Medieval city builders?

City Builders are probably my favorite games, but I have found the Medieval period quite lacking in this segment.

I mean, you can play Egypt (Children of the Nile, that Sierra game I’ve forgotten the name of), Rome (Caesar and a bunch of others), China (another Sierra game), the Renaissance (the Anno series), modern day (Sim City and others) and even the future and a bunch of other series.

But what’s with the medieval period? I want to be able to build fortified villages, cathedrals, castles and whatnot.

And I don’t want one where I have to fight. I want to focus on my city.

So that late 90.s game I can’t recall the name of either (the expansion was called Crusaders) is not what I’m looking for.

Does anyone have any advice?

I’d like to see a game like that myself. I think the Egypt game you mentioned was **Cleopatra. **There’s also Stronghold, but its more of a castle Builder/defend the Castle game.

Yeah, Stronghold was the one I couldn’t think of, with the Crusaders expansion.

And Cleopatra also sounds right.

I’ve read a bit about Medieval Lords, but it both sounds bad and more like Stronghold.

Stronghold: Crusader seriously disappointed me. The others might be better.

Age of Empires II sprang to mind, but that’s more RTS.

Anno 1503 isn’t technically medieval, but it’s the only other one I can think of.

How utterly disappointing. It’s quite weird actually that no-one has done any decent city-builders for this period.

Since they could actually kinda be done to scale in regards to inhabitants.

It’s the city building sans fighting that gets tricky. Apparently developers don’t believe customers want to recreate a peaceful Middle Ages.

They could elbow it in like in many other city builders?

Well… another thing that goes on the list of things to do when I become filthy stinking rich.

The Egyptian city-building game was called Pharaoh, for which the expansion was called Cleopatra. The was a game about ancient Greece - Zeus: Master of Olympus - and its expansion - Poseidon: Master of Atlantis.

Rome, especially, has been done to death. Aside from Caesar I, II, III, & IV, there’s also CivCity: Rome, Glory of the Roman Empire, and Imperium Romanum.

Coming up is Anno 1404, which sounds like it’s right up the OP’s alley.

Oh, jolly! I’ll have to check that one out when it comes out.

I was particularly fond of Knights and Merchants for quite some time. It was not without design flaws, but on the whole it was enormously enjoyable.

Violence and war played a significant role in the planning and construction of cities in the middle ages. Why do you think cities needed to be fortified with thick walls? Why where castles designed to be defensible? A properly executed city-building game would need to incorporate war in some way to put these elements into context. Violence doesn’t need to be the focus of the game, but ignoring it would be like ignoring the automobile in a modern city-builder.

So, I can understand why the game you are looking for doesn’t exist yet: its seems more logical to focus only on the war-strategy or only on the planning strategy, as these are quite different genres of games that different types of people enjoy playing. A decent game that combines these different concepts could be very successful, but could also be a disaster.

You could play The Guild 2. it’s great in concept, but you’ll throw it across the room within an hour from the game-crippling bugs that were never patched.

You make a point. But still, you could make combat like they eg did in the Caesar games, with the main focus still being the city-building.

Bought it, played it and put it on the shelf after one hour.

Heh, I’ve wanted an Abbey-builder ever since I read Redwall as a kid. Watching Cadfael didn’t help. I do think it’d be cool to do a much smaller-scale game than most of them do. I’ve played a couple of the Caesar games, and they always got a bit too sprawling. I think it’d be cool to have the basic unit be people instead of buildings - at that scale, there’s really no difference between home and workshop, so it’d be pretty easy to have home + profession replace home + office as the two things main controls you have.

However, combat is usually awkward, irritating, and threatening.

As an example, I ran into a bug in Emperor: RotMK. I could never, ever win an invasion. It didn’t matter if I built a grossly huge force and sent them and hero when the enemy dismissed their military. I lost every time. Even in other games in that series, combat was basically dull and uninteractive but very threatening.

It would be fine if it were handled more abstractly.

For some not-quite-but-close games, you might look into Black & White 2 (which has a significant city-building aspect - war is mostly optional) and the Settlers series. The earlier iterations of the Settlers series were mostly cartoony and not “set” during a specific time period, but the later games became more obvious. The goal is still the same, though - build a prosperous city and expand to take your enemy’s. That doesn’t have to be achieved by force, though.

Never tried B&W2, but I’ve played a few of the Settlers games and they just didn’t do it for me. I never got the same grand feeling like I did in Sim City, Caesar or Children of the Nile when I was building the city. I want the city itself to be the end, not the means to an end.

runcible spoon describes what I’m looking for really well (even though I do like Caesar).

Then you might want to look into the following:
Cities XL (2009/TBA - on my wish list)
Medieval Lords (The 2004 version)
Micropolis (Open source version of SimCity)
Tycoon City: New York

Medieval Lords specifically might interest you. :slight_smile: There’s a demo up on GameSpot

(Note that I’ve never tried it, just going by what one of my buddies told me.)

To quote myself from post #3:

“I’ve read a bit about Medieval Lords, but it both sounds bad and more like Stronghold.”

And the others won’t fix my medieval fix :wink:

Thanks for the tips though, I’ll check 'em out!