New Home: Medieval Village is an early-access town management title that is available on Steam. The game was created by and published by Mustafa Caner Tonbul. Despite its early status Medieval Village is currently shaping up to be a fun simulation title that is smooth to play and can offer hours of engagement for fans of town management smile games. If you’re a management love like me though, then you will probably find the Medieval setting quite charming.
How does New Home: Medieval Village play?
The gameplay loop in New Home: Medieval Village is similar to other town management titles that you might have encountered like Tropico. There is even a tutorial offered on the game's menu screen is a must as it smoothly introduces all the aspects of gameplay without dragging on. You start off by building a small town, only focusing on the essential buildings, like farms and the woodcutter. You are losing money as you carve out your first bits of the town, but as you progress, you start to lose less and less money. You start off with building a dock and small neighborhood that can accommodate your first few villagers.
By using the zoning tab, a tab that allows you to build houses and basic workspace like farms, you can easily whip up homes, farms, and orchards. The process of laying out the buildings is easy as there are boxes that show you exactly where the location will sit on the map before you place it. I was particularly happy with the line that marked where my road was going, as it kept me from off-centering my town. I didn't find myself having to spend several minutes on each house or road placement.
You focus on getting a self-sustaining island by having your villagers work on the farms and eventually start to build buildings with daily costs like a woodcutter to get your village through winter, a tailor for clothes, and a clinic to boost happiness. The more you build your town, the more you level up; this will unlock new buildings, some of which are upgraded versions of previous ones that can take care of a wider radius of the town.
As you build, you need to manage taxes and sell excess goods to make money. This should be familiar if you’ve ever played City Skyline. The more you tax your people, the less happy they become. I did find that it was pretty easy to work around taxation, as you could simply sell excess materials to make ends meet. My farms and shops tended to produce more products than my town needed, so I could simply sell them off each time a new boat came in.
This made it pretty easy to blaze through the game and max out my happiness within a few hours. I easily lowered the taxes to almost nothing after about three in-game hours with hardly any negative repercussions. While I was playing, I experimented with tax hikes, and while this makes my town’s attractiveness lower slightly, it didn’t have any major consequences. No villagers left, and I could easily offset the few points I lost from attractiveness by building a new tavern.
This loop is pretty satisfying to play through, but it doesn't have anywhere near the content that you will find in games like Tropico or City Skylines. The Medieval aspect is interesting, but there is a lot that needs to be added before it can contend with other game's in the genre. With additional features, I feel that New Home could have great replayability.
What Features does New Home: Medieval Village have?
The game is still in early access, so it isn't complete. There are still enough features here to keep you engaged for hours, especially if you like the Medieval setting. With that said, there aren’t as many features as you will find in games like Civilization. After you’ve played a few game’s you will likely find yourself waiting for the next update before going back in.
One of the biggest areas that need improvements is with villagers. They do move between their workplace and homes but don't really do much. In fact, I never got to see any crime break out. I even refused to place the police department in for quite without seeing any repercussions. The event wasn't a challenge though as you could simply let the building burn down, then destroy it. After a building is destroyed, it just rebuilds itself for a small fee, making the fire department a bit useless.
You will also notice that there really isn’t any looming danger or seasonal needs, aside from wood being needed to keep villagers happy in winter. While New Home is still fun to play for a few hours, it doesn’t feel particularly difficult, even when you choose to play on hard mode.
The creator has stated plans to open up more livestock options, more building types, fishing, and include different maps into the game by full release. These are all great improvements and I feel that the inclusion of new maps will allow for longer gameplay periods and new obstacles.
Is It Difficult to Get Started?
This title isn't difficult to play for those who aren't heavy into management titles. There are also three different difficulties to choose from, but starting on normal doesn't make things too hard for a newcomer to manage. This makes the game great for younger gamers or those who are just getting into the genre. At no point did I feel like the game was frustrating, it's just a pleasant asset management simulator that is easy to manage. For players seeking a more difficult game though, New Home likely won't be what they are looking for.
New Home: Medieval Village does have a lot of potential to be a fun game, but there is still a bit of work to do. It was easy for me to wiz through the game with no real obstacles in my path, but building my village was fun. It’s interesting to see games set in different time periods like New Home, as it gave me a break from playing games like City Skyline that heavily rely on electricity and politics.
TechRaptor previewed New Home: Medieval Village on PC with a code provided by the publisher.