Described by its creator as a city editor, a hobbyist experimental project, and a game rather than a game, Townscaper has been available for a few days on PC and Switch. But what the hell is a Townscaper?
A few years ago, it was an independent Swedish developer with the nameOscar Stallberg You are developing a small project under lonliness. The principle is to allow the player to develop a building by adding blocks to it and see what the game engine does with it. Brick Block, that’s its name, is still available today and works on a web browser. If I tell you about it, it’s because Townscaper An improved and prettier version with a little more possibilities.
What do we do there in your thing?
So you start out in Townscaper on a body of water. On the left of the screen is a color picker that adjusts the color of the blocks you place. Place a block on the water and create a floor. Put a block on the ground, you are building a house. Stick a block to a house and it will make the house bigger. Add the possibility of deleting a block by right-clicking and rounding up the possible interactions with the game, and the goal of the game will you tell me? There is nothing but what you will impose on yourself.
Because Townscaper is above all a title that appeals to your creativity. You place the blocks according to your inspiration and see what the game’s internal algorithm does with them. The game engine adapts according to the configuration of your builds. It automatically places stairs when needed or will turn a square into a green space if you completely surround it with buildings. We also appreciate the little details placed here and there, like birds landing on roofs or a clothesline stretched between two neighboring houses. The result is not lacking in charm and for the fans, you can even export your creations in a 3D program.
However, its simplicity is also its weak point. In fact, the game’s algorithm sometimes makes strange decisions about positions (house doors, for example) or makes transformations one would like to avoid. I also regularly regret having to fiddle with a solution because the game doesn’t allow you to play with patterns. For example, it is impossible to build a ramp, the game allows only flat areas. Compassion.
It’s hard to say what a Townscaper really is. I don’t even dare call it a game, because the title has no purpose, reward or even real Play. Closer to the game, Townscaper is the kind of title that can stay in the corner of our devices and that we come back to sometimes, when we have a few minutes to kill. On the other hand, if you are looking for a game in the usual sense of the word, it is better to turn to something else.
Testing conducted on PC by Grim from a copy provided by the publisher.
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