Bite-sized Review:
Laysara: Summit Kingdom

Developer: Quite OK Games

Release Date: 11 April, 2024

Platform: Windows

Genre: City Builder

By Chris Picone, 14 April 2024

Laysara: Summit Kingdom is a sweet new city builder in a fictional Himalayan setting.  This unique setting has a huge impact on both aesthetics and gameplay and makes for a very refreshing, challenging & rewarding experience.  


The artwork's absolutely gorgeous! The mountains with their running streams and snowy peaks are beautiful and the team have really gone to great lengths to work on the detail; it's an absolute pleasure to zoom right in and watch your citizens head to work and your little yaks prancing about.  The Himalayan setting provides a fresh tapestry to play with too, with monks and Tibetan stylings. 


For the most part, Laysara plays like any other city builder; it's focuses on economy and resource management, but the environment plays a much bigger role than normal.  First, I wanted to comment that the team have done an amazing job of interweaving all the layers of management so every action and progress you take has a constant ripple-on effect that produces not only a significant challenge but also one that grows as you expand. It's the little things. For example, I might build an academy which is used to research new buildings. The academy requires monks, so I need to build houses for those. But now my population is larger and the monks require food so now I have to build new farms.  And those farms need workers so now I also have to build more lowlander houses - except those workers also to eat, so the expansion required for some small progression can become quite extensive.  Now when you consider that, on the side of a mountain, land is at a premium, that can become challenging, and more-so as you progress.  Add to that further complexities - some landings are smaller than others, only green land can be used for farming, and actually transporting goods from one district to another further up the mountain or over bridges is very difficult or sometimes impossible. Oh, and the weather isn't always friendly. It's a Himalayan mountain and avalanches are a thing.  There's a lot to think about, unlike many city builders, forethought and planning is definitely required for success.



Laysara is a top tier city builder, featuring a number of different maps with layouts and resource availability that really force you to adapt your gameplay, preventing boredom across multiple playthroughs. And then there's the challenges; the game would be worth playing for those alone - and with a freeplay mode on top it's a huge game with a lot to offer and there really is something for everyone here.