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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.


Serf City: Life is Feudal DOS many items
Serf City: Life is Feudal DOS Intro - working blacksmith
Serf City: Life is Feudal DOS SVGA mode
Serf City: Life is Feudal DOS Fisherman

Promo Images

Serf City: Life is Feudal Screenshot "Is your castle located on a lakeside? Fish is an important staple food for your settlers"
Serf City: Life is Feudal Screenshot "Set up guardhouses at your borders! As long as they are standing they'll be occupied by soldiers from your castle"
Serf City: Life is Feudal Screenshot "Take a look at the statistics: is everything going as planned?"
Serf City: Life is Feudal Logo

Alternate Titles

  • "工人物语" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "The Settlers" -- European title
  • "Gongren Wuyu" -- Chinese title
  • "Die Siedler" -- German title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Old good time city building and war... 666gonzo666 (61722) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
A breath of fresh air - strategic and innovative yet humourous and surprising Martin Smith (78) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
In the same league as Civilization (though different), this game is the Genuine Article. Tomer Gabel (4646) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

Critic Reviews

Electric Playground Nov 29, 1996 10 out of 10 100
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Jun, 1994 11 out of 12 92
PC Gamer UK Jun, 1994 91 out of 100 91
PC Joker Jun, 1994 91 out of 100 91
Pelit Mar, 1995 90 out of 100 90
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Sep, 1994 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
PC Player (Germany) May, 1994 83 out of 100 83
Play Time May, 1994 82 out of 100 82
PC Gamer Aug, 1994 75 out of 100 75
The DOS Spirit Nov 08, 2005 4 out of 6 67


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1001 Video Games

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


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.


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.


  • 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

Related Web Sites

  • Siedlercommunity (german) (A complete german site which offers descriptions, strategies, cheats and more for the first and the second part of "Die Siedler".)
Robert Morgan (1059) added Serf City: Life is Feudal (DOS) on Nov 14, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Rantanplan (1826)