Serf City: Life is Feudal

aka: Die Siedler, Gongren Wuyu, The Settlers
Moby ID: 425
Amiga Specs

Description official description

A strategy game with cartoony graphics and an innocent line in humour. At the start of the level you choose a starting point, the intention being to get lots of flat land as well as resources to mine and ideally existing sources of trees, stones and water (for fish). Your people are vying for supremacy with up to 3 others.

The gameplay focuses on resource management. Each building requires a certain amount of wood (and stones for some of them) to be constructed and requires particular resources to perform its function successfully. Food must be produced (either fish, bread (requiring a windmill, grain-farmer and baker) or pork (requiring a pig-farmer and butcher as well as the grain-farm) to feed the people working in mines to produce the iron, coal and gold (as well as additional stones).

Huts and Watch-Towers are built to expand your territory, sometimes at the expense of an enemy's land (clever play involves targeting an area where your opponent has a crucial building, thus compromising his production).

To finally win the level, you must defeat your opponents. Combat is fought one-at-a-time by the little soldiers and a victory results in all surrounding buildings being lost.

The game features 30 preset missions. 6 tutorials missions will help beginners to learn the game mechanics. The game also offers the possibility to play semi-randomly (based on a 16-number key) generated maps. The map size varies from small maps, for quick matches, to large maps to, depending on how much RAM is available, huge maps, for very long matches as the fact that the in-game statistics can be displayed on a 50-hour scale illustrates. These semi-random maps can be played in single-player mode but can also be played by 2 players on one system, if you have 2 mice, in which case the screen is vertically split.

Spellings

  • 工人物语 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Screenshots

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Credits (Amiga version)

13 People

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 85 ratings with 3 reviews)

A breath of fresh air - strategic and innovative yet humourous and surprising

The Good
The graphics are luscious, with an amazing amount of attention to detail as each of the professionals go about their business. I especially loved the animations of the fisherman and the miners.

The depth of the economic system in which every resource has its uses and must be correctly allocated, is staggering. The raw materials are chopped down, grown, mined or cut up, then transformed and assigned. When you run out of something, it's always your fault, and can be overcome thanks to the emergency program.

Constructing the road system takes practice, but allows for a myriad of routes ensuring no clogs.

Positioning your initial castle, and the guard huts and watchtowers to expand, is always a compromise, and, as ever, a small decision can have huge effects later. Make sure to get yourself as much mine land as possible, plus some smooth ground, and ideally waters for the fishing, as this is the easiest way to produce the food.

Another thing I love is the combat, both on attack and defence. The cutesy look conceals great depth and strategy, with the chance to target a specific hut so as to cut off or burn down a crucial part of their production chain - of course, they can do this to you as well.

The Bad
It's a little too easy to make costly mistakes early on whose full repercussions are unpredictable, and don't unleash themselves for several hours' play, which is frustrating.

The Bottom Line
The introduction sequence sets the scene perfectly - making it clear that this is no dry functional strategy game. The basic concept of controlling a society by allocating resources to produce food, tools and weapons, via farming, mining, forestry and milling amongst others, and attacking the enemies to conquer the whole area. It's been done many times, before and since, but this series stands alone for many reasons

DOS · by Martin Smith (61) · 2003

In the same league as Civilization (though different), this game is the Genuine Article.

The Good
Serf City is one of the games I used to play for hours and hours on the 386 (and later on the 486). Surpassed only by Civilization, this game had no real competition in the God department: an incredible combination of great music, good control, pleasent graphics and amazingly addictive gameplay. Though I like the Amiga version better (despite its lack of memory handicap) I have to admit the PC conversion is very true to the original and presents the user with an incredibly satisfying simulation of controlling ridiculous feudal territories.

The Bad
It's repetitive, but otherwise damn near perfect.

The Bottom Line
A genius game. If you liked Civilization you will certainly like this one.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 1999

Old good time city building and war...

The Good
Settlers is a game in which I can admire the construction of an efficient state that grew above the competition - and then make the act of extermination on a much weaker opponent.

When you select a game mode, shows the land on which you are free to look around. Now, target player seems pretty trivial-must find a good site on the state. However, you should try to get access to resources - trees, rocks, and lakes for fisherman. It should also be near the mountains to locate the mine. Now you can go to the development of the state. And here comes the eternal and the biggest advantage of Settlers - developed economy. In other real-time strategies typically peasant mowing the tree, and it offered up to the main castle, also the same man was coming raw materials and build buildings. Here these activities is already a skilled workforce. For example, the woodsman cuts the trees, and the trunks of the trees are processed into boards in a sawmill. Both the logger and sawmill worker need tools to them and the need for raw materials - coal and iron. The miners, however, without food just will not work. To create structures are needed builders and individuals who are equal area. Food supply, for example, a fisherman, but he needs a rod. To top it all needs - personally set - road transport, operated by another "specialist", porters - for demarcation too long path may be a shortage of goods .... And so all the time, playing to its complexity today, astonished, still not getting old.

The Bad
After create the state, of course, there comes a moment that you meet with your neighbor - or neighbors, the game may be up to 3 enemies at once - and the output is only one. Unfortunately, tactical side is simplified - just have watchtowers / castles on the border, mark by a opponent's watchtower, and give order to attack. Here ends the role of the player, the soldiers are fighting automatically, in honorable combat 1 on 1, until the "blood" end. In fact, the fight is only the crowning of the player who can create a better infrastructure.

Settlers has a poor image in low resolution - 320x240 or "slightly better" SVGA 640x480. Despite this, elite players will enjoy different flavors minor details to the game by its creator - even animations workers are exceptional refined, of course, as for 1993. The music is simple and not very high quality - I think it's MIDI, but I'm not sure - nice play in the background, creating an appropriate atmosphere.

The Bottom Line
I personally wholeheartedly recommend Settlers - if you're a player who values great gameplay, not graphics, you should be thrilled. Settlers can calm down and delight like no other game. Were it not for the fact that it is a RTS, you could talk about the syndrome "one more turn". However, this is not a game for everyone - not just any player, especially a spoiled by current production, slightly longer sees beauty covered with dust .... Settlers are great.

DOS · by 666gonzo666 (67810) · 2013

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Settlers appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Combat

The way the battles were handled in this game was infamously polite and hilarious. If you wished to attack an village, your soldiers would walk up to the enemy barracks and knock on the door. Then one of their units would come out and you would duke it out mano a mano. Repeat until either you or they ran out of units.

Development

One of Massive Development's (today a JoWood company) first projects was the porting of the highly successful Blue Byte game from Amiga to PC. To do this, Massive developed an Amiga to PC assembly language translator. Serf City: Life is Feudal sold several hundred thousand copies worldwide.

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Game in 1994 (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Strategical in 1994 (Readers' Vote)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #25 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1994 – Best Amiga Game in 1993
  • Świat Gier Komputerowych (Poland)
    • Issue 01/1995 - Golden Disk Award for the best foreign game of 1994

Information also contributed by Stillman

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Related Sites +

  • Siedlercommunity (german)
    A complete german site which offers descriptions, strategies, cheats and more for the first and the second part of "Die Siedler".

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 425
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Robert Morgan.

Amiga added by Rantanplan.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Ummagumma, Terok Nor, Unicorn Lynx, Martin Smith, BostonGeorge, Patrick Bregger, Karsa Orlong, FatherJack.

Game added November 14, 1999. Last modified January 28, 2024.