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Bellwright Review (Early Access)

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Bellwright. “Medieval crafting survival game” isn’t exactly a rare game idea these days. But after a few days of chopping trees, building houses, and fending off bandits, I’ve got to admit – Bellwright has some charm.

You get framed for killing a prince. Classic. To clear your name, you need to carve out a slice of the world for yourself – building a safe settlement and proving your worth through quests. It’s your standard setup with a dash of mystery, but it works.

Bellwright and a cow

Right from the jump, Bellwright hooked me with its crafting and building systems. They’re simple, satisfying, and give you tons of freedom to create a village that feels like your own. Gathering resources is a chill time (thankfully), and putting together your houses has a real tangible feel thanks to the point-and-click system.

I was surprised by how in-depth you can go with settlers. They actually have lives of their own! Instead of needing to fuss over assignments, they just figure stuff out. Feels much more natural, although managing their gear gets a little tedious at times.

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Combat’s where things get a bit rougher. It’s got potential, with aiming being super important – land a headshot and an enemy goes down fast. But, especially early on, it’s tough to land those hits, especially against wily things like wolves. Some more control finesse would be lovely.

That said, building up a small army of followers? Awesome! Leading them into battle is a highlight. It definitely gives you a sense of power and makes clearing out those bandit camps feel more strategic.

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Bellwright looks pretty darn good, considering it’s an indie effort. I loved the changing seasons and the way light filters through the trees. Sound’s decent too, although chopping trees definitely needs a volume adjustment – way louder than it should be!

Controller support is super basic right now, and the character creation is… well, it exists. Those are easy fixes I hope to see down the line.

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If you loved Medieval Dynasty, or find a slow-paced, detail-focused game relaxing, Bellwright’s got your back. It’s got a lot of rough edges, but the core of settlement building, exploring, and fighting feels solid. Plus, unlike some survival games, there’s enough story to make the hours melt away. I’m definitely excited to see how this one develops!

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.