Townscaper (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 29.09.2021

Review for Townscaper on Nintendo Switch

Amongst all those epic adventures and blood-soaked battles one can experience in the world of video games, there are a few of those titles that aren't really 'games' in the more widely acceptable definitions of the term. Rather than something that imposes a set of goals on players, these feel more like toys, where one is free to… well, just play around, with juggernauts like The Sims franchise on one side of the spectrum, and colouring books on the other one. Townscaper by Oskar Stålberg is such a toy; one which lets you build a whole town in the middle of watery nowhere, with the whole thing being so easy that even a four-year-old can have some fun with it (true story). How long will the fun last is a totally different subject…

No matter what you'll do here, it will always end up looking like Menton, France. In other words, a beautiful, colourful array of buildings right next to the sea. You can go ultra-obsessive-compulsive and create a symmetrical world full of straight lines with an organized use of the colour palette, create a chaotic mega-town that follows no rhyme or reason… and everything in between. Is this a case of "the limit is your imagination?" Yes.

Well, sort of.

Mostly.

For about an hour - and that's probably stretching things.

Yours truly has been following Oskar Stålberg (on the internet, not as stalker), observing the gradual process of building this cool toy of his. As someone interested in the programming side of things it was an exciting ride. As a gamer, though, it's hard to recommend something like Townscaper, even to those looking to have some simple, casual, zen-style fun. The problem is none other than the fact that there isn't much to do here. This isn't one of those occasions where, with the use of a handful of tools, you can go wild for hours upon hours.

Screenshot for Townscaper on Nintendo Switch

As mentioned before, the ropes are extremely easy to learn. You just click on the surface of the sea, and *puff* instant creation! You can then click on the building block that has appeared, to turn the little piece of road into a building. Want to make it higher? Keep on clicking on top of it. Want to add a balcony-like feature, or create a connection between buildings? Click on the side. Super easy (as it should) and a perfect fit for the Switch's touch screen. Oh, and by the way, the AI behind it all tends to put a few tiny details on your creation, whether that's a colony of gulls, a couple of bushes, or a few clotheslines.

…But as mentioned before, all these ain't enough. There is a colour palette available that enables creating contrast, or even neighbourhoods that stand out, and one can change the time of the day by repositioning the sun. Want to take a photo? There is a simple photo mode attached to it all. In the end, this feels like the alpha version of something much, much grander in scope - it just happens to be a very high-polished alpha version.

Screenshot for Townscaper on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

You can make all sorts of island towns in [i]Townscaper[i]. Large and full of detail, small and cute, or messy piles of colourful rock. Your imagination is the limit… unless your boredom wins first. Oskar Stålberg's creation doesn't give you much to work with, and the end result always looks the same, no matter how extravagant and imaginative it is. As a whole, this is like a tiny sample of a meatier game. Fingers crossed for that ever becoming a reality, because it would then be a high recommendation.

Developer

Oskar Stålberg

Publisher

Raw Fury

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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