Following in the success of high fantasy Yonder and eco-themed Grow, Brisbane-based Prideful Sloth is at it again with yet another compelling world to explore. This time, they’ve swapped out alchemy for power tools in the form of adorable mayor management sim, Go Go Town. While the game is still in development, we tried out the Go Go Town demo to see if we truly have what it takes to enable our townies to live long and prosper.
The game kicks off with a very quick introduction by a TownCo. Agent, who explains some of the basic mechanics to get you, the mayor, started with putting up your first building. As this is a demo, the objective is most likely to get players straight into understanding game mechanics rather than catching up on game lore. We were able to speak with Cheryl Vance, Director and Co-Founder of Prideful Sloth, at BitSummit who clued us into the premise of the game as one of pyramid schemes, thriving towns, and overthrowing the overlords of capitalism. Indeed, there’s subtle hints to more nefarious ongoings, even as your character is just cutely pottering around on a vegetable patch. While we’d definitely like to know more, it’s enough to get one excited for the full build where a more comprehensive story will unfold.
Building With Your Own Two Hands
Gameplay-wise, Go Go Town ranges from micro-level tasks to macro-level management. At the beginning you’re taught to pick up a chainsaw and hack at some trees to produce wood. Wood can then be properly cut up into planks using a table saw. You rinse and repeat a similar process in the mine to make bricks. After bringing these materials to a construction site, you’ll soon be ribbon cutting a brand new building that can be turned into an eatery. You’re able to choose the type of establishment you’d like and if you want to run it yourself or hire someone. This becomes a consistent theme throughout the rest of the mechanics. For every grind-y action, there is an option to automate. All of the effort we just went through to gathering materials can be outsourced later on. This leaves a lot of room for players to choose the kind of gameplay they want, whether it’s to farm for things on their own or ask a peasa- helpful citizen to do it instead.
In the demo, the town is mostly built and already filled with residents who are running businesses. The overall objective seems to be the growth and prosperity of the town but for demo purposes, Go Go Town plays out as a sandbox, allowing you to experience farming, delivering ingredients and propping up more businesses. For the full game, we presume you’ll start from nothing, have neat objectives to achieve and will rely on your own two hands to grind initially, while you recruit more people to come live in your town.
Claydoll Characters and a Funky Track
The Go Go Town aesthetic bears a strong resemblance to Animal Crossing with its cute environment, claydoll-like characters and goofy little movements. It’s an interesting design choice that pays off as there hasn’t been a game made in this style that also has the complexity of tycoon games. The shop fronts have such a gorgeous and lovable look, especially the cookie and ice cream store and the ramen shop. When it comes to character customisation, the demo only allows for set randomized combinations of your main character. However, according to the developer livestream on the game’s Steam page, extensive character customization will be possible in the full game, in line with Prideful Sloth’s previous titles.
We found music to be a mixed bag where some of the tracks didn’t seem to match the environment or the time of the day. At times the music felt a little too loud and jumpy, especially for moments where you’re grinding away peacefully or wandering through the town in the middle of the night. Perhaps this will get ironed out later or even better, if there’s a jukebox feature that allows players to choose the kind of music they want to hear.
Aliens, Ghosts and References
What is immediately apparent in Go Go Town is just how much heart the game already has. It’s clear the developers haven’t taken themselves too seriously and are filling Go Go Town with subtle references. There’s a satellite that prompts you to “Phone home?” before aliens appear and a mohawk-rocking townie named “Sidd” (Vicious?). You’re able to ride any vehicle to get across town, from delivery trucks to a unicorn bicycle that leaves a cloud of rainbows in its wake. You pick these up Grand Theft Auto style and can actually mow people down, with thankfully no repercussions. You can also high-five everyone, your townspeople, aliens, ghosts and cows, which is just hilarious and awesome. And there’s something quintessentially Australian about being able to pick up dangerous power tools to get the job done because no matter what “she’ll be right”.
Go Go Town sits at the annex of life simulation games such as Story of Seasons and tycoon-style business management games. It balances cute art style with surprisingly sophisticated and in-depth gameplay that can be felt, even at the demo stage. While there’s still kinks to iron out and features that we’ve yet to discover like town expansion via terraforming, the demo itself holds a lot of promise. We’re looking forward to this go-getter of a game, releasing sometime in 2024.
Go Go Town was recently exhibiting at BitSummit in Kyoto, Japan through Ukiyo Studios. To find out more about how your game can be featured at the next big gaming event, contact them via their website.