I’m a sucker for city-sims and the like, so I was initially quite happy to take on Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt when it crossed my desk a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, this isn’t the city-builder I’ve been looking for, though it might be more up your alley if you can get past the issues I had with the game.
Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt for PS4 is actually a port of an older mobile game. It originally released way back in 2012 on Android and iOS devices, and this much is obvious from the start. The free-to-play trappings are never really far behind, and it’s obvious that this is basically the mobile game with all the features unlocked, and all of the pay-to-play features removed. Still, there’s something to be said about the game’s charming aesthetics.
Your job is simple: survive and thrive, but you need to get the townsfolk on board. You start off with some simple tutorial missions that are designed to get you familiar with the basics, and basic it is. The controls aren’t terrible for a console city-builder, but they’re still a little fiddly at times, but not enough to make the game a misery.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, the game plays itself. You’ll build new economy buildings, homes and features for your city. Managing resources is, naturally, at the forefront of everything you do. Not enough wood means no new buildings. Not enough food means your townsfolk will get grump, which will lead to them being less productive, and your overall stock falling. This is where things can get a little annoying. I found that if I slumped and had a sudden cut in resources, it was difficult to pull back from a medieval recession, and it was sometimes less painful to just start again.
This was especially annoying when it came to combat, or what passes for it in Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt. The only kind of conflict you get in is with bandits who are looking to rob you. Instead of, say, building an army like in Age of Empires or Command & Conquer, you just have to build barracks and guard towers and make sure they cover a wide enough area of your city to see the bandits coming. It’s overly passive and more of a waiting game. You can’t initiate battle, you just have to sit and wait for the bad guys to show up, which isn’t something I’d normally consider cool. I lost a few towns to bandits during my early hours, but with a few hours under my belt it became a little easier to repel attacks, but it wasn’t especially fun.
The fun comes from building a nice town, decorating it to your liking, and then seeing it succeed by your own actions. It’s a simple game, but if you spend the hours and really dig into it, you’ll find the extra depth. For me, it was difficult. Whether that’s because I’ve come off playing Tropico 6, Frostpunk, and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, I can’t say, but I definitely missed them while I was playing Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt.
Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt PS4 Review
Overall - Good - 6/10
Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt is a solid, albeit simplified, city builder that has made the transition from mobile to console with ease. It’s still stuck in its trappings, but there’s enough to make it worth your while, so long as you’ve got the time and patience to explore its intricacies.
- Simple, approachable gameplay for all skill levels.
- Depth for those who want it, otherwise very casual for players looking to kill a bit of time without taxing their brain.
- Poor combat which makes building an army seem wasteful.
- Takes a long time to get anything done.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)