Nova Roma is an upcoming city-building game in which you will take the reins of a decaying Roman Empire so as to bring it back to its former glory. You will need to juggle complex features unique to Lion Shield’s new game, from supply chains to terrain manipulation. Nova Roma brings brand-new elements to the strategy table as it requires you to focus on all sorts of specific work relevant to the city’s survival and the Roman Empire thriving. As a fan of history and management sims myself, this is definitely one I’ll be keeping my eye on.
Lion Shield, an indie development team (made up of two best friends, seriously how wholesome can it get?) known for the best-selling city-builder Kingdoms and Castles, is heading the project in hopes of delivering yet another strategy banger (for me to obsess over). Get ready to face all sorts of troubles within your empire, from unavoidable floods caused by relentless heavy rains to unhappy citizens looking to overthrow your reign. The game comes with a little bit of everything from city-building games and then some. Kingdoms and Castles sold over a million copies on Steam within its first year, so I have no doubts about Lion Shield’s capability within the genre.
Some of the new key features Nova Roma is bringing with it include an innovative new running water mechanic that incorporates manipulation via infrastructure, expansive supply chains leading into resource-rich areas, city management through things like edicts, and a population with a wide range of needs from food to coliseum games. Yep, you can build coliseums and host some not-so-family-friendly gladiator events within them.
I forgot to mention one of the things that I am personally looking forward to most in Nova Roma, and that is its variety of enemies. Sure, you’ll face the usual barbarians and rival folk, but you’ll also have to go up against some much, much bigger fish. Gods are coming to Nova Roma and they are going to be notoriously relentless. The developers themselves have said that the Gods of the Roman pantheon are always “watching” and that “if they’re not appeased, punishment will rain down upon the land.”
As a huge fan of Greek and Roman mythology, I cannot wait to see how the pantheon is brought into Nova Roma. The devs said they “hope to create the best ancient roman-era city builder we can, set in a world informed by both history and mythology.” I am both excited yet mildly terrified to also go up against omnipotent beings, but the fact that this is a feature must mean that I will be capable of building one of the most fearsome versions of the Roman Empire around. We’re talkin’ nastier than Nero himself, baby.
Another feature I’m super excited to see play out is the terraforming in Nova Roma. Modeling my terrain any way I want is something I love doing in games like Minecraft or Terraria, but I have yet to experience doing so in a city-building game like this. Hopefully, the big maps provide some serious opportunity for ample customization, because I am very ready to sculpt some Roman land.
If Nova Roma has piqued your interest just as much as it has mine, be sure to browse through some of our other favorite strategy games. You can also look at a few of the best war games if you prefer to play through a more combat-focused title, or the best medieval games if you’d like to digitally live through a slightly different era of times past.