Developed by T4 Interactive and published by tinyBuild Games, Community Inc. is a cute game about building villages and crafting items to trade to other villages. It is available on Steam and the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch. This isn’t the type of game I usually seek out to play, so when it came across my desk to take a look at, I had no idea what I was in for. tinyBuild Games has published some very nice titles in the past, so we should get off our butts and see what T4 Interactive has made with Community Inc.
In Community Inc., you play as the manager of a small community of beings called Lings. As a manager, your job is to hire Lings and give them jobs. As you build up your village, you’ll receive jobs from the various other races of creatures to build items. Giving the Lings jobs, they can become miners, lumberjacks, builders, etc. You can give some Lings a trader job, and they will sell the goods you create for travellers who stop by your village.
There are over 150 different items to craft; every one of them has a purpose. You have to properly care for your Lings. Otherwise, they will start fighting each other and stop working. Lings need to be provided with food, salary and warm clothes for the cold weather. Your Lings can also come under attack from creatures, so be sure to arm them to fight back!
There are four map types to select from when you start, and you can customise the number of resources available, and even the money you start with. Probably the biggest challenge is managing resources so that you don’t run out of the in-game currency, called Surplus. Paying attention to your contracts and completing them on time will result in the other races liking you more, or less. For each race that appreciates what you do, there is another that you’ll upset. You can’t get everyone to like you, no matter how hard you try. However, you shouldn’t refuse too many contracts as you need the Surplus to grow your community. If things are going well in your village, or even if they’re not, you can consider selling it to start over with a bonus of Surplus.
I had some trouble getting used to the controls on the Switch; I kept opening menus when I didn’t want, and it took some getting used to due to the strange control scheme. Once you’ve figured it out, it’s not that bad. It feels like a game that would play much better on PC however, and the UI seems to be made for PC play and just ported over to the Switch.
The visuals in Community Inc. are pretty nice. The art style is neat and unique. I did not encounter much graphical issue while playing. One of the only problems I encountered was the text being hard to read in handheld mode. There was also an occasional frame loss during gameplay if I moved around too quickly and near the edge of the map or when I sped uptime.
The music in Community Inc. is pretty relaxing. Playing to chill piano music and hearing your workers banging away on projects is pretty good. The audio can get a bit repetitive at times but is fairly easy to zone out to. Stringed instruments help to reduce the stress level of managing all the Lings in your village.
I can’t see Community Inc. having a super long lifespan in the hands of an average player. But for those who like to micromanage and build villages, It might be something to pick up and playtime after time. There is no multiplayer, and just a single game mode, so I got a bit bored pretty quickly playing it. I’m not everyone though, So there are most likely people who will find this game incredibly enjoyable.
Community Inc. isn’t a game I particularly enjoyed as it’s not the type of game I’m usually interested in, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have redeeming qualities. It has a pleasant aesthetic and lovely music, making for a relaxing slow-paced game. So for that, I’m going to give Community Inc. the Thumb Culture Silver award, just because it’s not the kind of game I could see myself picking up to play over and over again. The gameplay got repetitive after a couple of hours of playing, and I felt like I had seen all there was to see. The $14.99USD price tag on Nintendo eShop makes it so that if you wanted to try it out and didn’t like it you’re not out much money. In my opinion, it’s a decent game, but probably a game better played on a PC.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.