Review: Townsmen 6
Get your pitch forks and guillotines ready as we step back into 18th century France to play Townsmen 6. This Civilisation type strategy game puts you in charge of French provinces, directing workers to complete your objectives. To achieve your goals, you must make sure that your workers are housed and fed. You’ll also need to be good at resource management, to make sure work is getting done. If this sounds like your sort of game, read on to find out more.
Version Reviewed: 1.0
The game sets off with your beloved wife complaining that you don’t make use of the land you inherited. So - it’s time to get to work! As you progress, both your wife and her pet pig will give you advice about how to play the game.
Advice from family and friends!
Townsmen 6 is set during the build up to the French revolution, and you are based in a southern province of the country. The game has an overview mode to see how France is divided, over time, between royalist and republic control.
A little history lesson
Each province has goals for you to complete. For example, one province has you quarrying an area rich in stone. Once you have stockpiled enough stone, you are instructed to build a windmill and bakery to produce bread.
In some ways this game is quite similar to Farm Frenzy 2. You are required to build structures, like quarries and wood cutting sheds, to create primary resources. Other structures are then required to process those resources, as in the previous paragraph.
The difference between this and Farm Frenzy 2 is that the work doesn’t get done by itself. You have workers living in those provinces that have to be provided for. When you build an estate house, you automatically have three men, referred to as “Townies”, who will do the labouring. They are accompanied by wives - “Townettes” - to look after domestic chores. Yes, I know this is reinforcing gender stereotypes but the game is set in the 18th century!.
Providing for your workers!
You have to manually assign Townies to work on building and running each structure. You can build fishing houses to provide your people with seafood. To prevent them becoming bored with their diet, you should build farms to provide meat and wheat. You also have to build wells to make sure nobody goes thirsty!
You will eventually find that there are too many jobs for everyone to do. This is when you have to create housing, referred to as settlements, by taking a Townie away from his current job to build new houses. The empty housing will attract new Townies who will work for you.
You can watch all of your people moving around the landscape performing their tasks. It’s entertaining to watch them, but it’s slow. Even though you can set the game to fast forward, you will still spend a lot of time waiting with this game. Of course, you can save your progress and exit the game when you’ve had enough.
Building a nice little village for yourself
The game has longevity because there are lots of tasks to perform. However, while working through each province, you’re mostly waiting for the numerical aspect of the game to play out.
Eventually you will no doubt come up against the French royalists. Unfortunately, I felt so bored with grinding through the early parts of the game that I lost interest in playing before I bumped into them.
Tiny graphics - can you spot the baker?
The boredom factor isn’t the only problem with this game. It’s ad-supported, which is okay, but every advert requires you to accept or reject it. This is intrusive because it interrupts the flow of the game. I’d be much more forgiving of an advert running across the bottom of the screen.
Also, the graphics are tiny. Your Townies indicate their needs by having flashing icons above their heads or buildings. The icons are so small it takes a great deal of squinting to work out what they are! Furthermore, the small scale graphics make in-game menus difficult to use.
Overall, Townsmen 6 had a lot of potential to be an engaging strategy game. Unfortunately, the pace isn’t fast enough for a mobile device. Even if you had the time and patience to play, it is let down by microscopic graphics and irritating adverts.
David Gilson, 27 November 2011
Reviewed by David Gilson at