Manor Lords is an open world strategy game by Hooded Horse, the developers of Xenonauts 2 and Against the Storm. It’s available for early release April 26th 2024. You’ll rule a medieval village as a Lord, managing resources and production while expanding across a vast territory through conquest.

This game has been inspired by the art and architecture from the medieval period around the late 14th century in a little German town called Franconia. Historical accuracy is a priority and it comes across in the gameplay mechanics and authentic visual designs.

City building is gridless so you have complete freedom to place structures, farms and so on, wherever you like. The formation of the settlement will be affected by major trade routes and the landscape, just like a real medieval village. The districts of of the town will spread out from the marketplace in the center, following the natural curvature of the land. Farms will be established near to fertile soil and hunting grounds will form close to animal populations.

You’ll be able to assign areas for housing and commercial districts, and watch as the medieval residents build their homes according to what’s known as Burgage Plot. This is a house on a narrow plot of land with a narrow street front. The homes will scale according to the design of your roads and the available plot space.

Manor Lords incorporates home extensions just like they had back in medieval times. Home owners wouldn’t just live in a house, they would often supply the other townsfolk with important items and food. You can build extensions to generate grow vegetables, and raise chickens or goats. This is in addition to your other farm areas and industry.

As you build your town you’ll see the seasons come and go. There’ll be an extra bounty around Spring time which will help you prepare for the harsh Winter and snow. Resources are littered around the map, encouraging you to go out and explore and build specialized settlements.

Once you find a specific resource it will need to be transported and then processed into a finished product. You’ll be able to develop production chains to produce basic goods and luxury items, keeping your townsfolk happy and health.

As you expand you’ll inevitably come into conflict with rival lords. Manor Lords features real-time tactical battles that takes into consideration equipment, weather conditions and soldier fatigue. Positioning your troops and commanding them well can turn almost certain defeat into victory. Each soldier who dies on the battlefield is also one of your townsfolk, unless you hire a band of sellswords to fight on your behalf.

Manor Lords is a good looking city builder with lots of flexibility with housing plots and boundaries. Cities aren’t locked into a grid and the towns follow the designs from the real medieval period.

Manor Lords is still in early access so there may be features that are missing or not working. Having said that it’s still a pretty good city building sim set in the medieval era with interesting combat and historically accurate game mechanics.


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