Go-Go Town! Early Access review

by on June 9, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

June 18, 2024


City builders don’t always pull you in and keep you invested in their daily grind. Sometimes they throw too many mechanics at you or don’t explain things clearly. Other times they just aren’t that interesting or provide you with enough to do that you gradually drop off at a some point. Animal Crossing New Horizons set a benchmark in 2020, and many titles since have shared some similarity with it, but few have reached the enjoyment that Tom Nook and company provided. Go-Go Town! is perhaps one of the few that I can see myself playing for quite some time.

Straight out of the gate, its visuals appealed to me. They’re colourful and cartoonish, making this playground for your creativity somewhere you can see yourself falling in love with. Although the town might not look like much when you first arrive, it gradually becomes a thriving metropolis for tourists to come and enjoy everything you work so hard to build. The little animations of watching yourself ride on a bike or chopping down trees are cute, and as new restaurants and houses are built, I always loved riding through my town and soaking in the sights.

There’s not a great deal of story in Go-Go Town!, and it starts off like almost every other game within the genre starts. You arrive in a rundown town and become its mayor with the intent of rebuilding the town and bringing in visitors to improve its rank. One of the things I appreciated about its sense of achievement is you know exactly what you need to do in order to unlock specific buildings or abilities that are available in the tier system. By bringing in trade and tourism, cleaning up your town, and making it inviting, you move up a tier which leads to a host of new stuff.

Go-Go Town! has two types of currency which allow you to buy new items with coin, and unlock things off the tier list with Ego. It’s a simple system but it works very well, and as you start to see how each new unlock impacts the welfare of your town, be it a new type of restaurant or the ability to automatically gather resources, you feel a sense of pride as your town starts to take shape. The fundamental goal is to reach number one in the town rank, much like getting a five-star rating in ACNH, but the journey to do so is filled with opportunity and a lot of gathering resources and building exciting new establishments.

There are different zones across the map, with new ones opening up as you play. The Mining Zone gives you access to stone and ore, while the Forestry Zone allows you to gather wood. Once you have the bare materials, they can be turned into planks of wood. New materials unlock as you play, and how to find them becomes clear the further you get. Some things aren’t explained as well as they could be, but by playing you’ll start to grasp how the fundamentals work. Restaurants like the fish and chip shop require ingredients which can be found in the environment or bay fishing.

Near the beginning, you’ll unlock the train station, and it is here visitors might give you a task to complete before you can recruit them as both citizens and workers. Some might ask for money and maybe a certain amount of raw materials, but once you’ve built them a home, you can assign them to complete a number of jobs for you, such as working in a shop or transporting goods across the map. Using these automated options after unlocking them from a late-tier list makes a huge difference to your enjoyment because the initial few hours where you do everything else can be quite laborious.

It’s also important to keep your town clean by picking up rubbish, emptying your trashcans, or cleaning the streets with a bubble gun. As I mentioned earlier, you can assign folks to complete these tasks for you, helping to set up a network of efficiency when it comes to keeping the town in a decent state. Another thing I liked about Go-Go Town! was the fact it never rushes you to complete anything, and every new objective doesn’t feel out of reach. You can go at your own pace, but when you’re ready to attain your next goal, there’s guidance without ever feeling out of reach.

After a while, you’ll have to town looking exactly how you want thanks to the terra-forming option available to you right away, letting you make clear concrete paths and crossings, beautiful grassy areas, or dirt paths. There’s also the ability to use water to change the layout of your town. You’ll be able to fish, grow crops, farm animals and meet wildlife, build supply chains, uncover new areas, meet new people, and so much more. It’s peaceful and cathartic, and never stressful, meaning you can pick up and play without ever feeling overwhelmed, and it never gets old jumping on a skateboard and travelling around the town to do what you need to do.

While only in Early Access at present, Go-Go Town! offers players a chilled-out city builder with a surprising amount of things to keep you busy. It is often clear and concise in its progression and unlocks, and the ease at which you can make the town look wonderful kept me hooked. I can’t see myself stopping any time soon, and with it running so smoothly on Steam Deck, it’s great to just pick up and play when you want to switch off for a few hours and check on your town. Storage was one of the only things that frustrated me, but there are workarounds for that the more you play. If you’re after a life sim that offers a similar kind of enjoyment to Animal Crossing, this is definitely one to try out.


Gorgeous visuals
Plenty to do
Mechanics all work well together


Storage is frustrating
Early hours are laborious

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Go-Go Town! is a cute city builder where there's always something to do, featuring a clear path to greatness that never gets old.