Are you tired of SimCity, but not tired of building cities? Banished offers a fresh new take on the genre, on a much smaller scale.


Unfortunately, a lot of gamers have been driven away from Maxis' SimCity due to it's broken and limited features, disastrous launch and online-only requirement. These same people, me included, were likely waiting for months to get back to city-planning, and many of them left feeling unsatisfied by the meal they were given. This is where Banished comes in.


Banished is a fresh and intimate new take on the city planning game and has you leading a group of banished people trying to build a new home. At the start of the game, you'll have some settlers and a cart filled with supplies. From there, you'll have to make it on your own. The game plays like a hybrid between SimCity and Age of Empires, but without the combat. Perhaps Tropico is a better comparison. You'll place buildings, make roads and bridges, but also farm, cut down wood and make preparations for the winter by tailoring shirts and gathering firewood. The game's economy is based on a barter system; you'll have to trade as there is no “money” resource to speak of.


Perhaps the most impressive part about this game is that it is the work of one man and his software company, Shining Rock Software. Despite plenty of people wanting to help him with the game, he sees it as a personal challenge to finish it on his own. The game engine and code are all his own design. Banished will be released at some point this year.