I find Township really one of the best online games ever. It’s a farming, town-development strategy game made by Playrix. It’s available in App store if you wanna play it in desktop (I don’t know where to go to for Windows) and, as far as I know, Android as well? It’s completely free, thank God; but of course, there are in-game purchases you could avail like buying cash/coins with real cash to speed up some processes and other things. I’ll discuss more on it later.
Anyway, on to the review!
So… if there’s one thing I love most about Township, other than the art, is its flexibility and detail-orientedness. There are fields to plant, animal farms, houses, factories to produce goods, planes, trains, ships… many more! Even an ‘editable’ zoo! How all these things connect is simply flawless and I commend Playrix for that.
Now I know there are lots of similar games which are awesome and flawless too; but one thing that made Township unique is its, to summarise everything I’m about to say, broad scope and rapport to players and the real world. One good example of the latter are their competitions and planned events depending on the occasion or holiday, i.e. Christmas, Easter to name a few, and of course the prizes with it that could get you hooked and addicted.
For this review, I think it’ll be easier to divide the ratings based on various categories. So I’ll do just that.
To start off, let’s go with the basic, commonly rated one: aesthetics. And by aesthetics, I meant the overall game concept, art and music.
If to talk about concept per se, Township isn’t unique — I mean, there are hundreds of farming, town-development concept games out there. What made it different, however, is the implementation of said concept and connecting every idea into one big game. It was a good choice for Playrix to make this an online game; as such, they could utilise the various perks of online gaming. And utilising it they did, might I say wondrously too!
One very classic example of this is, of course, the presence of online friends to help you fill out orders and now, the Co-Op, where you can not just add/invite a whole new set of people and help each other, but message them as well. Other than that, as mentioned, are the events and competitions they hosted and the leaderboards they set up to hype you up and get you all competitive.
So, going back to the original subtopic of concept, while the game idea itself isn’t original, the way Playrix made and improve it from time to time, their sensitivity to details, to cater and address other areas of the game sure is refreshing. And it made them unique for me. I mean I’ve played a lot of farming and town-development games; but for me, Township was the first to incorporate both into one.
As for the art… hmm, this is actually quite hard to judge since players have the liberty to design their own town. There are hundreds of decorations to unlock, around 200, and that does not even include the decors available during certain holiday-limited events! Default/in-game decorations include park designs, plants, yachts or ships and even buildings like castles, Taj Mahal or the Empire State Building. In addition to that are the colourful houses to arrange and community buildings such as amusement park rides, a greenhouse and planetarium.
It’s a good thing they now have this storage belt in edit mode where you can temporarily place your buildings to make editing easier and faster. Just click a building/field and click that download-like button to store. To place it back, just drag and drop it from one of those storage boxes.
Like I said, you can get creative with your town as much as you want. And that is a very big plus in my book. But you really need to be patient though, especially when you’re just starting, considering that developing a town isn’t that simple and can’t be done overnight. Plus, the game is in-sync with real time; that is, one second in the game is equivalent to a second in real life. Production of goods could take some time and, consequently, earning money as well. But once you’ve reached higher levels, town designing can be quite fulfilling (well, for me, at least).
To give you an example, here is Ernie’s town.
Note: Ernie is kind of like the game’s mascot, as well as your first friend by default.
I wanna post mine here but decided against it at the last minute and opted for Ernie’s default town. Sorry about that. But, anyway, like I said, your imagination’s the limit for Township design. I even found lots of people making archipelagic towns connected by bridges! And designing each island by concept, whether snowy or modern. That said, yes, even ground design — whether to put grass, snow, mud or water here or there — is up to you, even the pavements or roads used. If you’re a particular person like myself, sometimes even it gets a bit stressful. (lol)
As to my judgment on the individual decors, I find them interesting enough and colourful so I really have nothing against it. The colour scheme is just right for me too. It’s not too glaring and not too bland. Pluuuus, who in their right mind could ever resist this:
o(≧∇≦o) o(≧∇≦o) o(≧∇≦o) Just look at ze cute cute fat piggies. o(≧∇≦o)
The leftmost three are the pigs hours after feeding them, when bacon is ready to be harvested. The other three is when after you harvest the bacon and have to feed them again ’cause they’re hungry. Of course, styles and art differ depending on the animal. I lol-ed at the sheep! Hahaha 😄 Well, I’m not gonna post pictures of them here anymore so you just have to see them for yourself. Fufufufu :>>
Note: I apologise I couldn’t upload a gif instead. It would’ve been a lot cuter with a gif. But… I guess that’s one thing to look forward to? ヽ( ･∀･)
For the music: Well, it complements the game. It’s nothing flashy or ‘stressful’ that keeps you from focusing in the game. Actually, if you’ve watched the video trailer above, the music played is the background music of the main game (I say main game because it also has an expansion, the zoo). Also, if you click settings, there’s a different mute button for sfx and background music. That is, if instead you want a favourite music played on background, you can opt to mute just the game’s bg music without affecting the sound effects. Or you can do both. Your choice.
Also, also… I liked it how the game kinda senses where you are currently focused and suitably adjusts some of the sfx’s loudness. For example, in desktop, just hovering your mouse close to a corner or edge pans the screen accordingly — whether right, left, up, down or diagonally — and the closer it gets to the waterfall or beach automatically increases the sfx of water falling or seagulls flying and waves crashing. I don’t know… it’s just that I notice even little things like this and I’m pleased at the attentiveness Playrix put into it. ( ƅ° ∇°)ƅ
Overall, I rate the game’s aesthetics with a 9/10. 9 because, despite the praises I gave, I still think there are plenty more room for improvements — maybe like putting up road-sign decorations or amusement park signboards. I’m rating 9 for more colourful decorations and the completion of country flags! (lol)
Next to aesthetics, I’ll go proceed with the game’s difficulty.
Now, if you’re to ask me ‘Is the game difficult?’ My answer: No, UNLESS you don’t have a decent internet provider. The game is online and it is damn right sensitive to network fluctuations, kinda like Pokémon Go. However, it doesn’t really require such very high-speed connection to access it, so long as that connection is sustained.
And you might ask: why is it important to have constant internet access, other than being able to access the game anytime? One answer: some aspects of the game is timed. A ‘critical’ one at that is the plane. The plane is one good way to send goods and earn lots of coins and other bonuses like cash, gems, ingots, clovers or other factory products. However, it stays in town for approximately 14 hours only before it leaves and a new set of products is updated. Moreover, you don’t get the bonuses if you don’t send it yourself even after you’ve completed rows of orders. If you’re competitive, you could also compete against your friends and the entire Township community in the leaderboard. As far as I know, ranking up doesn’t give you any additional privileges, maybe other than brag rights? Not sure.
Connectivity and competitiveness aside though, Township really is easy. It’s very user-friendly and the interface is self-explanatory so it’s easy to understand. It’s just a matter of time and money management and strategy with how you design your town (and even that is optional) and your own method of getting money or cash — there are lots of ways: send out plane or fulfil town orders with the helicopter, play in the House of Luck, get collectibles in the mines or by sending out ships or if your friends send you gifts, to name a few. Playrix ain’t greedy in giving out these things. Like I said, they host competitions and events for players to participate in or generously give out discounts like cash-coin bundles to buy, if you’re interested.
You really just have to be patient; because if you’re new, you have to start from scratch. I’m more of a patient person in game and overall, I enjoyed the thrill of progressing your town little by little; so I have no complaints.
To summarise, this game is fairly average to easy in terms of difficulty. Don’t rush things. You won’t lose anything anyway.
For the content of the game, hmmm… where do I begin? There are lots.
For one, the farming and town development is already a given. You have to put fields in order to plant. And you harvest the plants to make animal feeds to feed your farm animals or send it to factories to process them into goods. Farm animals also produce raw materials, i.e. milk, eggs, meat or wool, that you can send to factories as well. Other than that, you also have to build community buildings to attract people and increase population capacity, and then houses for them to stay and effectively increase the population per se. Increased population equates to a larger workforce. And the cycle goes on.
I think about half of the game content can be summarised by this picture:
The special tab there refer to special buildings you can build, and each has a special and unique function of its own. I’ll just go over them quickly:
- House of Luck – you can win prizes here. It’s a game, basically, where you need 5 clovers to participate. You’ll be shown a 3×3 row and column of chests, pick one and you win that item inside the chest you chose. You can get clovers mainly by helping out your friends. They send out ‘thank you’ envelopes with a clover inside. Other methods include completing plane orders or opening chests in the mine.
- City Market – from the name itself, you can buy various items here with coins/cash. Items are placed in baskets you can purchase and these baskets get updated every (approximately) 5 hours. You can also hire a dealer to get you the goods for a day, 5 days or a week. Now this is a plus especially when the item you want isn’t in any of the baskets. And the product prices are way cheaper than the basket prices. Just… beware though since he’s hella expensive. You have to pay in Township cash to avail his services, not coin.
- Laboratory – go here to acquire and activate power ups (boosters) like increasing the yield of crops and animal goods or speeding up production. To acquire boosters, you need gems. These gems can be found mostly in mines. You can also get some by completing plane orders, in random chests floating in town or by filling shop orders in the zoo. If you’re lucky, you can also win it in the House of Luck.
- Foundry – in the foundry is where you convert your mined ores into ingots. Ingots are used for improving factories in the Academy of Industry or for bribing islanders, increasing your chances of getting treasures or the relatively rarer goods of that island. Other than the Foundry, like the gem, you can find ingots in the House of Luck, by completing plane orders or through random chests you see. They are comparatively easier to get than gems.
- Academy of Industry – it’s here where you exchange your ingots for factory improvements. Not just factories but also trains, increasing their speed of delivery or EXP (experience) points gained and many more.
- Central Museum – each time you get artefacts in the mines or treasures in ships, they go straight here. Completing a row of them gives you cash. Of course, the many times you complete them, the more cash you get. Moreover, finding treasures/artefacts is tied to achievements in your town’s city hall so, other than the museum awards… more, more, MOOOORE cash for youu~
- Ships – well, I know this isn’t exactly a building but whatever. You need ships to send out to islands and get exotic fruits. These fruits are used in making jams or cakes. TIP: If you have lots of ingots stocked up, use them to bribe islanders and get treasures. 😉
- Lastly, the Mint – ingots aren’t used only in town development and bribing, they can also be converted into coins. In the Mint is where you do that.
If the buildings above comprise of about half the content, the other half are the establishments already in town that you just have to fix (i.e. the mine, the Co-Op, trains, airport to mention some) and, of course, the zoo.
Like I said, Township is pretty broad especially with regards to its concept of town development. And one good thing is that it encourages the players to interact with other players, kinda like town-to-town helping, to not just make your lives easier with completing orders but getting bonus goodies as well.
If, say, you’re a shut in and don’t really like to interact that much — don’t worry! The kind of interaction here is just helping out fill their orders, sending and receiving gifts, having friendly competitions in the leaderboard, things like that. If you’re a part of their Co-op, that’s when you can message them if you want to. And if you’re worried you’re just starting and don’t have any friends and invite codes in hand, well, there’s always the friends list where you can find and add potential friends. If you didn’t find anyone that caught your attention, the list gets updated every 3-4 hours (or 5? Not sure).
Similarly, the same concept works in reverse. Other players could invite you through the friends list, and you have the option to accept, reject or just keep them on cue. Now, keeping them on cue doesn’t necessarily mean rejecting them. Most of the time, this happens when you’ve reached the maximum limit of adding Township community friends and therefore could only add friends from social networks (if you have them synced with the game) or friends with invite codes. You can still help them, of course, when they’re in need (and vice versa); they just don’t have the additional perks of being ‘friends’ — such as sending gifts, or adding them in your Co-op.
Overall, I’d rate this game content with a solid 10/10. Well, I’m enjoying the broadness of its scope and have no complaints so far.
For the miscellaneous aspects of the game: whether it’s glitchy, has a lot of bugs, overall play through, system requirements and others, I’ll try to quickly go over them one by one.
First off, the glitch/bugs: well, I haven’t experienced anything of the sort yet (fortunately). I don’t know with others though; but, so far, the game seemed seamless for me and I have no complaints in this regard. But of course, you need internet to play it. If your internet is unstable, it’s irritating ’cause you’ll be logged out more often than you wished to.
For the overall play through: it’s fun; and I would definitely recommend that you at least try it, especially when you have a lot of free time/breaks in-between scheds. If not, well, think about it: Is a town development game something that you would like? Something you would enjoy?
As for the game’s minimum requirements (copy-pasted from App store):
Family Sharing: Yes
Languages: English, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
Developer: Playrix LLC
Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor**
* I think this is the base size, checking Applications showed about 300 Mb (after updates)
** I played it with Mac-Air, 32-bit and it worked fine
Game requirement is really like any other recent game’s system requirements. Although Township is an old game, I get it where they’re coming from considering it gets updated every now and then to keep up with gamer’s demands. For me, it’s still around the standard so it’s okay.
For this part of the game, I’mma rate it at around 8.5/10. This is because of the system requirements that I hoped it would be available for Windows users soon. Well, they could always install APKs and some other external applications but that would require extra memory. （･へ･）And, duh, what we want is less memory requirement! ୧(๑•̀ᗝ•́)૭
Overall, I find the game fun. Decorations and aesthetics is okay. I found no glitches/bugs so far. The game seemed seamless. The zoo expansion is very much welcomed. Their integration of online gaming to it is great. And I enjoyed the overall game experience and interaction.
One possible downside of the game is that, yes, it’s purely online and may not be accessible to some with s###ty (we are wholesome here people) internet connection. In addition to that is the one second in-game : one second in real life ratio that’s sometimes irritating, especially in material production and filling out plane orders.
But if you’re not particular with things like that, competitions and events, and is a patient person, then this game is a must-try. Or, really, even otherwise, I still recommend that you at least try this game and form your own opinion of it. :>
Hey, if you’re playing the game, is at least level 38 and still isn’t Co-op affiliated, search for Luminary*** in Co-op and hit join. I’m still all alone in my Co-op! ( ͒˃̩̩⌂˂̩̩ ͒) My social site friends don’t play Township (or if they do, they didn’t send me their invite codes T^T) and I’m basically at my maximum limit with community centre friends (there’s a limit to 50 random people you can add in-game, but the limit of friends in general is 75… I think) and, since I’m kinda late with the recent update, some of them are already affiliated and if not, their town’s not yet updated.
Otherwise, i.e. if you’re below my required Co-op level of 38, invite me with this code: WMSHX2***. With this, I’m sure I can add you up. Or email me your own code at firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment it below. Actually, I think it’s best that you comment or email me first to notify me beforehand. I’m really friendly and certainly won’t hesitate in helping you fill out orders. :>
*** EDIT2: This game code only works if you’re playing the Mac platform. Apparently, Playrix have DIFFERENT platforms for Township and didn’t even try syncing those different versions. Even if you connect your Township to Facebook, apparently, the only people you can still add/will receive the proper code will be those playing the Mac-platform version. Otherwise, typing in that code (or even Luminary on Co-op) would just lead you to someone else’s town and Co-op.
Anyway, this is my first ever review. So if you think I missed out something, or you still want to know more about this game, care to comment it below.