When I first watched gameplay of Toplitz Production’s Medieval Dynasty, I absolutely loved the idea of the game. A life simulation sandbox in the medieval era where you try to go from nothing to running a massive kingdom. In my mind I saw this game as Stardew Valley, with bigger ambitions. After playing the game for some time now, I feel like I was only partially right.
To kick off the game it gives you the short backstory of the player character. You are the son of a farmer whose family perishes due to a war that comes through their village. You move to a province to the north in hopes of finding your uncle whom you had heard was amassing a small fortune in this area. When you arrive you come to find that your uncle too had passed. The person who gives you this news urges you to follow in your uncle’s footsteps and beginning building a settlement and fortune of your own.
From there on, it’s up to you how everything plays out. Find a place in this large open world that you deem suitable to build your home on and the entire premise of the game is to turn your single home into your own thriving kingdom. How you go about that is entirely up to you. There are numerous different building types from a hunters lodge that will allow you to craft a bow, to a lumber mill that can help generate resources for your settlement. Each building serves a different purpose to help you sustain and grow your settlement. There are also crafting recipes to unlock that are unique to each building which makes everything you build feel substantial in progressing your settlement.
The menu systems for the games are very straight forward and easy to navigate, so whether you are looking to find what food you have in your inventory or checking in on your settler’s mood, you can find it with ease. That is part of one of the most impressive things about Medieval Dynasty is that there is a surprising amount of depth in the progression systems and they make it so easy to navigate and manage. Building a house is as simple is pulling up the build wheel and clicking on the simple house option then you just place it and go from there.
Another thing that has impressed me is how well crafted the world is for a game that only takes up a few gigabytes of space. There is great attention to detail in the hills and forests that make them a joy to wander through for hours on end. They also do a great job of making the resources that you gather in the world look like a part of the world. Many games that have mining or gathering and make the nodes large and obvious for players to find but Medieval Dynasty chose to add to the immersive experience by choosing the opposite route, and it works to perfection.
While you are continuing to build your settlement there is also a social component to the game. Throughout the game world there are recruitable NPCs that you will socialize with in an attempt to gain their favor. Once you reach a certain relationship level and gain enough dynasty reputation by completing quests, you can invite them to become a part of your settlement. Once they join your team you will need to keep them well fed and supplied to maintain their happiness or they will decide to abandon your settlement and head to their original home. You will also be able to try to win the affections one of the many ladies in the world, get married, and have a child. When your child comes of age and you have lost a step or two in your old age, your child will be able to continue your legacy.
That is one of my favorite parts of the game is that it is a never-ending quest for sustainability and prosperity. The game reaches it’s end when you decide you have had your fill of it or want to start a new save and do things differently.
With all of that said, the game still has some polishing that needs to be done. NPCs will sometimes behave strangely, animals are able to maneuver through doors to player made buildings and attack you when your backs turned, among other things. This game is not yet a finished product but the team at Toplitz has already shown that they are committed to building on the experience.
All-in-all I have genuinely enjoyed every minute of Medieval Dynasty so far. This game is a pretty big grind – considering you have to build a kingdom from scratch all on your own – but it is a grind well worth it. With fun, deep progression systems, Medieval Dynasty gives players the freedom to create the kingdom of their dreams from the ground up. I would highly recommend fans of games like Stardew Valley and Minecraft give this game a shot because it is a great edition to the sandbox genre.