Adorably Charming Game Towncraft Gets The Job Done [Review]



There’s nothing I like better than a game that charms from the get-go, and delightfully indie Towncraft is one of those games.

Towncraft by Flat Earth Games
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPad
Price: $4.99

Developer Flat Earth Games has created a gentle yet deep crafting game that plays as equal parts Sim City and Minecraft, with hundreds of crafting recipes, super cute music, and adorable artwork.

What’s not to like?

Towncraft starts off with an optional tutorial that really shouldn’t be optional. Like MInecraft, there’s not too much hand holding here outside of it. There are so many items that can be crafted, and quite a few systems to craft and build those items and buildings with, that only the hardcore should jump in without a bit of help. You’ll learn how to punch trees for sticks, gather small stone, and then craft these together to make a hatchet. After some real wood cutting, you’ll use wooden poles and stone to make a pickaxe, then gather larger stone bits and combine with coal to make a furnace. You’ll also learn how to make a little cabin, plant wheat, and hire laborers.

The first non-tutorial level gives you a quest in which it’s your job to provide the food for the kingdom’s feast. There’s no time limit, and no directions. It’s up to you to use the basics from the tutorial to solve the dilemma, and you won’t get very much help in the process. It’s simply a matter, though, of staying calm and taking your time.

Towncraft scratches the same town building itch that you might find in numerous free-to-play apps out these days. What makes it different, however, is that you’ll see no in-app purchases here. Flat Earth Games, founded by two brothers, is a tiny company that really just wants to make good games.

“We’re a very small team (my brother and I started the company) and with a handful of artists have worked on this thing for the last two years,” said developer Rohan Harris in an email. “It’s a crafting/city-building game we designed after (frankly) getting tired of the freemium-focused stuff we kept finding on iPad. As such, there’s NO micro-transactions – in fact, no in-app purchases at all. It’s much more like the kind of ’90s games we grew up with, but it just happens to be built for iPad. (Cause, darn it, I love gaming on my iPad!)”

Seriously, how can you not want to play this game?

Don't skip this one, mmmkay?
Don’t skip this one, mmmkay?

The movement controls can be a bit fiddly at times, and learning the various slide-in, slide-out crafting panels takes a bit of brain-space, but once I hit the zone somewhere within the food-providing quest, I was hooked. It’s made for iPad, and it’s $4.99, which may put some players off, but believe me, you’ll get far more for your five bucks than you ever will in a free-to-play game that drains your walled one dollar at a time.

Those games are designed to do one thing well: get you to spend money. Towncraft is designed only to please your crafting and building sensibilities, and it does a fantastic job on that front.

Game Name: : Towncraft
The Good: Adorably cute dity building game with a heavy dose of crafting; no in-app purchases.
The Bad: Controls are a bit on the tricky side; cost may scare away players.
The Verdict Towncraft is a must-buy game for all those who like their gaming sweet, kind, indie, and engrossing. The price tag is far lower for the amount of content than you’ll ever get from a free-to-play game.
Buy from: App Store