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 (13,564 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 18, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A Pretty Good City Builder, its a bunch of good fun but is a little bare bones atm, however that might change in a few updates but its still really fun"

Recent updates View all (8)

November 23, 2014

New Mod Kit required for mod authors.

A new version of the Banished Mod Kit has been released for mod authors using Steam Workshop. Read more about the changes here:

26 comments Read more

November 4, 2014

Banished 1.0.4 Now Available

Banished 1.0.4 brings modding to the game! Steam Workshop is integrated. Mods can add buildings, professions, change game balance, and more!

Additionally many bugs were fixed:

* Changes for version 1.0.4

  • Increased memory usage allowed for save games. This allows larger modded maps than default to be saved safely. However at some point very large maps will crash the game due to out of memory, or textures failing to be created.
  • Fixed a rare crash that was caused by closing tooltips in a particular way.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed combo box drop downs to stay up if the parent button went away.
  • Added an option to draw the mouse cursor in software in cases where DirectX fails to display the cursor properly.
  • Moved ‘clip mouse to window’ option from Game options to input options.
  • Added a Reset All option to the game launcher. This allows the game to reset to default settings if a setting is causing a game crash. The command line option /reset also does the same thing. Note this will unset achievements in non-steam versions.
  • Adding an option to the game launcher to disable use of DirectInput. This should allow systems where the mouse doesn’t move to work properly, however only the left, right, and middle mouse buttons will be available.
  • Roads will now always draw roads no matter how many there are on the terrain.
  • Misc fixes for rare crashes.
  • Added support for a cmd.txt file that contains command line parameters. cmd.txt must be in the same folder as the executable.
  • Added Steam Workshop support. Mods can be created, updated, downloaded, and browsed in game. Any updates to subscribed mods will download automatically. A reload is required once downloads are complete.
  • Fixed tooltip text going outside the background boundaries.
  • Fixed combo boxes not displaying correcly after being enabled, disabled, then re-enabled.

78 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

    • 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
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • 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
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
Helpful customer reviews
1,406 of 1,469 people (96%) found this review helpful
34.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
Banished is the best city builder I've ever played (and I've played a lot, having been a fan of the genre since the original Sim City and the old Sierra historical builder games). The game is deceptively simple, you start with a few settlers and minimal supplies and you build a thriving settlement. Sounds easy enough, but it's probably one of the most challenging games I've played.

There are a variety of crops, animals, and natural resources. Your setttlers will plant and gather and use these to build a rustic town. Steel tools and stone houses represent the pinnacle of your settlement's technological advancement. You can barter goods with a few visiting tradesmen and some nomads may periodically ask to join your settlement, but that's the limit of your outside contact. Peace reigns, you won't need any military (or even police) here. The only hostile forces you will encounter in Banished are tornadoes, fires, diseases, starvation, and cold. And you will encounter them, a lot.

Although the game is relaxing to play, it can at times be incredibly difficult. Your settlement might be going along nicely for 100 years, with plenty of food and lots of citizens available to fill all the jobs that need to be done, and suddenly everyone has cholera and you're closing down the schoolhouse to free up some child laborers to expand your cemetary. Banished is brutal that way. But it's also beautiful. The music and graphics and effects are really appealing, and the immersion factor is high. It's definitely one of those games you can sit down to in the early afternoon and play for hours and hours and then be surprised to find your stomach growling and oh hey when did it get so dark outside?

The developer is very active and involved in the community, and new features are added often. Now the game offers modding capability and Steam Workshop. So far the community has responded with some amazing tweaks and additions which only make the game even better (also a little easier, if you find the challenge a bit much).

I can't wait to see how Banished continues to evolve, which it seems to do in much the same way that my tiny settlements grow and evolve, with all of the little details coming together to make something really satisfying and enjoyable.
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1,250 of 1,343 people (93%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
So I got vis game in the hope that I would be able to build a balanced city and survive at least one winter, how wrong I was, I died like 16 times in a row, then I discovered plums, I traded everything I had for one plumb seed and the plumb boom began. I found that if I devoted my entire town to be a plumb nation so to speak, nothing could stop me. I dedicated all my time to plumb manufacturing. I set up a trading post and traded my vast abundance of plumbs for clothing and materials. After my brief time on this game I really feel I discovered the true value of plumbs in todays society and will never take them for granted again.
For example for 10 years in a row I found my population to be stagnant and it hovered around the 66 citisen mark (not including children) for these 10 years. My solution to this was simple, I set up plumb farms all across the coast, from what I can gather with my basic understanding of immigration, traders come into my city on canoes and see the plumbs, they then return to their families after trading their iron and coal for my nations plumbs, they tell their families tales of he great plumb nation, then they tell friends and co-workers. This all led to the great population inflation of 18AD.
After 10 years of 66 citisens I grew to 88, many historians argue this was due to a better education system and advancements in stone houses and such. But these people are heretics and should be shakled and plumbed to death. Of course the real reason was due to plumb based immigration. Unfortunately the great mine collapse of 18AD saw the death of 15 good miners, so this countered the growth, I decided to close all mines and quarries and focus solely on plumbs and the occasional gatherer for berries.

All in all I would give plumb simulator 2014 a 9/10 would deffo play again.
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787 of 856 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
18.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
My entire village burned down, leaving two teenage boys alive and no-one else. I had a very successful economy so they survived on their own for many years in the burnt out husk of what was once a thriving merchant town by living off my extensive stockpile of most resources. Unable to have children for obvious reasons, they slowly grew old, and in late winter of Year 108, they both died at the ripe old ages of 72 and 73 respectively.
11/10 would play again.
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303 of 329 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
60.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Everything seems fine. Winter rolls around. Food stocks are well beyond surplus, everyone... Okay, most people are wearing clothes, people all seem healthy.

A group of nomads come to your town hall upon seeing your vast reserves of resources and food.

You allow them to join your settlement, what could be the harm in adding some more workers?

A little bit rolls by seemingly fine, but suddenly you have no food reserves and the planting of new crops have just started! People are starving in the streets. Nobody has any food in their homes. Then you notice that fuel reserves have dwindled while you were trying to solve your food shortage problem! People are now huddling in their homes with their families freezing to death and you can't stop it! Then an outbreak of Influenza comes through, your town's only physician died of starvation not too long ago. All hell has broken loose and your citizens are dieing too rapidly for you to do anything about it.

You watch in horror.

Everything you knew has crumbled before you. A sprawling settlement is suddenly eerily empty after only about a year or two of commotion.

Everyone is dead. You didn't get the 0 population nomads mod.

You turn off your computer and go weep in the corner of the room after the mass extinction that just happened due to your negligence.

12/10. I love this game.
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637 of 760 people (84%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
166.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Don't blink.
Blink and you starve
It happens fast.
Faster than you can believe.
Don't turn your back
Don't look away.
And don't blink.
Good luck
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444 of 546 people (81%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
>Play long enough to get 110 people
>Outbreak of influenza
>No big deal, have physician
>Winter comes early
>Crops die before harvesting
>Physician keeps dying of starvation
>By the next summer, before crops can be harvested, 75% of town dead
>Why God.

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394 of 484 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1,003.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Played this game a little bit. It's not too bad.
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157 of 178 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
93.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
Banished is a city-building game with a heavy focus on survival. From humble beginnings - just a few families exiled from their past lives and a handful of supplies - you will have the opportunity to build up a thriving community.

While Banished has all the footprints of a typical city-building game, it sets itself apart from the rest by including a diverse pool of resources to manage, each with impacts on your villagers’ happiness, health, and productivity. Each citizen adds to your total consumption, meaning you cannot afford to be complacent; you must always be planning ahead lest famine or disease wipe out most of your population. You must also manage your labor force (working adults), and should do so as efficiently as possible in order to minimize their struggle to survive.

The setting and the art-style compliment the survival theme quite well. There is never any doubt that you are building a barebones medieval-era town - all the buildings are made from wood and stone and the whole thing feels very quaint. The seasons change, which has both a visual effect as well as creating a growth cycle for plants and crops (can’t farm during the winter!).

As the years progress, your population ages, has children, and eventually passes away leaving the newer generations to repeat the circle of life... that is if they haven’t suffered any misfortunes along the way. Merchants will periodically visit and trade crop seeds, farm animals, and all kinds of goods once you’ve built a trading post. Wandering nomads may choose to settle in your town if you allow them.

There is a healthy variety of crops and buildings, and there is also Workshop/mod support. Although the modkit for Banished is only fresh out of beta, there is already a significant amount of additional content that improves the base game immensely. For example, the Colonial Charter mod provides a complete overhaul of the game with tons of new resources, buildings, and production chains.

If city-building games are something you enjoy, I cannot recommend Banished enough. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014 and it has definitely lived up to my expectations (and then some). A word of caution though, there are many hardships ahead; this is in no way an "easy" game.
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151 of 176 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
112.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Considering it's entirely built by one guy (Graphics Engine, artwork, et al) and he wrote about and during development and includes notes from the ground up, Banished is a fantastic feat and project to read about and play.

While it has absolutely zero replayability (once you understand how to survive easily, there's really no reason to continue playing other than perhaps building a nice looking city) it's still very much worth it for the few days it takes you to get bored. Everything in the world is kept in memory, so your people, trees, animals etc all have names/ locations and other "real" connections. This creates an amazing symbiotic gameplay element where literally anything you do has an effect on everything else in the world over time.

Plus it's ♥♥♥♥ing gorgeous.

In short, very shortlived but absolutely gorgeous and great to mellow out on. A thinking mans Sim City.
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138 of 168 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
79.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Great game except for when farmers die of starvation while harvesting food
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119 of 143 people (83%) found this review helpful
265.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
Honestly as someone who has sunk WAY too many hours in to this game my honest opinion is that if you're looking for as realistic a simulation of a built from scratch city builder than this it the game. The fact that instead of the generic cookie cutter city builder type game which largely revolves around money as the sole resource and currency of the game, the element of having to make sure you produce actual resources to support a community instead of just cash is one of my favorite features of the game.

They've put a lot of work in to this game since I initially bought it many moons ago when getting the Tenure achievement was nigh on impossible due to either A) crashing and losing your save on a semi regular basis after a certain point B) horrific priority designation on villagers who would always die to starvation every year because they lived on the complete other side of the map and despite passing barns and markets a plenty did not stop for food (I think I went hoarse once actually screaming at them because I lost like 60 in one winter alone) or C) you got blocked by resource production and trade capability in the tools area since after a certain point it's easier just to trade for tools rather than produce them and the trading posts were severly undercapped from where they needed to be and are now. Now all those things have been fixed and I just need to sit down and get the last couple achievments....

Negatives I would have to say are the fact that population growth can be a royal pain and a half. Either you've for villagers not popping out babies fast enough and suddenly you've got only about 40 students when you've been operating for the last two hours with twelve fully loaded school houses. Or you can so easily overcompensate and just mass spam houses to the point where not long from then you've got a baby boom on your hands and whereas you once had over 100K food in every category you're now frantically trading with every merchant you can to just simply bulk up food reserves to survive again. It's a tricky balance to maintain as it's easy to forget until it's too late, but if you can master it then you'll thrive.

Overall a game well worth the price and the time spent playing it.
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171 of 224 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
Winter came.
I was not prepared.
Everyone died.

10/10 would kill my village again.
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75 of 89 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
78.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
SimCity gone medieval on your @ss. Not only that, but this has one ugly neck breaking learning curve. Once you crash a few times (not computer wise) on this sim road you'll soon start to learn from your mistakes and begin to own the road that is Banished.

This builder game is not for the faint of heart so buyer beware this is not a sit in the park. Achievement hunters also beware, there is one achievement you will have to literally sit through hours. Or if your slick enough to get a stable town can idle it while you sleep.

As far as game play you will come back and back to see how farther you can make your town. Not into achievements then dive right into the mods of this, I'd suggest going to the main website as the steam workshop is cluttered with copies of copies. The game is real solid and the balance is very well built. It gets a veteran's seal of approval as there is zero hand holding and nothing but hard love. But when you get things rolling the rewards are very sweet.

Sim Town builder for the more seasoned player. Mods on the other hand make this game a little more relaxed for the more casual Sim Village players. Get it on sale or full price you will not be sorry.
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143 of 197 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
It's fun for about the first 10 hours of gameplay. If you think the price is fine for that then go ahead and buy it!

Said that the problem is there not much replayability. After you learn how to keep growing in a sustainable way without starving to death, it's all the same and if you start over it's basically repeating the same techniques. That's where it gets boring, once you get there there is not much else to do, that's it's only mechanic.

Other than that sometimes a villager is an idiot that decides to take a 3 month journey to collect some wood and ends up dying in the cold, and there's nothing you can do about it.
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62 of 78 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Its like sim city but you arent building city you are building village where everybody can die slow and painful way .
pro tip : When you start a first game dont think your people will survive.
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64 of 84 people (76%) found this review helpful
85.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
Banished is a fantastic game, a city-building type focused primarily on survival. Your main goal is to expand your town and grow your population and most of the challenge is based on when and how to do it. There are no battles, your only enemies are natural disasters and diseases. One of the things that is great about Banished is that its AI works on individual levels. Every person in your town is an entity on its own. They are born, grow up, get married, grow old and die, in a very convincing simulated life. There are about 20 professions the townspeople can be assigned to and every one of them is important to the town as a whole. On the downside, there aren't much to do in the endgame but community mods can keep things fresh for a new run.
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312 of 486 people (64%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
I didn't know what to write about in my review, so here's a recipe for pancakes instead:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
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63 of 84 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Half my town starved to death mere metres away from fields ripe for harvest because my farmers decided that wandering aimlessly was a better use of their time.
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60 of 82 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
Prepare to Starve Edition.
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38 of 46 people (83%) found this review helpful
24.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
tl;dr - Banished is a decently fun city builder/simulator that's held back by random bugs and shoddy AI.

Getting the game for ~$6 (USD) off a trader, I felt I got my money's worth at the ten hour mark, but I can tell right now that this isn't something I can come back to time after time, or even in a few months when something else will have my attention. Just about everything in this game screams mediocrity, but it's a new(ish) game in a somewhat dead genre so, if this is something you find appealing but are on the fence, I say grab it at a steep discount (ten dollars is too much). You'll have some fun and for a few bucks you just can't go wrong. The reason I don't recommend the game is, when faced with the full asking price, the game's issues are too glaring for me to conscionably recommend. At the current ten dollar sale price as of me writing this review, I say you're far better off grabbing one of the Impressions Games classics off GOG. I first bought Pharoah with money I got for Christmas when I was nine years old, and I still boot that game up from time to time. It's disappointing to see issues present in Banished that weren't present in a game released 15 years ago and weighing in at 490 MB (with a content-packed expansion/spin-off game). The inability to give instructions to a specific villager was beyond frustrating in a modern game, and the random idling is off the charts. All of these games have citizen idling, but I've never seen it to such an extent, even on the easy setting, clueing you in that it's an issue with the design.

It's terrible to be expanding your population, with your food supply being constrained as a result, only to have people starve because your workers suddenly decide that they've had enough of harvesting, leaving upwards of 25% of your crop to rot. What's more is the remarkable inconsistence with food output, particularly if you don't mouse over a particular area for a little while. I'm decently positive the game simulates items not in view at a different speed than the one you've set, causing obvious issues if you don't constantly observe your entire city. But oftentimes, there's simply nothing to be done, your villagers plant a pumpkin patch, one of the quickest farms in the game and one that often is harvested before even the start of autumn, only this time for them to never finish planting the field for some unknown reason. Compounding this is the fact they may or may not get the crops in time before winter, regardless of what you do, where the storage buildings are located, or when harvest begins.

As I said, I enjoy this game, but I simply can't believe the developers would decide such a bare-bones (only two map styles!), buggy and downright flawed game was ready for release. Do yourself the favor and skip this unless there's a heavy discount and you're unwilling to play games from the 90s.
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