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While at PAX Aus 2023, I was able to preview Go-Go Town, a town-building sim from Brisbane-based studio, Prideful Sloth. In Go-Go Town, you play as the new mayor of a creaky town in dire need of some TLC. To get your town back on its feet again, you will have to farm crops, build the city, and manage the townsfolk to ensure it becomes an essential tourism destination. If you’ve ever enjoyed Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, you’re probably going to have a good time here.

Throughout my time playing Go-Go Town, I was routinely impressed with not only the game’s artistic style but the level of fidelity too. The game is gorgeous! The 3D environments are softly lit, with a very pleasing pastel colour pallet. As the wind blows through the rustling trees,  the lighting brings the entire town to life, with a lovely soft glow that I simply adore. It has a kind of dreamlike feel to it, one that I can see being very popular with fans of this style of game.

During my preview, I also got to play a little bit of it in co-op mode. Playing town-building simulation games in co-op is something games of the genre always pride themselves on, but there’s often a catch. In Animal Crossing, for example, there are always a great deal of restrictions put on the second player, which makes co-op feel more like a show-and-tell mode, more than a fully-fledged cooperative experience.

In Go-Go Town, I found there was a tremendous amount of freedom to engage with the game’s more technically complicated mechanics while a second player was present. Progressing quests, town-building, worker automation; it’s all accessible while a friend is in town. On top of that, I even had an instance where the developer of the game who was walking me through the demo began to build a moat around my character via the town-building toolset, so I hopped on a bicycle to escape his terraforming villainy.

After engaging with the core gameplay loop for a short while, and then being introduced to the automation systems, I thought back to the pitch of Go-Go Town. It wants to be a cozy town-building sim, free from the debt obligations of Tom Nook and the corporate invasion of Jojamart, but still a game where you feel like you’re making active progress. I was worried that the automation perfectionist in me would take over, like it does in games like Satisfactory, or even Minecraft. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have that same desire while playing Go-Go Town. I found that the peaceful nature and chill vibes of the soft-hued town I am the mayor of alleviated that desire, and the game is better for it. I hope that remains true in the full game.

Go-Go Town currently is slated to be released on Playstation, Xbox, Switch, and PC, some time in 2024.

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Managing Editor of MiniMap. Contact me: Jeremy(at)minimap.com.au