Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt
The latest from HandyGames is a remastered version of their medieval city-builder; Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt. This title aims to completely overhaul the original with a port to PC. The original game existed as a freemium game for mobile devices, and as we know, there are many games who have attempted to leave mobile platforms for PC or console and have failed miserably. Will this wildly successful app make the transition to PC smoothly and manage to win over new fans? Let’s take a look!
As someone who has no prior experience with the Townsmen games, I came into Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt with a very objective perspective. I have long been a fan of city-building and tycoon games, so I was quite excited to dive into some fun medieval shenanigans. Little did I know I would be forced through one of the most painfully slow and complex tutorials ever.
The tutorial, listed in the menu as the campaign (still not quite sure which it is intended to be), is designed to give players an overview of the game before they hop into the specific scenario missions. Fair enough. The only problem was that this ‘tutorial’ lasted me the better part of three hours.
Now, perhaps this was always intended to be a campaign that eased players into the game, but that is not how it is presented. Since it was presented as a tutorial, I kept getting more and more frustrated the longer it went. After the 4 tutorial scenarios I found myself saying out loud, “Come on, let me play already!”.
Once the tutorial had been completed, the game was fairly enjoyable. The graphics are what you would expect from a mobile-to-PC title, high resolution but not overly detailed or realistic. I did notice that certain text boxes featured graphic models that had a slightly grainy texture, but it was hardly enough to distract from the game.
What did distract from the game was the UI. As an experienced city-builder gamer, I found the UI to be disorganized and incomplete. The menus are sorted in an odd style, with far too many tabs being stored under one drop-down button and then having 3 unique buttons that serve only one purpose. I can only imagine this is a remnant of the mobile game and how the game was initially designed around a small touch-screen.
Once I had the UI straightened out a bit, I really focused on the gameplay side of Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt. What I found was sadly lacking. There are the basic mechanics of any city-builder: collect resources, build housing, crafting buildings, military buildings to protect from enemies, etc. but nothing stood out as unique to this game.
No matter how much I played Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt and tried to enjoy it, and believe me, I tried; I just could not stop thinking about how evident it was that I was playing a port. To me, if I know it is a port, it is a bad port. Good ports feel natural in their environment, and unfortunately, this game simply does not achieve that.
Overall, Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt is a mildly-successful PC port that is unlikely to snatch many city-builder fans away from other games. Existing fans should be excited at the prospect of being able to enjoy their game on a new platform, but that is about as far as I can see the excitement for this game going.