Life is Feudal: Forest Village is a sim village creator set in medieval Europe based within the Life is Feudal: MMO universe. Players take control of a handful of settlers who have set off in search of new lands. After arriving by boat, its up to you to maintain and expand your town, providing plenty of warmth and food for your citizens to survive the harsh winters.
I’m a sucker when it comes to the creativity and management that can be found in city sim games like Life is Feudal: Forest Village. Having just put a large amount of time into Cities: Skylines, the tutorial in Life is Feudal is so bare bones, I’m surprised they bothered to put one in. Games in this genre are hailed for enabling players to build with creativity while having a difficulty curve. I see where the game was trying to push players with its tutorial, but much of the game’s mechanics aren’t mentioned in detail.
Where Life is Feudal: Forest Village really comes into its own is the unique style of city sim mechanics. If you like, you can play in first-person as any villager in your town, collecting resources, building buildings, and even fishing on the coast line. I think this is brilliant, there’s a couple of hot-keyed abilities that you can use as a villager and, usually, you can do a lot of the tasks faster than a regular villager would.
The controls as a villager are unruly, so I’d recommend having a look in the settings. I found that the sensitivity was a bit mismatched and the camera had an annoying delay. The true difficulty curve I found came from food management during winter and planning your spring/summer preparing. Once you get a good sustainable food supply, you’re rockin’. However, be careful when expanding your village, it can be far to easy to underestimate food supply.
There are some issues that surround Life is Feudal: Forest Village, however. The game can still feel ‘alpha-like’ and ruin the immersion. For instance, a villager pathing on hills can cause the villagers to wander back and forth until they starve and die. I found this incredibly infuriating while trying to build larger buildings. Similarly to games of the genre, this is a slow game, which is usually a great aspect, however you can find yourself 8-10 hours into a map, zoom out to discover you’ve barely expanded your tiny village.
Game buildings takes an exorbitant amount of time. With the time and effort that it takes to create and expand in this game, I would have liked to see more threats in the late game. It would be engaging to be attacked by viking raiders from the shore after your colony reaches a certain size or after building fort.
Overall, Life is Feudal: Forest Village is really beautiful, especially as you watch the seasons change and even feel the bitterness of winter. It’s serene to watch the villagers go about their daily routines while you kick back and listen to the game’s peaceful soundtrack. It is a good city sim with some brilliant ideas and big potential, however the buggy villagers, pacing, and lack of end game will require some patience and dedication.