Steampunk City-Builder Lethis – Path of Progress Released

We live in happier times for building cities for imaginary people, after several dark but mostly tedious years. Cities: Skylines has done a fine job picking up where Sim City-ish left off before it stumbled, tumbled, broke its legs, and was shot on the track by a licensed sim doctor. If you prefer your city-building more in the style of Caesar and Pharaoh, hey, here’s a game inspired by them.

Lethis – Path of Progress [official site] launched yesterday, a steampunk take on that old Impressions Games style.

Path of Progress takes cities up from the mud to small villages and towns, through the industrial revolution and ultimately to steampunk brick and brass sprawl with vast monuments and visiting airships. As well as building cities, you obviously need to keep your citizens happy – our own cities still ripple with aftershocks from the industrial revolution. Along with a 26-mission campaign, it has a sandbox mode to build as you please.

It does look jolly pretty, from its quaint Victorian terraced houses to steampunk laboratories bubbling with green fluids.

Lethis – Path of Progress will run you £15/19€/$20 on Steam. Mac and Linux versions are to follow “soon”. Developers Triskell Interactive plan for this to be the first game in the wider Lethis universe.

Here, have a launch trailer:


  1. ButteringSundays says:

    This looks gorgeous – I love city building games but burn out on them quick (I think I actually enjoy the planning and plotting things out more than making something function).

    Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    Thanks, Alice, for always taking a few words to mention the Mac/Linux versions of games. It’s nice to be acknowledged.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Yea as a PC gamer that actually probably spends more time gaming on a macbook in front of the telly than using my dedicated windows gaming rig I also appreciate this!

    • filsd says:

      This! Alice seems to be the only one that does this on RPS. Polygon also does it. And in alphabetical order! I know, AMAZING concept. :]

    • thmal says:

      I second (third) this.

    • Aldwin says:

      Absolutely! Thanks Alice! (between this and your writing style/sense of humour, you’re rapidly becoming my favourite writer here)
      I have a windows partition but with the increasing wealth of linux games available it’s a rare game I’ll boot into it for. Most games that are windows only now go on the “meh” pile.

  3. trollomat says:

    Haha, Hosenfeld!

  4. Kefren says:

    “Scenarised missions.”
    Is that a real word? Seems strange to include it in your launch trailer. Also the “A detailed tutorial” is a mixed thing – some may like it, but I know I often get bored with tutorials and want to just learn as I play. Ah, the memories of longwinded tutorials that drag on and on… (Shudder).

    • RedWurm says:

      The tutorial is pretty long, but it does cover basically everything in the game (some of which you can work out for yourself if you’d prefer) and it is basically a series of easy missions with brief dialogue when you complete the objectives. I didn’t mind it at all.

      And yes, some of the loacalisation is a little wonky, but charmingly so.

  5. UMOarsman says:

    Hivemind – take a look at the “reviews” on Steam. It seems awfully fishy – almost like they’ve paid for reviews and given folks the language they want included. I’d love to see if I’m the only one who noticed – perhaps I’m just out in left field on this one.

    • Sinsem says:

      I don’t think I will ever spend a cent on something that stupid. Plus, we certainly do not have the money to do it at the moment.
      The game had a troubled launch, yes, we’re working on fixing all the issues players have encountered so far. If you’re afraid the game isn’t stable enough for you, wait for a few patches. But please, do not accuse us of paying for good reviews, that’s insulting.

      • pepperfez says:

        And even if you wanted to, I’m pretty sure all the payola-accepting reviewers are under contract with Warner Brothers right now.

    • Hobbes says:

      Maybe not paid, no, but there’s a strange case of commonality of language. That’s really -odd-, I read every review just for idle curiosity and there’s chunks of text that seem to be literally the same from review to review.

      It was like looking at some kind of house of mirrors where each reflection was kindof different but ultimately the same. Spooky.

    • Flopper says:

      Haha I just went and read them after I read this on RPS. I tend to agree. Def some very similar wordage going on. And it only has 36 Steam reviews. Technically they wouldn’t have to pay anyone. That amount of reviews is small enough you could either do them yourself or have your friends do them. ;)

      Either way I’ll wait until I see a real review from RPS or PC Gamer or something.

      I tend to not trust any Steam reviews since they’re so easily manipulated. You can see good games with bad reviews because the community is butthurt because maybe the developer removed some cleavage. NEGATIVE REVIEW BOMB! Or bad games that have a bunch of bloated fake reviews. Safer to just wait. I’m tired of getting burned on Steam.

    • mike2R says:

      Not sure I’m especially convinced. Some of the profiles of the reviewers are public, and they certainly seem to be real Steam accounts with lots of hours on commercial games, and only a handful of reviews.

      Assuming they are legitimate, they’re likely to be people who have been anticipating the game, and presumably are probably fans of the games this tries to follow on from, so a certain amount of groupthink is understandable – though does mean the reviews aren’t especially useful for a more general audience.

      If you wanted to interpret it nefariously, friends and family would seem more likely than paid reviewers. But I really don’t see the evidence to start chucking around accusations like that, however common a practice it is.

    • Guy Montag says:

      They also share a love of the genre, which is about as niche as you can get. As someone who also likes said genre, I’d probably start my review similarly, just to get the whole ‘if you’re in the club, you can stop reading now and get it’ out of the way.

    • lutjasuki says:

      ugh :( I managed to post this comment in reply to completely the wrong post. I hope this repeat ends up in the right place.

      I read the conspiracy rewiew comments as well but I checked and all the reviewers are real steam users. They are probably the early adopters that have probably been gagging for this game. Massive technical problems at the moment – likely because this was a super-indy game with just 6 developers and no real budget. Still the people that have been able to play it really do love it. I am dying to play this game and am waiting eagerly for the necessary patches.

    • alms says:

      Maybe beta testers?

  6. LogicalDash says:

    Oh yay, developers are here!

    You guys, I’m thinking of getting this game for my dad and his horrid old laptop. It seems like Lethis itself might well run on such hardware, but running Steam on the thing led to bad things in the past; are you planning on releasing thru any other stores?

    • Sinsem says:

      Yes, I can’t say when though, we have to make the steam version stable before.

    • magnificent octopus says:

      Just a heads up, according to at least one review on Steam, the game currently won’t run with integrated graphics, you have to have a video card. My new bought-on-a-budget laptop uses integrated graphics, so I took notice of that.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Any chance that someone from RPS might take a look at this and write something about it? Mr Smith, maybe? Or the other Mr Smith?

  8. KDR_11k says:

    Hm, looks like Anno, does it play like that?

    • RedWurm says:

      A bit – it’s more like pharaoh and that type of game, but moved a bit further towards puzzly abstraction of the systems. You have the workers -> production chain -> resources -> more, better workers loop, but all the services are distributed by road, so you have to plan out pathing and work areas quite early, as well as stuff like land value.

      Your mileage may vary, but I’m very much enjoying it – it was a bit of an impulse buy – despite a couple of crashes. But then it looks so delightful when it’s moving I can forgive it a lot.

  9. karrotman says:

    Sierra city builders anyone? Seeing this trailer gave me a huge hit of nostalgia, i played so much Caesar 3 when i was a kid.

  10. Jimbo says:

    It’s a re-skin of the Impressions city builders except a bit more broken.

    A lot of the design is incredibly obtuse and it would very much benefit from someone on the design team having played a game released in the last fifteen years or so.