A quirky ‘bardcore’ simulation game…

So then… My first game preview.

Being the eldest here at GameHype, my reflexes aren’t what they used to be. I’m just not into all the faster pace games that I used to like so I’ve gotten more into the lovely genre of simulation games. Anything that involves building, micromanaging, watching, growing, et al. I suppose similar to waiting for my direct to door cloud watching society VHS tapes to arrive. The bosses high up in GameHype gave me this game that they thought would be great for me to review titled; Lords and Villeins. At first I thought, “why is ‘villains’ spelled wrong?”, but apparently villeins is correct after I typed it in on Ask Jeeves and it means something else.

I blow on the cartridge and pop it into my Vectrex and… Oh wait, wrong thing. I am reviewing the Steam for Windows PC version (just in case there are other platforms).

This game is a medieval family village simulation. I wanted to make some medieval jokes but GameHype have ‘bard’ me.

The installation was easy enough and quite speedy and as I load it up, I’m greeted by quite cute pixelated graphics. A lot of attention has gone into the artwork. After a closer look with my magnifying glass, I can see rendered vectors and stock patterns on the loading screens. I click on Tutorial and start going through the basic controls until I hit a snag. What is a GRA button? I’m looking on my keyboard for a key that says GRA for about 10 minutes. I check online in case a GRA key is one of those strange Apple keyboard things but it’s not. I don’t know what a GRA button is and it’s becoming too cryptic. Imagine 128 bit SSL, mixed with a ladies mind, an iPhone 14 coded screen replacement, and figuring out you need to use a Thunder Scroll outside of a random church in Alundra for the PlayStation 1 to progress. Well… Figuring out what a GRA button is is far more cryptic than that. I gave up with the GRA button thing. If anyone knows, pop it in the comments below for me thanks.

I decided to just load a new game after reading the Wiki and watching a few YouTube videos and slowly got into the game due to a deeper than expected learning curve. Overall, I quite like it. There are details such as fruit bearing trees growing fruit and falling based on the season in game. The music and sound effects fit really well but I can’t say I’ll be popping to Woolworths to buy the soundtrack any time soon. I am a huge fan of the clock in this game. It has three speeds that I expected, but it will go extra fast at night when everyone is asleep and no events are happening. At the start of each season is tax day and every year is the King tax day so make sure you get him what he wants so he can afford to pay the graphic designers for a better looking portrait of himself. The seasons in my opinion, could do with having a few more days in each to help prepare for growing stuff that grows in certain seasons

In my first run through, I started getting quite a good village and many families together. I had a family of miners and gave them some land but they didn’t mine anything. I still don’t know why. After three in game years, I finally got a carpenter family so houses could be made of something stronger than air. I started setting the deconstruction of all the old houses to replace them with new stronger houses but I accidentally clicked on a table that I wanted to keep. I found that I couldn’t cancel the deconstruction of the table. Bye table! Gonna miss you table!

As for the graphics. I did say they were nice but there were errors. I had to lower the resolution to 720p and disable animated vegetation to get more than five frames a day to make it somewhat playable. This worked for the next few hours until the game just randomly crashed. My 1080p monitor was adjusting to normal after running 720p full screen for a few hours so my screen was in disco mode, spazzing out, trying to give me epilepsy.

One perfectly brewed assam cup of tea later, I relaunched the game. Corrupted save, please try again… I loaded an earlier auto save which worked but I can’t remember where I got up to…

I do like this game and I will carry on playing but I hope the graphics and running of the game can be improved. As for a simulation base building game, it is quite enjoyable with more than expected to micromanage. It is a base builder but it’s definitely better as smaller family homes village rather than one huge base. I would like to see some sort of raids or enemies that attack the village but I guess that pesky thief that steals an apple once a year is a start.

I was playing this game as part of its early access before the 10th of November 2022. This is when it is scheduled to leave early access and a good chance that the minor issues will be repaired.

Lords & Villeins preview code provided by Dead Good PR & Fulqrum Publishing on behalf of Honestly Games.