A lot of you are probably familiar with Banished. It's an indie city builder (from one single developer!) with a large "survival" aspect since you start out with just a few guys lost in the wilderness, trying to build a community from scratch despite the winters and the scarce resources. There is no campaign, only "endless" games.
I love so many things about Banished. It can be fairly challenging, depending on the settings you select (plus a little bit of luck, such as how early the first frost comes to ruin your crops, or how many of your guys are going to be killed early on by random events). It felt like a victory to be able to have the luxury of building a church, or a school, and to finally have your first educated child reach adulthood.
But it was also so relaxing to watch the colorful crops grow, the tree leaves change colors, the chicken walk around in their pen… I love seeing my little guys grow older, move out, create a new family, have babies. I love that you start out with ~6 guys and a sack of potatoes and can grow them into a thriving community cultivating many different vegetables, fruits and meats.
However, ultimately Banished could get a little boring after a few in-game years. The winters don't become harsher with time. As the community becomes large, you can no longer get attached to one little guy and remember his name and know where his house is. There wasn't much to do as an "end game", no buy project to build, no new place to explore or to settle, no trading, no fighting.
On the other hand, with Frostpunk I love that the scenarios stay challenging from start to finish, that the winters become harsher, I love that you can explore a map with scouts. But the Endless mode is missing a lot of what made Banished appealing (your community doesn't grow through making new families and new babies, the kids stay kids forever, once everything is automated there isn't much of a challenge, and there isn't the "cute" effect of watching grops grow, etc.)
I wish those mechanics could be blended together somehow. To have a game that would to a large degree be like Banished, but with increasing challenges, short or long scenarios blended in the game, scouting…
Both Frostpunk and Banished also lack multiplayer, and lack trading (well, there is so minimalistic trading in Banished), and lack the ability to settle on new locations. Adding some of those aspects would also make them more appealing long term.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about what "blending" those mechanics could be like, about other similar games that I might be unaware of.
And if anyone was unfamiliar with Banished I hope you'll look at this little gem. It regularly goes on sale for a few bucks and despite my saying it lacks long-term appeal I still played it some 200 hours…
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