Villagers by Bumblebee Games is a medieval city building and management sim. Your goals are to create a village that thrives, is resourceful and, hopefully, doesn’t get utterly destroyed by wolves.
The game is developed by Bumblebee Games and is quite the management sim. I’m typically not very good at sims because I have a horrible habit of getting my town destroyed or worse. But Villagers does something a little differently, which I like. The game has a campaign mode. It gets you used to how the mechanics work and at the same time, tests you when you’re under pressure, like time, limited resources or deadly animals. It plays a lot like how you’d imagine sim games would play. You have your play area, your villagers and your resources. It’s entirely up to you on how you figure out how to build and shape your town.
In Campaign, you play through the story of your villager, male or female. You have quests lined up for you that lay out what needs to be done when they need to be done. While this takes place, a story unfolds about your character in little cards the peek off to the right. You come across corrupt figures, assassins, and hungry villagers during your journey. Campaigns are pretty short and can end abruptly I found. This may or may not sit well with folks hoping to get longer game play out of each chapter you are tasked with.
In Freeplay, it’s exactly that; play how you want without the story mode. You pick your terrain and you’re off to start your journey and build your town how you see fit.
The A.I. does tend to get a little wonky. I found a few of my villagers clipping and getting stuck on trees when I needed fish. The trees were stumps also, so there was nothing there to hinder them. The Campaign ends when your village can’t sustain itself or you move on to the next chapter of your story. Each chapter is broken up into sections about your life as the bard tells it. Each chapter can be short as it introduces you to the core mechanics.
Controls are WASD to move the camera around to see more of the board and scope out resources or enemies. Q and E rotate the camera for better angles to watch your villagers build and roam about. R and T are used to tilt the camera up and down so you can better see what’s going on and mouse wheel is used to zoom in and out.
There are other keys that control every aspect of building to make the experience easier for players. Using the Left Mouse Button, you can also click on each villager, name them, see their spouses or what’s ailing them. Useful if you want to find out on a villager level how your town is doing.
In the upper left, you also have controls that speed up, slow down or pause time. Just in case you need an extra moment while you think of what to do next. Down along the bottom is where you’ll find your build bar, or where you go to find the structures you can build to create your town. You will also find the Gathering action here. This will let you mine stone or gather wood for the various buildings that need them.
The upper right has your mini map, quest log and settings. Along the top is where you can keep track of your resources, gold and villagers.
The game is pretty to look at. It features a load of colorful characters you’ll meet throughout your journey. Even zoomed in at the closest point, the game still looks rich and vibrant. Characters are also nicely done and the landscapes with which you play on look fantastic.
Sounds are alright. Nothing that stands out but it also isn’t too loud or too out of place. It fits the time period and it’s very nice background music when you’re building either in Freemode or Campaign.
Villagers by Bumblebee Games is a great little city sim and life management game set in a medieval time. Even though the A.I. of your village may leave a lot to be desired, the game shines in other aspects. If you want a chill management sim that lives and breathes medieval vibes, Villagers is the way to go. You can find it on Steam for $19.99.
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