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Townsmen VR – Meta Quest 3 Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Townsmen VR

Developer: HandyGames
Publisher: HandyGames
Genre(s): VR, City Builder, God Sim
Platform: Meta Quest 3 (Also available on other VR Devices)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 04/01/2024
Price: £22.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Big Hands Make Light Work

I have played numerous city builders or god-likes in my time. From the humble beginning of SIM City and Black and White to recent incarnations such as The Sims and Cities: Skylines. What I will say is that when a game of this style is translated well to VR, it ups the god complex and hammers home the grand scale of things.

Townman VR has you take control of a barren island and use its resources and your guile to create a thriving, working town of your own making. You must chop down trees, manage your workforce and build things to support your ever-growing populace. Plus, if all else fails you can just throw them all in the sea. Which did happen, a few times, accidentally and maybe a few times on purpose.

Townsmen VR Review
Work, work until your fingers bleed!

Townsman VR starts you off on a boat with a few humans and a big floating head that takes you through a little tutorial. It was sufficient enough to get to grips with the controls but more on that jazz later. It also, upon reaching your first island, took you through the game’s very streamlined menu system. Townsman VR is set on various islands of varying sizes and introduces new systems and mechanics to you gradually throughout many levels and missions.

Massive and Immersive

As I said above, what immediately struck me about Townsmen VR is the scale of things. With a simple, smartphone-like pinch or drag you can zoom in and out of your town. You can zoom right into the action and watch your citizens going about their daily tasks and then zoom out and stand with arms folded as you watch your colony run around like ants. Games like this, when made well, lend themselves beautifully to the VR medium.

As with most of these games, you start with a few people and must build up your resources, build buildings and gradually improve your city’s ability to create food and grow its economy. What I found really fun is how you can help with these tasks. When I think about it, it feels so natural. Are they being too slow collecting wood? Then pick up the wood yourself with your giant god hands. There are other neat ways you can interact too and it makes you feel like you are part of the evolution of the town instead of just the overseer. Lovely jubbly!

Townsmen VR Review
I am a GOD!

There are a few negatives to the people and world being so interactive though. You can throw your citizens about and even chuck them into the sea and listen to them bubbling underwater. So what’s the negative you say? Well, as you are traversing your lands, you sometimes do it by accident. You might clip them off a cliff or slap them upside the head by accident. This is funny the first few times but did get a little irksome by the end. It was, however, never game-breaking. You just need to watch your step sometimes.

A Minimalistic Menu System

The menu system and general UI in Townsmen VR is superb. Games like this can get bogged down in endless menus and screens but this game handles it in a very simple and streamlined way. A flick of the left thumbstick in different directions opens up different menus and then it’s a simple case of point and click or drag and drop from there. It’s so intuitive, simple and effortless. It never got in the way of the game and I was never searching endlessly through screens for stuff, which is appreciated.

Graphically, while not being outstanding, Townsmen VR perfectly portrays its theme and setting. Everything is crisp, colourful and bright. The townsfolk are animated well and have character, even the massive head people that give you tidbits of info and story are well imagined. It’s the same with the sound too, while not being amazing, it kept me grounded in this world and never broke the illusion of me being a god, creating this little world in my own image. I enjoyed being part of this world while playing it very much.

Townsmen VR Review
A birds-eye view of what I have created.

Content-wise, you have a sort of campaign as mentioned above, which spans many missions that get bigger and more intricate. There is some variety here with weather and bigger islands and I think there is just enough content here for the price, especially if you include the sandbox mode where you can build to your heart’s content. While the amount of content may bother some, I found it, for the price, just right.

It’s Fun Being God

Overall I found my time with Townsmen VR very entertaining. This game would be inferior on a flat screen and truly excels in VR. Moving around, commanding your people and slapping them when they won’t do what you want them to is too funny. Seeing your town grow and unlocking new buildings and systems is ever-rewarding. I also adore helping out. Moving resources around and killing cows never gets old. This game makes me feel like part of the machine like no other town builder in recent memory. Good times. Right, I am off to slap up some villagers. Laters VR gamers!

Rapid Reviews Rating

4 out of 5


Check out Townsmen VR on the Meta store here.

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