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Relaxing and humorous slice of medieval life

The Settlers offers players the chance to enjoy some retro strategy thrills of the kind of fashion that has recently become hugely popular on mobile platforms and while it may lack some of the more modern bells and whistles, it remains an engaging experience when you're in the mood for strategy rather than action. The player's task is fairly simple and you are required to build and develop a medieval settlement by issuing commands to your army of workers, each of whom has their own specific task, with things like blacksmiths, knights, miners and tool makers all available. However, they are not controlled directly but instead you issue orders to construct certain building types and which then adds to your range of workers (for example, building a smithy allows access to blacksmiths who then makes weapons). Other issues like developing transport networks, managing resources like food, wood and money and attacking enemies or defending against their assaults must also be considered. As a fairly early example of the real-time strategy sim, The Settlers is quite pleasant and enjoyable. It is quite slow paced making it more relaxing than combat heavy games like Dawn of War or Command and Conquer, so if you want something a little more thoughtful, then this makes for an engaging experience. You can choose to play a series of missions against the computer but there is also an open-ended option, which simply lets you grow your settlement to your heart's content and which adds to this laidback appeal. Add in the game's humorous touches and fairly charming visuals and you have a pleasing, if unspectacular, little strategy experience.

Build your own medieval settlement

The Settlers series was among the first to offer the player the chance to sample a different kind of strategy game, one more poised on building and administration rather than fighting. The game plays as a regular real time strategy, however, the trick is not to go for big armies or big offensive force, instead you are focused on bringing in new settlers. The better you manage to build a settlement that is more amenable, the more people will flog to you. This too can have its caveats, as an overpopulated settlement can be quite tricky to maintain. At any rate, your settlers will need all sort of buildings for them to be able to function properly, and you're almost always going to experience some type of crisis during the game. Graphically and mechanics wise the game is really well put together. There is a certain cartoonish element to the way the units, inhabitants of your settlement look like, but it somehow it feels ok, give the pace of the game and its atmosphere. So, if you want to feel like an old time settlement manager, this is the game to go for. Still, very playable today, it will bring hours of fun to those that want a less strenuous Civ like experience in real time.
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The Settlers (serf city: life is feudal) (pc game)
4.46 out of 5 (56 votes)

Images gallery:

  • Introduction: game credits
  • You've established your HQ
  • Settling down in a nice land
  • Check the map to see where your opponent is
  • What type of building will be next?
  • The workers at your disposal
  • Village is growing up
  • You should build a farm now
  • Use your best judgment in connecting routes
  • Build a military post next to the borders: it will make your land bigger
  • Mountains can reveal useful mines
  • Very well done so far!
  • You're next to a conflict
  • The start of my empire
  • We should build more roads
  • A snapshot extracted from game introduction video.
  • Courtesy of Arena 80.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware Dos.
  • Image extracted from gameplay video.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.