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Reviews

Medieval Dynasty Review

Have you ever dreamed of living in the old days, making a life from scratch and watching your small corner of the world grow under your careful eye? Medieval Dynasty might just be the game where you can live out that fantasy. It’s a game that layers survival with the joy of building and managing a village, and it does so in a way that’s mostly fun and rewarding, even if it stumbles a bit along the way.

A World of Your Own Making

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The game starts with a simple premise – you’re alone in a vast forest, with nothing but the wind as your companion. The story doesn’t grab you by the hand; it’s more of a gentle push out of the nest, encouraging you to make your way in the world. And make your way you must, for this game is about carving out a place for yourself in a medieval land.

You’ll find yourself in a small village, the first of many stops on your journey of survival. It isn’t long before you’re given the freedom to claim land and call it your own, though you’re swiftly reminded of a harsh reality: you owe taxes to the king. And boy, do those taxes pile up. They’re your first test of survival – manage your finances or watch your hard work fall apart.

But the real fun begins once you start building. With each swing of your axe, each stone set into place, you’re not just surviving — you’re thriving.

Learning the Ropes

The villagers are eager to give you tasks, guiding you through the game’s many features. These tasks pull double duty: they give you a glimpse into the lives of these medieval folks, while also serving as a tutorial. But if I’m being honest, these tasks can sometimes feel like busywork.

The conversations with these characters aren’t the main focus, and it shows. They’re a bit flat, and you’ll likely find yourself not paying them much attention as you’re drawn towards the more engaging aspects of the game – like building your village and ensuring it runs like a well-oiled cart.

Rolling Up Your Sleeves

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Here’s where Medieval Dynasty shines – you get to do everything. Ever felt frustrated watching virtual villagers do a lousy job? Throw that frustration out the window. Now it’s your turn to plant the crops, hunt the deer, and hammer the nails. You’ll manage your village not just as the head honcho but as its best worker, too.

The circle menu – a spin-wheel of options you’ll use often – can be overwhelming with its layers upon layers of choices. It’s not perfect, but it’s functional once you get used to it. And despite its complexity, it grows on you as you start mastering its quirks.

But let’s talk about when things don’t go smoothly. You’ve got your typical survival stuff – the nagging pressure of hunger, the demand for shelter and warmth. Then you’ve got the quests, which ask you to think more like a knight off on an adventure rather than a villager. These can clash, pulling you in different directions: focus on the quests, and you might starve; ignore them, and you miss out on helpful tips and tricks to ease your survival. It can be a tough balance to strike.

Hiccups Along the Way

While Medieval Dynasty offers a lot to enjoy, it’s not without its hitches. Sometimes, the things you see might pop in and out of existence if you’re a bit too far away, which can be jarring. The control choices can also feel odd. For example, adjusting how much work you want from your villagers isn’t as straightforward as you would think. Instead of using the joystick, you’ve got to get to grips with some buttons that feel like they should be doing something else.

And if you pause while you’re crouched down, tracking an animal, guess what? When you unpause, you’ll find yourself standing up, and your prey slipping away. It’s a little thing, but it can get under your skin.

Beauty in the Old World

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the world Medieval Dynasty throws you into. It’s downright pretty. Climbing a hill and surveying the valley below feels great. Each season paints the world in a new light, and you get to watch it all change year-round. From the crunch of snow underfoot to the rustle of spring leaves, the game does a fantastic job of making each season feel unique.

To Build, to Survive, to Thrive

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So what’s the bottom line here? Well, if you’re looking to get your hands dirty in a game where survival meets city-building, Medieval Dynasty delivers a solid experience. It’s entertaining, especially when you’re deeply involved in the growth of your village. There’s a certain joy in watching something you built from the ground up come to life.

However, it’s important to note that some of the adventure-like elements don’t mesh well with other parts of the game. It’s like wearing a coat that’s a bit too tight – it’ll keep you warm, but it’s uncomfortable.

And while you’ll meet plenty of villagers along the way, don’t expect deep, memorable dialogues. The interactions are there to serve the gameplay more than the story. If you’re cool with that, then you’re in for a treat.

As for building and customizing, there’s plenty for those who want to make their village not just functional, but pretty. What’s missing is the ability to really make the interiors of these buildings your own, to smooth out the land before building, to make it all feel a little more personal.

Combat, while it exists, isn’t this game’s shining star. It does the job, but it’s clearly not the main event. Then again, this isn’t a game about fighting – it’s about surviving in a more mundane, yet equally challenging way.

Verdict

In the end, what you’re getting with Medieval Dynasty is a game that lets you build a life in a medieval world. It’s about those small victories, little advancements that stack up over time. And despite its flaws, once you get into the rhythm of building, planning, and surviving, you might just find yourself saying, “Just one more day, just one more task,” until the sun comes up.

Yes, there might be a bit of a learning curve, and yes, it’s not the perfect game. But if you’re willing to dig in and get past these annoyances, there’s a rich and rewarding experience waiting for you on the other side. If you’ve got the patience for it, Medieval Dynasty might just be the medieval life sim of your dreams.

My score: 8.5/10

Is it worth playing in 2024?

Absolutely, Medieval Dynasty still holds up as a game worth playing in 2023. If the marriage of survival and city-building tickles your fancy, then there’s no doubt you’ll find a lot to love here. The game has managed to mesh these two genres together in a way that’s engaging and immersive.

The challenge of building a village from nothing, maintaining it, and watching it grow over the seasons can be as rewarding today as it was at its release. Since it’s a genre that doesn’t rely heavily on cutting-edge graphics or the latest tech, Medieval Dynasty’s gameplay experience remains solid despite not being the newest title on the market.

About the author

Tom Henry

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