I have been playing a lot of Medieval Dynasty of late (50hrs+ according to Steam), and its a very interesting game cloaked in the very familiar trappings of a builder/survival sim set in about as generic a medieval setting as you can make (and I say that as a big positive for the game).
Let’s start with those basics. This is a single-player game where you play a peasant who has recently arrived in this area (the map), and must build a home and eventually community/village. The map is big and features a number of NPC towns, with those different towns having different vendors who sell/buy things, NPCs with small quests/tasks, traveling NPCs who you can eventually recruit, plus NPCs who just live in that village. Between towns there are forests and mountains and streams, all with resources you can collect to build stuff.
Building stuff is the core gameplay loop here, first for basic tools (axe to cut tree, spear to hunt animals, etc), and then buildings such as your home, crafting stations, storage, etc. Think of that part of the game as a city sim, only instead of god-view you are in control of just one builder. It works really well here, and seeing your town grow as you progress feels really rewarding.
The game has a nice seasons model, with the default setting being 3 in-game days per season. Each season looks visually different on the map (snow in winter, spring plants growing, fall leaves, etc), and has gameplay impact as well, mostly around what crops you can plant, grow, or harvest.
Once you have a settlement going, you spend most of your time progressing it further. Sometimes that’s crafting tools for your workers, or going out to collect materials yourself, or building a new building. It can also mean visiting different NPC towns to buy new seeds or livestock, or selling what you produce. You will also want to complete various quests for more dynasty points (reputation basically) or some nice higher-tier tool rewards. There is always something to do. In fact, there is almost always too much to do, and assigning your villagers to tasks helps spread this out. This can include resource gathering, tending to crops, or crafting tools for others to use.
Setting up these supply chains is another fun aspect of the game, as you want villagers to help you out, but you must also house and feed them, which itself is a resource drain and requires some attention. That said once you have a dozen or so villagers, seeing them go about their tasks is really fun, as is seeing their skills progress and their work unlocking more technology (new buildings, new crafts). Your own character also has progression, and as you do things (gather, craft, quest), you get XP in those areas to unlock perk points.
What makes Dynasty really enjoyable for me however, beyond the basic setup, is that the balance and pacing is really solid. The game is never ‘hard’ in that you lose, but its easy to spot areas where you can do things more efficiently, and working out those efficiencies is rewarded with more time to do other things. It also nails the ‘feel’ of things like chopping down a tree, or hunting an animal, or building your town. The UI and how it communicates some information isn’t perfect, but once you are comfortable with it none of it feels painful or gets in the way of enjoying the game. Its also a very easy game to play for 30 minutes and gets some work down around your village, or for longer sessions where you play multiple days and see things really progress.
The game is ending Early Access soon, but in its current version I haven’t experienced any bugs or issues. As the price is increasing with the 1.0 version, if this at all interests you I’d suggest grabbing it now.