Townscaper Reviews | PC player
What is that? Build your own Mont-Saint-Michel.
Expect to pay £ 5 / $ 6
Developer Oskar Stålberg
Editor Raw fury
Exit August 26
Revised on RTX 2070 SUPER, AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 16 GB RAM
Connect Official site
Of all the places I lived growing up, I have a special affection for the seaside town of North Berwick, which wakes up a stone’s throw from the waves and the cries of seagulls, the salty air wafting through the streets winding. Going back these days shatters the illusion, the spirit a bit – the city has gentrified yet again into a seaside resort, and you can barely budge for tourists in the height of summer. Fortunately, Swedish developer Oskar Stålberg’s Townscaper rediscovers the magic of exploring an endless series of quaint harbors and seaside villages, one box at a time.
Townscaper is not so much a game as it is a virtual toy. A sort of Lego set to build picturesque cobblestone villages as comfortable or as sprawling as your imagination desires. No complex traffic, power or infrastructure management here – just left click to place a tile (a street at water level, a brightly colored house anywhere above) , and right click to delete it. Really, that’s all there is to it.
Except Townscaper adds a lot of welcome little touches that turn what might otherwise be a rote dropper into something altogether more charming. For starters, the Townscaper grid is a wobbly, meandering sprawl. Construction will organically lead to the types of twisted angles and quirky street layouts that define seaside towns (although, if you insist, there are parts of the grid that will allow you to create rigid geometric blocks).
Tiles also intelligently adapt to what’s placed around them. Stairs will form between levels, roofs will become streets, arcades will form where towers intersect. The closed streets will become gardens, which are fenced off from blocks of houses of different colors. There is no formal unlocking system, but learning what kind of interactions create different types of architecture is rewarding in itself.
While you’ll never see a villager roaming around, Townscaper offers plenty of tips to help your worlds feel inhabited. Clotheslines often appear between buildings, lights come on when you pull the sun down, and groups of gulls will swarm and roost on rooftops, although you don’t have to worry about having to worry about bird shit all over town. With smart use of colors, you can give each neighborhood a unique feel. My larger city, for example, features a vast, immaculate marble tower spanning tendril-like alleys over more crowded neighborhoods and gardens, a strong emphasis on verticality inspired by the labyrinth of Old Town of Edinburgh.
Townscaper may not have the complexity of a Cities: Skylines, but its quaint towns littered with cobblestone streets and old churches, shipyards, and lighthouses feel more instantly welcoming than the barren American-style metropolises of the “real ones.” city builders, even when your city has amazingly tall citadels or Bioshock Infinite-style floating cities. It’s just a shame that you can’t zoom in to a first person view. Sure, you can awkwardly set the camera to a street-level view, but I’m yearning for an update that will allow me to walk the sidewalks on my own.
With high resolution screenshot options, texture toggles, and the ability to move the sun itself, Townscaper is an incredibly good wallpaper generator. A recent update even lets you export your city as a 3d model for printing, prototyping or whatever you want. And yet Townscaper is still just a toy. It’s an extremely simple little thing, and if you’re looking for something that feels like a challenge, you’ll likely find yourself timing in seconds.
But met on its own terms, dipping in when you have a few minutes to create a new neighborhood, Townscaper is an absolutely joyful little waste of time that has kept me busy ever since he began. first early access last year. Now that he’s out for real, I have no doubt that he will be back for a short vacation for many months to come.