Towns is one of them indie games, don’t you know. Greenlit by Steam, it still has a long way to go before I’d personally consider it playable. Although tagging it with “promising” tends to insinuate that it’s likely going to be cancelled down the road due to inadequate funding, I’d say that a little work and some mechanics tweaks would make Towns one hell of a time-killer. There isn’t really a lot to cover, so I’ll get as specific as I can manage.
First and foremost, the tutorials are absolutely fantastic. I’ll reassure you that trying to navigate the UI without first learning the tips and tricks will undoubtedly result in confusion and little to no progress. The tutorials don’t cover the entire UI, but what they do teach will enable you to utilize each and every menu with ease. Teach a little, learn a lot, yes?
What makes Towns unique is the fact that you don’t directly control your citizens. You give orders, and they are obeyed by whoever isn’t busy. While this is an interesting trait, it needs a fair bit of polishing. At the moment, gathering is particularly buggy. If you set up a stockpile, your townsfolk will do anything to fill it. They will travel across the map and slay anything that gets in the way of their goal, which typically costs you half of your people.
Also, as far as I can tell, the “cancel order” button and “mass delete” option are not functional. What this means is, any action being performed by a citizen will be continued until the task is completed or the worker is dead. It’s rather difficult to control your crew, despite the fact that you’re basically the god of this sandboxy survivalist gimmick.
Now, here’re the good bits. Construction is expansive, to say the least. From carpentry to masonry, baking to artistry, the town you build can look like anything. Modern day brick house? Sure thing. Medieval castle? Fairly typical. Demon lord’s tower? Sure, have a go at it.
Dungeon crawling is considerably difficult because of the “levels” UI. Mouse wheel up and down to change the layer of focus and action. In order to mine an area, you must be one level below your target hole-to-be. Digging down three layers will land you in a dungeon, which will likely cost you your digging crew if they aren’t properly equipped. Getting equipped is a chore on its own, as you need to gather wood and other materials without killing all your units requires careful planning and stockpiling.
I suppose I’m being a little too critical of this greenlit, work in progress indie game. I took a chance and decided to invest, and I can’t say that I entirely regret that decision. However, I am dubious that this project will follow through. If it is, I foresee an enjoyable survival game with a snazzy level of constructive customization. $15 is about five dollars too expensive, as it is now. Of course, if you want to see this game come into fruition, it’s the perfect price. So, would I recommend it to you? Yes, but only if you want to support the project. If you’re just bored and looking for something to play… no. No I would not.