Beasts & Bumpkins
Windows - 1997
Description of Beasts & Bumpkins Windows
Beasts and Bumpkins is a great Settlers-style gem that is one of the very few games from software giant Electronic Arts that were released very quietly without any marketing hype, and only in Europe.
And that's a shame, because in contrast to many hyped-but-horrible games EA put out, BNB is entertaining and very charming. Tim Chown's Games Domain's strategy editor, says it all in his review about what makes the game well worth a look, although by no means a classic: "...What I found was a game that indeed wasn't worthy of a full price sale, but one with a lot of new game ideas and reasonable value as a bargain bin buy. Or it is if the Settlers style of "cute" game is your thing. The cuteness factor probably comes from the apparent European influence on the game, which is credited as "Demons et Manants" in the title screen, hinting at a French connection.
The game itself has the same village building nature as Settlers, but it's presented in something of a simpler way. Putting aside the perils of the game world, your prime goal is to expand your population, providing food, water and anything else needed to keep your subjects happy.
The innovative slant on Beasts and Bumpkins is that your population must grow by "natural" means - you don't build or buy new villagers, you need a frisky man and woman to nip off into a hut for a bit of nookie to get a baby, which then may grow into a boy or girl, assuming the wolves don't get it first. If you want a soldier you have to send a young man to a guard tower and train him for cash (which you raise by charging for water and food). If you later want a villager back, you can demob the footman back to farm duty. The game clock runs continuously - you can't pause to give orders - and time is split into four seasons which in turn are split by night-time phases. It takes a few seasons for babies to grow to adults, and an adult may live for four or five game years, depending on food and water supply. As long as you provide food, housing, water, and you don't get attacked, you should expand nicely by surviving on wheat, bread, cattle and milk. Wheat is planted in spring and harvested in the autumn, cows can be lured into fenced fields where they can be milked.
The "Sim Village" part of the game isn't too complex, is quite well implemented, but is perhaps too repetitive in each mission. For those who like charts and graphs, there's a good selection of stats you can view to track such things as population growth, birth rate, and so on. That repetition is broken up by the tasks you're given in each mission. I haven't completed all the missions, of which there are reportedly 30, but what I've played to date has reasonable variety. Like Warcraft, the first few outings are merely tasters, asking you to grow your village to a certain population or to raise a certain amount of cash. From there, extras are added like retrieving artifacts, destroying an evil shrine, conquering enemy villages.
Missions have implicit sub-plots - in mission 6 you need to navigate through fields filled with traps, but to do that you really need to find the "reveal trap" scroll to add that spell to your wizard's repertoire. New game elements are added as the missions progress, so the game complexity (what there is of it) is ushered onto you gently. Hints and tips are delivered tutorial-style via letters which you can read. The control system is a little clumsy - while you can scroll the map easily enough bring up the building menu bar can be a little hit and miss, and it often gets in the way of your scrolling. One useful hotkey takes you back to your village center.
Beasts and Bumpkins is a game that understandably got overshadowed by Total Annihilation and Dark Reign when it came out last autumn (1997), and technically it's also well behind the likes of Warwind II. However, it does have that certain cuteness that attracted a lot of followers to Settlers, and the simpler style of play may well prove more enjoyable to many gamers. I wouldn't recommend Beasts and Bumpkins at full price - there's a lot better to be had - but at £7.99 it's a fun little purchase to help see away the days until the big name games start rolling out this summer."
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
ESG 2020-06-09 1 point
I have it all running in Windows 95 compatibility as described, but it asks for the CD ... Any way to solve this?
MiTT 2020-04-14 0 point
So basically i've got everything working but i can't get the lagg to go away. However using DxWnd does help but it makes the game go 1000x faster. When limiting the fps etc it lags again whenever i move the cursor. Can anyone help me with this?
Babs 2020-03-22 0 point
I cant't save my games. Does anyone know how to save when i take a break playing beast and bumpkins? I love it that I found the game. Good old memory's.
Holyshark 2020-01-17 0 point
I am really happy to finaly find this playable version of B&B !!!
Only that laggy gameplay :( :( :(
saci 2019-12-10 0 point
People this game is some thing, it is the game of the games, i miss it so much trying to play it again for a long time
I LOVE TO PLAY IT IS NOT GOOD LOOKING, BUT SO MUCH FUN PLAYING IT
HAVE A NICE GAME EVERYONE
Kbstar 2019-06-30 0 point
got this game working based on previous comments. but now when i load the game in windows 95 compatibility i just get a black screen. tried reinstalling and remounting. change to resolution right down. but still a black screen. any ideas?
Dorpse 2019-05-21 1 point
To fix the maptitle error do the following. Mount the ISO and locate SETUP.EXE on the mounted CD. Set the compatability to Windows 95. Now run the SETUP.EXE so it will install the game. After installing the game go this new folder and locate BEASTS.EXE. Set the compatability to Windows 95 and run the game. The game will work now.
Jelly Cat 2018-12-16 3 points
I solved the maptitle problem - I have set Win 95 compability for autorun.exe too! But those lags! :( Is there anyone who solve game speed problem?
Jelly Cat 2018-12-16 -1 point
Hello! Can you please help me to solve the maptitle problem? I run setup.exe and beast.exe with Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows XP compability, but I still have an error :( Maybe there is another way to fix this problem? I love Beasts & Bumpkins and want to play it again so much :)
keepie 2018-10-20 0 point
Played this game for hours as a kid. Really wanna play it again. But how to solve the maptile problem?
Antagrorl 2018-04-17 0 point
I menage to turn game on but my problem is laggy gamepla, I've tried to play it in VirtualBox with w95 but game dost turn on does any one have this problem ?
@Vigon did you try to put windows95 compability on setup file ? And after on .exe ?
On my w10x64 turn on without any problems
VIGON 2018-04-10 0 point
I´m having problems to run this game (I use windows 10, btw).
Downloaded it, mirrowed through Virtual Clonedrive, solved the maptile problem, but when the game load, before the initial screen is visible, the whole PC stops responding and all I can do is press the windows button (and eventually reset the PC, since nothing else works).
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