Going Medieval, a colony builder set during the 14th Century, has had a phenomenal first week in Early Access, selling 175,000 copies. It’s a charming little game which I sunk a few hours into over the weekend, and came away with all of my ‘Sims and SimCity in the dark ages’ fantasies fulfilled. Well, this is a bit more hardcore than those two behemoths. and selling so many copies in the first week is a massive achievement. Hit the break for my hands on impressions.
My first adventure with Going Medieval was carefully crafted to be as peaceful as possible. During the set-up of the game I chose a world free from raiders. The peace and calm of Dorfromantik has clearly left a lasting impression on me, we don’t need violence in every game do we?
Once I’d set the game scenario up with my three randomly generated colonists, I was into the map at the start of spring. My group had come together after plague had wiped out 95% of the world’s population, leaving a land where a new society could be formed.
With a few basic supplies but nowhere to live, it was straight into creating somewhere for my brave souls to sleep. The construction tools are simple, if you’ve ever played The Sims then you will be right at home with placing walls, floors, ceilings and most important of all….doors. You don’t want to be trapping you people in a room to be visited by the Grim Reaper in Going Medieval.
Soon enough I had some sleeping quarters built, along with a store room for all of the food and building materials my struggling colony would need to not just survive, but thrive. I designated trees to be chopped for wood and sticks, mushrooms to be picked for basic nourishment and deer to be hunted by the one colonist who had any archery skills.
The early stages are straightforward enough, but it is worth keeping an eye on the happiness of your people. While they might be satisfied sleeping on a pile of hay gathered on the floor, they will soon be complaining of a poor night’s sleep if you don’t build some real hay beds.
If you survive the opening hour without death or desertion, you can start turning your attention to the research tree. Building a research table will start you on the journey to churning out chronicles. Sadly these aren’t books to read, but they do add up, ultimately allowing you to unlock new tech on your research tree. This is where those comfortable hay beds are hidden away.
It’s no good having a research table though if nobody is tasked with working on it. A key aspect of Going Medieval is the Jobs tab, and this scarily reminded me of my day job. With a simple matrix you can assign priorities on a 1-5 scale for activities such as constructing all those buildings you can’t help but create, through to research (to unlock those beds) to apparently menial tasks like stewarding and hauling.
These latter tasks might not sound too important, but if you have someone hunting and bringing deer carcasses back home, you’ll want someone hauling them into place for your assigned chef to butcher and make some stew with. With the seasons turning, you’ll also want someone stewarding to open windows or get fires burning to keep the store rooms at the right temperature.
There’s plenty I need to sink my teeth into with Going Medieval, having only just have scratched surface of the elaborate structures you can create, and I haven’t even started producing beer for my people yet.
Seeing the news that Going Medieval has sold 175,000 copies in its first week doesn’t surprise me. My short time with it so far shows a game with a solid foundation and still full of promise as it works through Early Access over the next year.