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Banished is a city-building strategy game in which the player controls a group of exiled travelers who decide to restart their lives in a new land. They have only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland.
The objective of the game is to keep the population alive and grow it into a successful culture. Options for feeding the people include hunting and gathering, agriculture, trade, and fishing. However, sustainable practices must be considered to survive in the long term.
Surviving the winters will be among the greatest challenges facing the player. The town's tailors can make clothing, and its people can build houses and burn firewood. But necessities have a price — Cutting down forests reduces the deer population which can be hunted for food. Although the city's foresters can plant new trees, the cures for many diseases can only be found in forests that have existed for decades.
Farming for many seasons in one place will ruin the soil. Taking fish and game faster than they reproduce will lead to extinction, and possibly starvation.
Wandering nomads can join the town to grow the population quickly, but allowing them in increases the chance of illnesses from far off lands!