Go-Go Town! preview – Building blocks for a bright future

Go-Go Town! is a delightful tourism and town commerce simulator.
go-go town! gameplay preview

Prideful Sloth’s Go-Go Town! is shaping up to be a lovely spin on the life simulator genre, with clever tweaks to make it feel fresh in its approach. I recently got the chance to go hands-on with an early preview build of the game, and while it lacked the core meat of gameplay, it featured the bones of something special.

You enter Go-Go Town! not as a carefree resident, but as a mayor responsible for town development. Like the villages of Animal Crossing, your home town is bare when you arrive. It’s your job to light up the local economy, and make it a thriving tourist hub with bustling buildings, lodgings for guests, and plenty to attract visiting hordes.

The preview version of Go-Go Town! we played only included the first part of this gameplay loop: the establishment of the first visitor house, and the option to establish a shop. These elements, in their early form, left me wanting more, in all the right ways.

What most stood out in my time with Go-Go Town! were the differences between this game and its nearest mirrors – your Animal Crossings, Stardew Valleys, and My Time at Portias. For one thing, the game begins by centring money making. You’re not just a passive adventurer in Go-Go Town!, you have a responsibility to make your town thrive by investing in its ecosystem, and providing the building blocks of a stable economy.

go-go town timetable
Screenshot: GamesHub

I began this quest by collecting rocks and branches for a local crafting store. On deposit, they’d be crafting into tiny little figurines and collectibles for tourists to purchase, allowing me to build the coffers of my town as new people passed through.

That’s another part of Go-Go Town! that felt surprising and novel. Your days pass by on a schedule with events every few hours – so there’ll always be new people to greet on your island, and necessary restocks for your goods. While only a minor feature, having a timeline adds a real sense of purpose to your day, and consistent surprises as new folks flood in.

Most tourists weren’t interactable in the playable demo of Go-Go Town! but I can see their scheduled arrivals really shaking up the day-to-day tasks of the full game. Rather than spending your time wandering, you’ll need to account for your daily event schedule, and cater to tourists as they arrive.

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Go-Go Town! also has a RollerCoaster Tycoon-like system for monitoring the feelings and desires of your town visitors. They’ll tell you how they’re tracking, and comment generally on your town, prompting new developments or changes to your offerings. I can imagine these prompts will prove essential in the full game, as you attempt to build your town up to satisfying larger lots of people, each with individual tastes.

In the demo, I was mostly just praised for crafting desirable little collectibles.

go go town adventure
Screenshot: GamesHub

Once I’d built up my local craft store with enough resources to generate a full day of income, I ran off the beaten path in Go-Go Town! – and it was there that I uncovered an even stronger array of compelling game quirks.

Investigating a tunnel system, I discovered references to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and an entire underground race track filled with tiny cars. In the lower reaches of the map, I used terraforming to cross a stream, and found a whole family of aliens living by a lone tree stump. They all had names like “Hugh Mann” which is silly and delightful. While I have no idea why they were in my town, I appreciated them nonetheless.

This glimpse at Go-Go Town! only touched the surface of the game’s full scope, but it still revealed very fun, breezy gameplay, with an array of compelling quirks likely to make the base game sparkle. With a focus on commerce and making cash, rather than only living your life in cosy harmony, the game seems to have a clear hook that’ll make its crafting and exploration feel rewarding.

For now, the game only has a nebulous 2024 release date, but there’s plenty of reasons to keep an eye on its full release. Even in a bare bones demo, Go-Go Town! delivered a moreish slice of gameplay. There’s every hope the whole pie will be just as delicious.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.