The Settlers also known as Serf City: Life is Feudal is a game about settling land, and expanding through conquest. But the focus of the game is rather on the actual building your empire than conquest.
When the game starts you have to place your palace. This will be your first step towards settling the whole map. The palace will serve as a storage depot, but also as shelter for your subjects. There is also a limited supply of resources stored within its walls, just to get you started. The next step is to gather basic resources which are stone and wood. Also, a very important and basic resource is food. It is needed to feed your soldiers and miners. As a general rule, the more you grow the more types of resources you will need. But the game is more complex than just gathering resources. For example, there are options like the order of item distribution, which sets the order in which items will be transported. But raising your empire by cutting wood and gathering stone still seems pretty dull... However, as I have stated before, there is more to this game than that: expansion and conquest. How do you expand? By building a military structure next to your borders! The closer to the actual border the building is the more land you will acquire after your soldiers inhabit it. As you expand you will have to battle your enemies. This is done with soldiers (duh!), which will be recruited as you build more military structures. They are recruited from the pool of peasants (or workers as they are called in this game). As more and more peasants get recruited, the stock of weapons from your castle diminishes. When it reaches zero, no more soldiers will be available. You will have to forge weapons at a blacksmith to be able to make more soldiers. In order to have a good army (quality wise), you will also have to feed them, and deliver gold coins to their garrison. By delivering gold, they train, and become better and more fearsome killing machines.
The graphics are very nice! The sound is nothing exceptional and there is an intro movie, which is very nice as well. An interesting feature, this game offers the “two mouse” mode. This is a kind of split-screen hot seat. Other game modes are: campaign, 1 player skirmish map, 2 players skirmish map, a tutorial, and a demo. You can play with up to 3 computer controlled players. Except for that, you can also set the map size, by choosing a figure in between 1-8. But beware because the bigger the map size, the bigger your RAM figure has to be. So, for example, to play an 8 size map, you would need 8 MB RAM minimum. However, I don't think this will present much of a problem today.
In closing, I would like to say that this game is a simply great, and that it fully deserves the 5 mark, although it has a hilarious fighting system (I'm not going into this because this is a review and not a walkthrough... if you want to witness it, you'll just have to download it and see for yourself)
Sidenote: The Settlers uses an isometric perspective for display. This means that the playfield is technically two-dimensional, but drawn in an isometric view so that the game looks three-dimensional. Other, more modern, games which also use isometric perspective include: Red Alert 2(2000), Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura(2001), and even Never Winter Nights(2002), as many more other games.
-in Windows you will not get sound. Best play this game in Dos mode, or in Dos Box;
-if you launch the game with "settlers" or "quickn", you will not be able to activate the SVGA mode. If you want to enable SVGA mode, you will have to launch the game using one of these executables: "settlern" or "quick"
If you have problems with the game, check the readme, or post a message in our forums!