Medieval Lords
Build, Defend, Expand

Format: PC
Digital Jesters

3 760007 413216
Age Restrictions: 12+
22 October 2004

Build and manage city builders inside the walls of richly-detailed cities during the middle ages. Construct thriving cities and protect them against invasions from neighbouring kingdoms, while expanding into new territories...

Medieval Lords uses, what the developers' claim is, the city building genre's first 3D environment that lets the player zoom right into the action and build anywhere on the map. Through the course of ten scenarios, players must manage finances, population, and food resources to evolve towns into thriving kingdoms. Build docks for fishing local waters, harvest fields to grow food and raise livestock, keep citizens healthy and entertained, and recruit soldiers and cavalry for a well-defended city.

First impressions are pretty impressive. The graphics look great and the controls are not that difficult to master. However, you've heard the argument before: "Once you've seen one SimCity style game, you've seen them all." While that's generally true, there are a couple of neat twists to this game that raise it up a level.

A loved the fact that you are allowed to switch camera angles and walk though the village you are creating. This took me back to the old Theme Park adventure game and is a really fun addition to Medieval Lords.

However, that plus point is soon cancelled out as you settle down to play the game proper. Unlike the developer's claims that you can "build any where" I found that I had a bit of a nightmare positioning new buildings on occasion. In the end I just plonked it anywhere it would let me. This was a little frustrating.

Another downside is that the fighting element is actually quite dull. I was hoping that it would be an integral part of the game, but it just seems to have been tacked on as an after thought.

What it does, it does well, but you might like to try before you buy.

Nick Smithson

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