Township Farm and City Building — Who’s It For?View All Reviews
Township is a free-to-play city-building game available on multiple platforms and was developed by Playrix. Township first became available as an Adobe Flash application on the social-networking website Facebook. The game was released for iOS on February 24, 2012 and Google Play on November 13, 2013. On February 16, 2014, it was released on the Amazon Appstore.
With a community of 3.5 million people, Township is nothing short of a global game. But can a Facebook game be any good? Wait, don’t start muttering that thing about one million lemmings just yet. Let’s have a look at what a modern city builder hit looks like before judging it by the cover.
What’s the deal
If you’ve ever played a city builder simulator, you’ve played all of them. The small details and mechanics can differ from one game to another, but the gameplay loop is basically unchanged since SimCity and City: Skylines were released over two decades ago.
You start out with a bunch of settlers who inhabit a plot of land and start expanding a small colony into a large megapolis. As you go along, you will have to create infrastructure, erect buildings with zones of influence, trade with other colonies, manage tax rates, and keep your population happy via various means.
Since the mid-90s, there were dozens upon dozens of spins on this classic formula, from managing colonies of ancient Rome to building up a Marsian settlement. Township is a more down-to-earth variation of a city sim. It simplifies the core gaming mechanics while keeping the number of elements you can explore to the maximum and focuses heavily on agriculture.
Township will have you invest in exploring more and more crops and take the yield through the whole manufacturing process: from growing wheat and grinding it into flour to mixing it with ingredients to produce bakery.
The game focuses heavily on the visuals and having fun, not on making the mechanics extremely complex and true to life, so you can find a lot of decorations in there. While more advanced PC city sims would have you launch a rocket into space, this one lets you build a beautiful and unique town.
In Township, you can find hundreds of city-building elements that are only there to make your city look good. Fountains, benches, a petting zoo, you name it. In many other city sim games that run on PC, gamers ignore these, because they rarely contribute to the outcome of the game. Here, however, it doesn’t only look good, it serves a purpose. Your town’s population will become happier with each decoration you place.
The best part
Hardcore gamers won’t appreciate this positive side of the game, but the best part about Township is how easy it is to play. You don’t need to fight off hoards of zombies like in They Are Billions, learn mathematical analysis like in Dwarf Fortress, or let traffic jams ruin your playthrough like in Cities Skylines.
The learning curve in this game skyrockets after five minutes spent in the game. Once you get used to the controls on your mobile phone, you got it. All you have to worry about after that is what water fountain would look best in your town.
Since the gameplay is so easy, you constantly see the progress and rarely ever have to struggle with advancing your game to the next stage. In one word, it’s laid back.
Another big plus of playing Township is the community. You can trade with friends to get elements and products essential for construction. If you have friends who play Township, you’ll have a great time together. If none of your friends play it, it’s a great opportunity to make new friends.
This gameplay mechanic is exactly why you would get an invitation to play Township from aunt Karen on Facebook. While it can be a great game if your Facebook friends play it, it’s an extremely long and tedious one if nobody you know cares to play the game with you.
Like many other Facebook freemium games, Township makes money by asking players to buy in-game currency, T-Cash, for real money. To incentivize the players to invest in the game, it’s designed in a way that it’s impossible to play if you don’t want to pay or don’t have friends to help you out.
Some buildings that are essential for moving the game forward will take hours to complete. Not hours of in-game time, hours of real time. On the higher end of the spectrum, you will have to wait for 24 hours for one building to be completed.
For someone who wants to keep on playing the game, it can be a nightmare. A nightmare you can only escape if you pay real money for in-game items that speed up the construction process.
Township looks good but it doesn’t play that good for anyone. If you’re a gamer who loves to go on a binge and play for hours and hours straight, this isn’t a game for you. If you like your games to be so complicated you have to delve deep into the mechanics to understand them, Township will only disturb you with the easiness of the gameplay.
However, if you’re a casual gamer who only plays once in a couple of days, Township can be a great time-killer for you. Spend an hour in the game gathering resources and planning out the infrastructure of your town, and leave for a couple of days until the buildings you need to proceed get constructed.
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