Rising Lords – Preview
Follow Genre: Turn-based strategy
Developer: Argonwood
Publisher: Argonwood, WhisperGames
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Rising Lords – Preview

Good: Easy to learn, Nice artstyle
Bad: No diplomacy yet
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s never easy for new developers to gain footing in a genre that already has a lot of well-known franchises vying for attention. Turn-based strategy has been shaped by the existence of the Total War series and similar games for years, so Argonwood certainly had their work cut out for them when starting on their long journey to make Rising Lords. In development for several years and still in Early Access, for now, there is already enough content here for players to get an idea of the unique feel this game brings to the table.

Like most other games in this genre, Rising Lords does not contain any particular storyline and is mostly shaped by random events and your own decisions. The main gameplay mode is called Scenarios and plays like a campaign would, with you taking control of a lord and their land for the purpose of accomplishing a set of goals, or forging your own way if you want to get creative. There is also a game mode called Quick Battle which allows you to play out a single battle with troops and enemies of your choice. Rising Lords distinguishes itself from other turn-based strategy games by using an interesting art style that looks more traditional than the 3D graphics we’re used to. Obviously inspired by real-life medieval paintings, it manages to set itself apart nicely and looks good overall. The big-sized heads of the characters might need some getting used to, but especially the illustrations for special events and the battle cards stand out in a positive way. The soundtrack is also quite good.

Getting into the gameplay, Rising Lords has all of the different elements you’d expect to find in this genre. Perhaps most importantly is resource management. The buildings you have in your towns dictate how many commoners you have at your disposal each turn, and they can be set to work in a bunch of different ways. Be it chopping wood, pickaxing in the mines, farming plots of land, or raising cattle. All these things will supply you with a steady stream of resources you can then use to expand your town and get more workers, more troops, and more buildings. To keep all these people happy though, you will need to be able to feed them, which is where the farming and animal keeping comes in. As a lord, it is up to you to decide on how much rations you give out, though making your people go hungry will piss them off pretty quickly. Which in turn can stop them from wanting to pay their taxes, your main source of income. Every turn represents one season, with the weather also changing the resources available. Things get more complicated still by random events like famines happening, meaning you’ll have to adapt your plans to stay on top of everything.

With your earned money and the other resources you gather, such as metals and wood, you can build and upgrade buildings or occasionally buy supplies from traveling merchants. There are many different types of buildings for you to choose from, ranging from churches that keep your commoners happy to smiths who will make weapons for you. Combined with the barracks, this will allow you to steadily build up and train your own army of loyal troops, which you can then use to conquer new land and continue growing. This will become more difficult as you start conquering land from other lords, who won’t be pleased that you want to destroy their own hard-built towns. This brings us to the other main form of gameplay: battles.

The combat in Rising Lord works like a turn-based card game, where you move your troops over the grid to engage with enemies. You also play cards dependent on which troops you took with you into battle, which can grant stat boosts to morale and other passive effects. Besides these cards, however, you will need to rely mostly on having a bigger and stronger army. There are environmental factors that can turn the tide of battle and if you’re smart you can also try using other tactics such as besieging a city to defeat your enemy. Diplomacy will be available in the game at a later stage but isn’t as of right now. Multiplayer is already available, with up to four players battling it out in a free-for-all. For those who want to get creative, there is the ability to design your own custom maps or dress up your lord as you see fit.


Rising Lords shows promise to become a good game for every strategist out there looking for a change of pace. Its unique look and less detail-oriented gameplay make it easy to enjoy even for people who aren’t used to this genre, while still delivering on solid gameplay for the more veteran warlords out there who want a challenge.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rising Lords - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Rising Lords – Review
    January 26, 2024, 00:01

    […] both turn-based strategy games and management sims, we’ve had our eyes on the game for a while. We’ve even previewed one of the Early Access builds in 2020 on this very site. Over three years have passed since, so we were more than eager to return to […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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