Rising Lords Review – Swords, Boards & Enemy Hordes

Rising Lords is basically like chess but with an update.

Hristijan Pavlovski
Hristijan Pavlovski - Content Writer
5 Min Read
Rising Lords
7 Good
Review Overview

In recent years, I’ve started veering my interests away from AAA games and more to the indie scene. It’s in that space where I’ve found some of my favorite games in the past few years. Rising Lords, for example, is an indie game that’s charmed me with its art. Let’s take a look inside and see what it has to offer.

What’s It All About?

Rising Lords Main Menu
Main Menu Screen

There isn’t really a specific thing that Rising Lords does, rather, it tries to do a bit of everything with varying levels of success. Out of all of its game modes, I found the campaign to be the most interesting.

In it, you play the role of Tankred, an up-and-coming noble’s son tasked with maintaining order in his family’s demesne in an increasingly chaotic world. I found the narrative to be palpable, but it’s the art direction I really fell in love with.

Rising Lords Intro Cutscene
Intro Cutscene

Although cartoony, you can recognize in certain elements the high level of research that went into creating the art assets. Everything from the architecture to the character design feels authentic, which is really nice for immersion.

Where I think the campaign lacks is in the campaign map side of things. If I had to describe it I would say it’s a sequence of significant events separated by a large portion of downtime.

The game noticeably struggles with infecting you with the “one more turn” virus. In my experience, only a few turns had significant and fun problems to resolve, the rest were just filled with monotonous tasks & dull drudgery.

Sandbox Is Pretty Fun Though

Scenario Map
Scenario Map

While the campaign likes to take things slow, the scenario game mode is the polar opposite. Scenarios are a sort of sandbox mode, and there are about a dozen to choose from, ranging from two to four-player maps.

Scenarios allow you to customize everything, from the playstyle of AI lords and their aptitude to the starting resources for each player. I found scenarios quite fun because they gave me complete freedom to tinker around and play the game how I wanted.

Pre Battle Screen
Pre Battle Screen

I actually learned how to play the game in the scenario game mode. It’s here that I got to tackle every facet of economic management and warfare. Speaking about warfare, it’s pretty neat. Warfare in Rising Lords operates on a hex-based rock, paper, scissors mechanic. Spears beat horses, archers beat light infantry, etc

Cards are a cool addition that allow you to influence the dynamic of the battles by introducing new elements like traps or buffs/debuffs for the troops on the battlefield. If chess even got an update, this is what it would look like.

Final Verdict on Rising Lords

Server Selection
Server Selection Screen

All in all, Rising Lords is a decent enough game. It takes inspiration from chess, Battle Brothers, and the Civilization series and it combines it all into a pretty entertaining package. It’s a polished enough experience, though I think it suffers a lot from content spacing issues.

It’s good for a couple of hours of fun, but that’s about it. Unfortunately, its multiplayer scene is rather dead, which is a shame because a game like this is perfect for multiplayer skirmishes. But what do you think? Is there a chance to resurrect the multiplayer scene or not? Let us know in the comments below.

What did you think of our review of Rising Lords? Share what you think about it in the comments below.

This review is based on the PC version of Rising Lords. The key was provided by Deck13.

Review Overview
Good 7
Overall Score 7
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By Hristijan Pavlovski Content Writer
Bachelor of Philosophy and Content Writer. In my free time, I also write fantasy short stories and the odd philosophy book here and there. I’m also an avid fan of strategy games and RPGs.
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