is nice and goes well with the game. Once you play for like 15 minutes you hardly notice the music. It's still a nice background sound though.

*Hours to Complete: ~~~
This is a topic in all of my reviews so I decided to include it for the purpose of consistency. You can play this game indefinitely. Even with just one town that you are successful in and build every single thing available you can continue to play that single game until you get bored. The map is huge so expansion of your town can be indefinite.

*Story Line: 9/10
The story line goes along with the title of the game. Basically, a group of people are banished from a civilization and forced to live on their own elsewhere. Working together, they can successfully create their own town plentiful of food, clothes, and hard working civilians. The story line is nice, I personally love survival games and games where you create your own town or civilization. The only reason it lost a point on this topic is because the actual game doesn't give you any back story whatsoever other than the title. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It's good for the people that like to be imaginative and think of what happened to the group on their own or people that like to just play the game right away and don't care for back stories. This can be bad for the people that like to see the back story or actually wonder what the devs had in mind as to why they got banished. Either way it's a nice story line.

*Game Play: 10/10
The is a very strategic and survival heavy game. It is a slower paced game so if you're expecting to be able to build everything within an hour or less you're going to get a big surprise. There's a lot of times you're just sitting there waiting for the children to turn into adults so you can continue and progress. If you're going to play this game I recommend having patience. The first few times you play you're just trying to figure out controls and the best way to survive. After you figure out how to get through the first year with out starving or freezing during the winter, the game is pretty self explanatory yet still challenging. There's a ton of different difficulty settings, things to customize your game play, and even map seeds (this just means the map is randomly generated every time you play. If you find a map you really enjoy playing on you can save the seed and use it for each game you start. Likewise if you see someone else play a really cool map they can give you the seed number and you can play a game on their map seed). There are tutorials if you get stuck and a banished wiki if you have questions as well as youtube walk throughs if you ever need any help or specific information. This game does offer 36 steam achievements.

*Price: 10/10
The price today, 8/26/2015, is $19.99 I feel like $20 for this game is decent. You're getting unlimited game play and hours of challenging fun. I can see where this game is maybe not for everyone but it's still a decent price for what the game has to offer.

*Over All:
I honestly do really enjoy this game and I like almost everything about it.
I would recommend this game to anyone who:
-Enjoys slower paced games
-Has patience
-Likes survival/strategic games
-Likes building cities or civilizations
-Enjoys renaissance music
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