First and foremost Manor Lords is set to be much more than just another City Building game. The upcoming strategy game “combines deep, organic and realistic city building with large scale, tactical battles.” This fresh spin on the genre has been needed and if done correctly Manor Lords could be one of the greats for a year already stacked full of amazing games! With Manor Lords release date set for April 26th on PC through both Steam and Game Pass, there’s still some time to get even more excited! A later release for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S is also expected. 

Organic City-building

Manor Lords City-building is a gridless, organic experience based on the freedom to move things around how you like. There are snapping tools to make the planning more comfortable though. Instead of just plopping down a town anywhere, Manor Lords building mechanics are based on what you would expect from a real medieval town. Trade routes and even the landscape will play a role in the development of your town. How much this will play into where you put your town or settlement is yet to be seen but the idea is one I’m a fan of already. 

Manor Lords City-building

You can expect to see all of the normal buildings in these types of games. Obviously, you’ll need some housing and farms alongside things such as a lumber camp and church. Castles are not planned for the release of the game but have been mentioned as a possible update to come to the game. As always shaping your towns is always a big draw to city-building games as it gives so many unique options. The other interesting aspect is the fact that the battles will be fought on the same map as where you build. This may have some influence on where you want to place your buildings or the layout as a whole. 

Historical Realism

While not set fully in a specific time period every building in Manor Lords is inspired by historical references from XI-XV century Europe. While the game will focus on attention to detail it is important to remember there is no promise to be 100% accurate and liberties will be taken to keep the game as fun as possible. To me, this is the best way to go about it giving a good mix of realism while not slogging down the overall experience of the game. 

Manor Lords historical realism

The realism doesn’t just stop at the buildings, however, fields must be plowed, sheep herded, and iron bloomed. As the lord of the manor, it will be your job to assign these tasks to make sure they get done; while also dealing with changing weather and seasons. You must also stay on your toes as disease and famine can always be right around the corner. 

Large Scale Battles

When it comes to large-scale battles Manor Lords is aiming to have “battles that feel real, with large-scale unit formations, morale, flanking, fatigue, weather, and equipment all coming into play.” This type of system isn’t one that is brand new by any means but should give the ability to express true skill when commanding your armies. Position your troops well and take down your enemies! 

Manor Lords large scale battles

To start unit diversity may be lacking in some ways but the dev has big plans for the game, with Cavalry, fortifications, units on walls, gunpowder, and siege engines (trebuchets!) all being a work in progress. While we aren’t sure as of now when they will be in the game we can’t wait to see where the game ends up when its all said and done. 

Manor Lords

Manor Lords looks absolutely amazing from concept to how it looks. I for one am in love with the idea of this game and can’t wait to get my hands on it! For this, it was an absolute must for our Best New Games April 2024! Manor Lords truly could be one of the great games of 2024 and we will happily be along for the ride. 

By Zach Yagle

Zach, a 26-year-old living in Denver, Colorado, shares a deep passion for video games that has been a constant source of joy and inspiration throughout his life. Since his childhood, Zach has immersed himself in the world of gaming, exploring a wide range of titles across various platforms.

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