We’ve tried the demo of Manor Lords on Steam and oh boy, what a game! Many hunters carry deer carcasses on their backs as they emerge from the woods. On the outskirts of town, a new granary is being built as an ox drags a pile of lumber in its direction. A windmill spins in the spring wind on top of the hill, which provides a view of the rivers and valleys below. We are the Manor Lords. Even though it’s merely a demo, we are immediately a part of this immersive world.
Manor Lords demo review
Manor Lords, a game created by Slavic Magic alone, is superbly made. The level of specificity is unmatched. No city-builder of this caliber—not Banished, not Ostriv, nor Going Medieval—has ever been able to accomplish this degree of elaboration. The game was gorgeous, or so we thought, until we discovered the view button. This enables you to explore your hamlet as the local lord, the character you choose.
The ability to descend to street level and dwell among your subjects is something we’ve long desired from a city-builder. Even the lord’s cape, the pointed shoes, and the goofy headgear have excellent visuals and rendering. The smallest details have received a lot of love, and it has paid off. The villagers constructed everything you can see in the image above, beam by beam. Not a cutscene, this. You can either zoom in all the way to this level or keep zooming out until you see a huge region map with many towns and villages.
The potential scope of this game really hit me at that point. From your lord’s footsteps to significant conflicts and trading empires that cover a wide area. Manor Lords is explosive in scope while being subtle in detail. A game that tries to do both of things at once, let alone one that has already established a seamless gameplay style in its first playable demo, is highly uncommon. Even though regions are barely mentioned in what we currently have, you can immediately feel how much they will affect your playstyle in upcoming updates and builds.
Manor Lords is a survival city-building game, and we can’t talk about these kinds of games without first giving a little nod to Banished. Although Banished came before other games, it was the first of a wave of games that were motivated by its bleak winters and scarcity of food. Even while Manor Lords has taken a few detours in different directions, the games share quite a few commonalities. It appears destined to succeed in a genre that has been around for almost ten years.
Your village is a bustling, active community. Food, clothing, tools, and firewood are necessities for your villagers; you may either make these things yourself or trade them for money and resources with other people. If you expand too quickly, your villagers will perish from starvation. They will become frozen in the streets if you don’t provide them enough firewood. Create clothing, tools, and troops in the game’s future by starting an industry with iron mines and flax fields.
Manor Lords is more than just a city-building game, despite the fact that in this demo, that is all we have access to. RTS conflicts that resemble Total War are also coming. You’ve spent the last couple of hours carefully developing your village to generate men of fighting age, so we can already tell that the anguish of losing your troops will be doubled. Additionally, citizens have the ability to rebel, and in harsh medieval manner, these uprisings will probably need to be put down.
However, the Manor Lords demo is currently a more tranquil game. The mood of the game and the details of the villagers’ personal life drew us in, even though I can’t recall the last time we played a city-builder at its slowest pace level. You can watch as your builders meticulously assemble each beam of a brand-new smallholding or as your villagers sow seeds for their garden’s produce. We suggest downloading this game ahead of time if that seems like your idea of a dreary Sunday afternoon.
The Manor Lords demo is currently available via Steam Next Fest, a festival that celebrates upcoming indie games and talent. You can download and play Manor Lords until October 10.
How to play Manor Lords demo on Steam (Updated)?
The Manor Lords demo was accessible through Steam Next Fest, a celebration of up-and-coming independent games and artists, between October 3-10.
Players who want to try out the game needs to wait a little bit more until a new demo is available.
Follow these to steps to play Manor Lords demo on Steam when it’s available:
- Open Steam
- Click on the search box (located on the top right corner)
- Type Manor Lords
- Enter the game’s page