Manor Lords Review (PC)

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I’ve been looking forward to Manor Lords ever since I read the tag “City Builder” on steam. I’m a big fan of management games with strategic expression. Manor Lords did not disappoint! I’ve been buried in the game, building the most efficient medieval town possible. For an early access game, it feels very finished. Though, there are a couple of things that could use updates. No worries! A roadmap is already out. Manor Lords will only be improving with a clear vision.

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Manor Lords Review


City Building

Gameplay has a heavy focus on city building and micromanagement. Each of your citizens work in real time to produce resources for your town. Each citizen will also need to be manually added to work buildings in order for them to function. No resource is simply “generated” in Manor Lords. Every log is cut from the forest by a woodsman, then transported by a citizen, then deposited wherever wood is needed.

You can zoom in and watch each citizen move about their day and do their jobs. The building system has a unique and fluid mechanic. Plots are drawn out and homes or farms can be built from them. You’ll spend most of your time managing civilians. However, without any one menu for logistics, this gets out of hand as your city grows. I’ve put in countless hours building my city to my preference and it’s quite addictive.


While majorly a city builder, Manor Lords also offers some combat options. Though, this isn’t very frequent in the average playthrough. In the base scenario, you won’t deal with many attackers. Of course, there are other scenarios that find your city under constant threat. Combat is really an afterthought, though a very thoughtful one. Combat is fluid, with each militia soldier needing to be separately equipped. Your militia, for the most part, primarily consists of your citizens. Down the line, you’ll be able to form your own coat of arms. However, for early skirmishes, you’ll be arming your farmers. Controlling your units is very similar to that of the Total War games, though on a much smaller scale. While Total War deals with thousands of units, you’ll only control a few hundred at most.

This isn’t a grand strategy combat game. However, if you want to be a jerk and fight all your neighbors, its an option.


Around the end of the development, there was an update for facial animations for all the NPCs. I bring this up because it seems like a lot to add for a game where you’ll be looking from a birds eye view for a majority of your playthrough. Yet, if you zoom in, every citizen has expressive animations that convey stress, fear, anger, exhaustion and so on. Not to mention the sheer graphic quality of everything from the houses you build, to the mud in the ground.

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There is a gameplay feature where you can play a third person lord of your city and wander about, and it is the best way to truly see the immense quality of the visuals. Animations are also incredibly smooth, in both combat and wandering the town.


Large scale city games have a tendency to be overcrowded with various sounds or suffer the complete opposite. Sometimes, all you have to listen to is city ambience and a looping track. Every sound in Manor Lords comes from something happening in town. Whether it’s the church bell ringing, or a bustling area where NPCs are crowded. The ambience is also very natural. The sounds of battle are also incredible. Stomping boots, war cries, clanging steel and shields bashing against one another. The music is varied, preventing the player from growing irritated with repeat songs. They also sound very cute!


Story is basically non-existent and is fully the player’s own. Currently, there aren’t many ways to express yourself outside of how you build your town and who you choose to compliment and insult politically. The political system is fairly bare bones, needing a bit of work so natural stories can flow. In a game like this, I don’t pay too much attention to any story that’s meant to be told. I rather focus on how a story could be told by the player’s actions and the games designs. Ultimately, you are very free to role play what it means to be your lord. Though, I’m hopeful for more potential with scenarios and politics.

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Manor Lords Review – Last Word on Gaming Viewpoint

Manor Lords is absolutely worth your time and attention. There is heavy community involvement in their discord, with public poles on the direction the game is taking as well as discussions. The game is incredibly polished and complete for a game releasing in early access, a branding that is usually met with scepticism. Fear not, Manor Lords is worth every dollar it asks for, and delivers a full experience. It’s not often early access doesn’t feel as if it scammed you. Not to mention, there is always hope for more content to come. For Manor Lords, as it is, I can’t give it any less than a…

Manor Lords Review – The Verdict




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Desert Fox

Now this is a game I’m looking forward too! 🙂

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