Going Medieval from developer Foxy Voxel and publisher The Irregular Corporation is a captivating Early Access title focused on city building in the Medieval age. Being an Early Access title though, there’s quite a bit to talk about while a lot of improvements will subsequently make their way through to the final version of the game.
First and foremost, loading up into Going Medieval, the game will let you select your difficulty as well as starting region. Opting for the Standard difficulty and the Hillside region seemed like a smart choice for someone new to the title. The tutorial immediately lets you know what you have to do and it’s up to you to issue orders to your villagers and establish a little town for them.
After zoning a stockpile zone and removing the “Forbidden” tag from the pile of resources you start out with, your villagers will immediately get to work transferring everything usable to the stockpile. Soon after this, you’ll learn how to assign tasks to your villagers and you’ll be issuing orders for them to start chopping down trees for wood. Wood will then be used to construct a building but this isn’t a quick affair. Players will have to ensure that they have enough wood for the building and make sure that there’s a wooden floor built too. This requires a hefty amount of wood so your villagers will need to chop down any nearby forest for the required resources.
Once you’ve finally laid down the wooden floors and placed wooden walls around them, you’ll have yourself a room. Next up, players will have to set up beds for their villagers so that they can go to sleep and rest up. Chopping down forests is hard work after all. Once this is sorted out, players can finally start addressing some of the more complex needs of their villagers. Your villagers will need food so you’ll have to address this by either equipping them with weapons and assigning them to hunt down some animals or set them out to forage and harvest berries from nearby bushes.
Acquiring and stockpiling food is essential to your villagers survival and thankfully the game lets you learn how to farm once you’ve built yourself a research table and produced enough “Chronicles” or research to purchase a type of farmed crop. Opting for cabbage and zoning a large enough field was fairly straightforward. The villagers set about planting crops while performing their other duties during the course of the day.
This is where one of Going Medieval’s inherent problems became apparent. Waiting around for villagers to do things means that there’s a lot of downtime in the early game while you just watch them performing their menial labour. Starting out with only a few villagers also means that your production is severely hampered so if you want to build up a large town with multiple buildings, it’s going to take you quite some time. Even if you use the “Fast-Forward” option, the speed of the game is still rather slow-paced and those who lack patience might find this somewhat annoying.
With that said though, Going Medieval does throw some interesting events at you as the player. For instance, a surviving member of a barbarian attack ended up in the village and having opted to save him and provide him with shelter, the barbarians would attack in a few days. Preparing for this attack by building up walls and defences was quite fun and when the eventual attack did happen, Going Medieval’s combat mechanics came into play. Equipping the villagers with a range of weapons such as swords, spears and bows meant that when the barbarian marauders showed up, the villagers were ready to face the threat head-on. Issuing orders to your units was simple enough and the villagers dealt with the attack quite well. After the battle was won, the villagers would tend to their wounds and then go back to their daily tasks of harvesting food, cooking and performing research.
Therein lies the beauty of Going Medieval. The game lets you raise up a village, build it into a functional Medieval town and enjoy defending it and continuously developing it. It’s remarkably addictive and extremely compelling. With additional events that happen in-game and more of a narrative to drive players forward, this Early Access title will definitely keep gamers entertained for literal hours and hours on end as they build up their Medieval village.
Graphically, the game looks quite visually appealing with a gorgeous art style and plenty of effects that look great. There are weather effects in-game too which look great such as rain and snow as well as a day and night cycle. The soundtrack in Going Medieval isn’t exactly stellar, memorable stuff but it does its job in not being annoying while adding to the overall town and village building Medieval vibe.
As an Early Access title, there is a planned roadmap available on the Steam page which players can check out but as it stands right now, the game is well worth checking out. If you’re a fan of a chilled out, city-builder set in the Medieval ages, Going Medieval will entertain you for a couple of hours. With the planned updates, this title might just become a truly great indie city-builder in the near future. Highly recommended.
The game is currently in early access, as expected the game is not finished so scoring a game in this state is not required.
You can purchase the game on Steam here for £19.99.
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