Manor Lords (2024) is a medieval city-building strategy game with a focus on visual and simulated realism. You grow your settlement, manage its politics and relations with other kingdoms, and fight in real-time battles, all while gathering resources and assigning jobs to your people. It's a lot of things to manage, but the seamless blend between them and the freedom to play how you want makes it an intuitive and rewarding challenge.
You start with a small settlement in one of the many regions of the vast open-world map and command your civilians to perform basic tasks to gather resources to build houses and farms. From there, you choose how to govern your people, ensuring you remain popular while balancing the need to expand your territory, leading to tough decisions. You treat with the rulers of other nations, making alliances with them, or going to war to claim their land and people as your own.
Play involves selecting buildings and people, issuing commands and collecting items by clicking on options in pop-up menus. Each region on the map is rich in different resources and has a development tree that provides boosts to any buildings you have in that region. When you upgrade structures, you earn development points you spend on your development tree.
You make money by trading with travelling merchants who pass through the towns and cities with higher development and resource production. In dialogue with other national leaders, you select phrases to write in letters. With everything you do, you must remain mindful of how it affects your people and the stability of your reign, which is affected by your choices. Taxation also allows you to make money, but the different kinds of taxes have unique benefits and drawbacks to consider carefully.
Battles with other nations are fought in real-time, with you issuing commands to vast legions of troops rather than individual soldiers. You must remain aware of the bigger picture, ensuring your tactics and strategy are well-adapted to every opponent you face.
The result is a deeply immersive medieval experience that provides a unique mix of historical city-builder and real-time strategy game that rewards quick thinking, strategy, and cunning.
Our examiner, Ben Kendall
, first checked Manor Lords 14 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 3 weeks ago.