Going Retro with The Settlers

A while back I bought some of the old The Settlers games off of GOG. Tonight I finally tried to play them. Settlers 3 had some challenges under Windows 11 but the GOG community had sorted them out and I got up and running without too much bother, but this one might be a bit TOO retro for me. At first I was running it at 640×480 because I forgot that back in the day there was a separate .exe file you’d run to access things like resolution!

So I went from this:

The Settlers 3 running at 640×480

To this:

The Settlers 3 at 1024×768

Definitely an improvement. I couldn’t figure a way to run it in Windowed mode though, and it didn’t much like being Alt-Tabbed out of. There’s also, as far as I could tell, no way to zoom in/out and it just felt like a lot of the UI was going to take a bit too much brain-rewiring.

I decided to move forward a few years and try The Settlers IV which runs at a glorious 1280×1024! Which, OK, doesn’t look that much better in a blog post but when actually playing it felt a lot easier on the eyes.

The Settlers IV at 1280×1024

It also has a much nicer UI, mouse wheel support to zoom in & out (the header image is of my baker, zoomed pretty much all the way in), and most importantly a time skip button. Neither game lets you adjust game speed as far as I can tell, but Settlers 4 skips head some amount of time (10-15 seconds, maybe?) when you tap the F12 button.

I also have The Settlers: Heritage of Kings, which is effectively Settlers V, but I haven’t installed that one yet. (I bought them all as a bundle for a bit less than $6 US.)

I’m not usually a retro gamer but I guess I’ve just been feeling nostalgic for the old days when I was all about the strategy. Not sure how far I’ll go with any of this but just installing them and booting them up and watching the low-res intro videos and stuff has been oddly enjoyable. For $6 I feel like I’ve already gotten my money’s worth.