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Towncraft (Mac) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: Mac, iOs
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
8.5
8.5/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


A fun and engaging game that will have you crafting for hours.

Not so much?


The maps and quests can feel a bit repetitious after hours and hours of play, but not overly so.


Final Fiendish Findings?

WHO WANTS TO BUILD AN EMPIRE?!? Well…more of a small hamlet, really. Towncraft is the latest in the popular building and crafting genre, where players are tasked with creating virtually everything needed to play the game. In Towncraft, as you might expect from the name, you’ll be creating towns. You begin in the wilderness, with […]

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Posted May 12, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

WHO WANTS TO BUILD AN EMPIRE?!? Well…more of a small hamlet, really.TownCraft-Mac-Screen-3-750x400

Towncraft is the latest in the popular building and crafting genre, where players are tasked with creating virtually everything needed to play the game. In Towncraft, as you might expect from the name, you’ll be creating towns. You begin in the wilderness, with nothing surrounding you but trees and rocks, maybe the occasional sand hill or lake. The maps are procedurally generated, so you never know what you’re going to get, although there are obviously many similarities, as the maps all have the same general resources and size.

As you begin the game, you’ll craft your very first item by picking a stick from a tree and a rock off the ground, tying them together to create a hatchet (which makes cutting down trees a much easier prospect).  Cutting down trees gives you all sorts of resources you’ll need to create your town, from logs for building walls to round pieces for buckets. Of course, you can’t build a town from wood alone, so your next tool will be a hatchet to help mine the variety of minerals you’ll find all over the ground.

And so it goes. You’ll mine gold and coal and such from the ground, apples and eggs from the branches of trees, berries and grapes from bushes hidden in the forest, and so forth, building a formidable arsenal of raw materials from which to craft. Though you can do a lot with just a hammer and your hands, if you want to advance your town you’re going to need to bring in the big guns – furnaces for metal working, iron stoves and stone ovens for crafting delicious recipes, tool benches for woodworking, and more. And if you want that sort of equipment, you’ll need to have buildings to place it in.

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Although you certainly can just wander around Towncraft, picking up items and building when and what you please, there is a story and progression to the game. You are given various tasks to perform, each of which will advance your skills. At the beginning, you will be asked to do simple things like placing a certain number of raw materials into the town stockpile. As you advance though, your tasks will be more difficult – crafting golden swords, or creating a series of metal tableware. Each thing you make must be done with the proper equipment and materials, and figuring out the recipe is half the fun.

In addition to carrying out quests, you need to keep growing your town. Adding more buildings and different types of structures will both increase the size of your town as well as attracting more people to it – and you need those people. The traders will be a great source of materials until you can make your own, as well as a good place to sell items for a quick buck. The rich folk will send you on quests and pay you handsomely for them. The workers make your job far easier. Once you have the money to do so, you can hire people to work your farmland, mill, mines, and more. They are a great help, but you need to keep enough money in hand to continue paying them. Much like the real world, the workers work during the day, hang out at the shops and taverns at night (once you’ve built them anyway), and then get up and do it all again in the morning. You need to pay them for each day worked or they’ll quit – leaving your crops to die.

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Towncraft is great fun. Once you’ve fulfilled all the tasks for a town, you can move on to a new map, or continue on making your town as perfect as you’d like it to be. It’s perfectly safe for children – there is no killing of any sort, just good old fashioned hard work. There is a quirky sense of humor present in many of your interactions with other people, and reading is pretty much necessary – but other than that, your little crafting junkies are perfectly safe with this game (if they can get their parents to give them a turn, anyway).


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)