Beasts and Bumpkins

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a game by Worldweaver Productions Ltd
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 6.8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 7.1/10 - 14 votes
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See also: RTS Games

Perhaps one of the strangest games to have been published by EA, Beasts and Bumpkins is a real-time strategy game with a solid mechanics and a humorous twist. Inspired by games like Age of Empires, Beast and Bumpkins has just about everything an RTS gamer comes to expect, with the added bonus of a lot of laughs akin to something you might experience in a Fable game. That being said, with some complicated time-based systems that have your villagers growing from infancy to retirement—is this cult-classic worth a look for modern audiences?

The Sims – Old English Village Edition

Beasts and Bumpkins has all the markings of a solid RTS game. With an isometric viewpoint you are charged with overseeing an entire village and ensuring its survival.

Over the course of the thirty levels, you will have various ancillary tasks to complete like collecting a certain item or razing a certain opposing village—but the crux of the game comes from the RTS mechanics. A majority of your time will be spent managing the economy and life of your local village.

In addition to livestock and protection, you will have to handle population and the aging of your villagers from infancy all the way through adulthood and on to retirement (making it very similar to The Sims, but with more characters to take care of). When characters retire, as a fun little mechanic, you have to make sure they are taken care of as some retirees can contract a ‘plague’, spread it as they lull about, and run amok for your entire village. All that being said, while the graphics have aged, and especially the sound effects (more on that later)—the RTS mechanics of the game hold up very well.

A Few Beasts, and a lot of Bumpkins

One of the first things you notice about Beasts and Bumpkins comes from the one-liners. When you play an RTS you expect a certain amount of seriousness as Age of Empires, Rome: Total War or Command & Conquer have sort of embedded that tone into their DNA. However, Beasts and Bumpkins wears its humor like a badge of honor in both its sound effects and the commentary from the villagers.

For example, in order to add more villagers, obviously some of them will have to reproduce—in those moments a man might yell out ‘fancy some nookies?’ while a woman responds ‘Oo, I’d like that!’ in these ridiculously hilarious old-English accents—one of the main reasons Fable comes to mind, though the entire scene is reminiscent of Fallout Shelter as well.

A True Cult-Classic

While the age of Beast and Bumpkins shows—the mechanics that make for a good RTS are all there. Not to mention, the interface is easy to understand and doesn’t overwhelm itself with too many things to manage.

7

While the game is long, often getting quite difficult in later levels, and the sound effects, while funny, tend to be overused—the game is still worth a few laughs and a few good RTS hours of play.

Pros:

  • Humorous characters and writing
  • Easy to use interface
  • Great RTS mechanics to keep busy

Cons:

  • Not much to look at graphically
  • Boxed sound effects can overpower the ambient sounds
  • Repeated mission design

Download Beasts and Bumpkins

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

On its first release, this game was seen less as a C&C beater than as a mildly amusing diversion. Which is exactly what it still is. Added to the real-time stew is a fantasy Carry On-style world replete with busty young maidens and wolf whistles. The humour won't be to everyone's taste; in fact, if Carry On leaves you cold then you can stop reading right now.

Instead of progressing through an eternity of building and fighting, you have to worry about the coming seasons, and both harvesting your crops and sowing your human seed. Young farmers grow old and become a burden, and small children need nurturing before they can pull their weight. This element may sound complex, but it's all done with the minimum of fuss, thanks to a very workable interface and a gradually unfolding mission structure.

Where the game may lose another flock of fans is due to its light-handed combat. You won't see any large-scale wars, rather small skirmishes between a few soldiers and man-eating wasps.

Beasts & Bumpkins does include a little exploration to make up for it, but if you want massive pitched battles you might be better off opting for WarCraft 2.

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