Lakeburg Legacies – PC Review

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Newton’s Third Law states “For every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Imagine you’re playing Jenga. Each block removed from the tower solves your current problem but adds a potential future issue. Now, imagine that each Jenga block has a thread linked to 2 or 3 other blocks. When one moves, the others are affected, and the effects cascade further and further. Oh, and the blocks are on fire. Welcome to Lakeburg Legacies! This juggling act of a Social Management sim is developed and published by French studio Ishtar Games, who have a strong background in the genre.

Lakeburg Legacies – All’s fair in love and resource management

The "Distracted Boyfriend" meme in Lakeburg Legacies art style.
Distracted partners will be just one of your concerns.

I first covered this game briefly in my 4 Games Still To Come In 2023 article last month which you can check out here. I’m hoping to bring you reviews for the rest of those games before New Year but for now, let’s take a deeper look at Lakeburg Legacies.


As a social management sim, Lakeburg Legacies focuses a lot on the villagers. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Their wants and needs? Their aspirations and abilities? These questions and answers will drive your village forward or grind it into dust.

Things begin very chill. You’ll have one villager and one production building, a lumberjacks’ lodge. Put your villager to work there and you’ll start amassing timber to use for further construction projects, such as housing and places of work/entertainment.

A screenshot of the beginning of a game in Lakeburg Legacies. The village has only 2 occupants and one building.
Maybe things will always be this simple.

You’ll also want to find a partner for your villager. This is an opportunity to bring some varied expertise to your village, provided you can manufacture a good match-up between an existing villager and their suitor. Each villager has 3 job aspirations which indicate how well they will be able to perform in those roles. However, you aren’t limited to using them in these specific jobs and their attributes will also indicate what other work they may be suited to. You’ll sometimes need to make tough decisions as to whether you match a couple based on their hobbies, or force a relationship to suit your employment needs.

You’ll have a supply of Hearts that can be used to cycle through potential love interests until you find a suitable combination of job qualities, hobbies and social standing. If you run out though, you’ll be stuck with the current person. Hearts are earned by creating and maintaining strong relationships between villagers and you’ll gain some based on the number of peasants in your Lakeburg. These Hearts can also be used to influence social relationships in a variety of ways, e.g., force a couple to have a child or break them up.

Tindra's screen in Lakeburg Legacies. This shows the UI used to select love interests for your villagers, showing their matching or clashing hobbies, the attributes of the potential new villager and their job aspirations.
What’s love got to do with it?

It takes a village

As your village expands, so will the number of spinning plates you’ll need to keep an eye on. Keep your villagers housed, happy, employed, and make sure their needs are met by expanding job slots in specific buildings or upgrading production values. Later into a game, Illicit Buildings will make an appearance. These can begin to have negative effects on your village as a whole if not correctly managed or countered. This may require you to build a hospital to keep people healthy now that you have a rat infestation or erect a church to counteract the sins committed at the pleasure house.  You will also eventually be able to crown a ruler which enables the ability to generate taxes to assist with upgrades and expansions.

The Prestige UI in Lakeburg Legacies. This shows from where and how much Prestige your village is currently production. There's a section in the middle listing several objectives which can be met in order to gain a one-off bonus amount of Prestige.
There’s plenty of freedom in how you can approach generating Prestige.

Ultimately, your overall goal in Lakeburg Legacies is to make your village as prestigious as possible. Prestige is earned through having well-matched couples, noble class villages, certain traits, late-game production buildings and the Castle. You can also earn bonus amounts by fulfilling specific objectives during a game.

Graphics & Audio

As a game with a lot of information to dish out, visual presentation is vitally important. Thankfully, Ishtar Games has given Lakeburg Legacies a useful and adaptable interface. I generally had the information I needed directly in front of me, or a couple of clicks away. It did take a bit of time to get used to where everything was within the menus and UI though, so don’t expect to breeze through with familiarity until you’re a few hours in.

I also really liked the variation in villagers. There’s enough here that I don’t remember seeing the same faces twice through the hundreds I interacted with during the course of a playthrough. Jobs and social status also have an effect on villagers’ clothing, which is another great touch. The softer colour palette works well throughout the game and is easy on the eyes, which have a lot of work to do mulling over various statistics, figures and text.

An example of an event in Lakeburg Legacies. 2 villagers are in a pub where one has spilled beer over the other. The player has a choice of reactions for the soaked party, to laugh or to smile politely.
Occasionally, a spontaneous event may occur. This can lead to a variety of outcomes and effects in your village.

I don’t think my brain had much time to focus on the music whilst playing, but there is a suitable medieval folksy vibe to the soundtrack, which obviously suits the setting very well. I did find Tindra’s cooing to be annoying when perusing the match-ups for villagers, but the other audio embellishments were fine.


Lakeburg Legacies comes with a variety of options for setting up a game. I played with the default settings and got through the 75 years in just under 12 hours. There are options for a shorter (50) or longer (100) game, and several gameplay difficulty settings that you can apply to boost or hinder build prices, resource production and status effects.

Anyone who has been sucked into a similar game will know that 12 hours will barely scratch the surface and you’ll be coming back again and again to improve your performance and try different approaches. I’d certainly like to try and unlock all the buildings on a playthrough and see how high I can push that final Prestige total.

The end of game win screen. This shows a completed game of 75 years with a total Prestige score of 78026.
The result of my first playthrough. Can you beat my score?

Final Thoughts

It’s been a while since I played a game that had me jotting down notes and racking my brain for how best to counter situations quite like Lakeburg Legacies has. More than once I had to pause the game and make everyone jobless to re-jig the village into a better configuration. I absolutely relished the challenge of it all though. The illicit buildings in particular proved to be an interesting curveball that had me wishing for more thieves and assassins in the village.

One of the biggest strengths of the game is the freedom in how you can approach play and succeed. You can focus on building strong relationships between villagers, or you can optimise the employment prospects. You can expand your village through recruitment, coupling with outsiders or filling houses with children. You’ll probably find yourself bouncing between these different options during a playthrough to help firefight your current predicaments. This really helps to keep the gameplay loop fresh and challenging.

I hope you’re looking forward to this one. If you are, be on the lookout for the 15% discount on Steam when it launches on the 2oth July.

I am pleased to award Lakeburg Legacies a Thumb Culture Gold Award. Huzzah!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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