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Patron is a survival city-builder in the vein of Banished

There's a free demo now

Patron looks to me like The Settlers: a peaceful medieval citybuilder about laying down paths and watching your peeps trundle between farmstead and market. It is, according to its Steam reviews, more akin to Banished: a survival citybuilder about both outlasting winter and appeasing the social simulation of your town.

In either case, Patron feels worthy of further patronage. It came out a week ago and there's a demo available.

Cover image for YouTube videoPatron Release Trailer

You can guess at most of what you do in the game by looking at a screenshot. You place buildings, you advance through a tech tree, you try to keep everyone fed, and you try to stockpile enough food that your citizens don't starve when winter comes.

It's the social simulation that interests me most. "Every decision you make as Patron will be met with different reactions from different social groups," says the game's Steam page. "You'll need real political talent to balance sensitive matters as religion, immigration, loyalty, poverty... Whatever you choose to do can lead to unforeseen consequences years later."

That's the kind of game development claim that could be the precursor to really interesting challenges, drama, and RimWorld-style anecdotes. Or, as is more common, it could be too good to be true.

There's a demo available on the Patron Steam page linked above if you want to find out. There's also an encouraging signs for the future of the game from its developer, in that they've released five updates in the past seven days to fix bugs, tweak the balance, and improve the UI.

Patron costs £15.49/€20 and is available now from Steam, Humble and GOG.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.