Vertical city builder Laysara: Summit Kingdom just surprise launched on Steam

I'm not much of a city-builder girl—too many moving parts for my brain to handle—but I have been rather excited for the release of Laysara: Summit Kingdom. Trying to build an entire city up craggy cliffs and steep mountains all while trying to prevent your settlements being crushed by a giant ice ball sounds deliciously menacing to me. I've been wondering how much longer I'll have to wait—turns out the answer is "zero minutes" as the game has just surprise-dropped in early access on Steam.

Laysara was originally supposed to release sometime in 2023, but a November update from developer Quite OK Games announced it was being pushed back to early 2024. 

"We realized we'll need some extra time to deliver a polished and complete experience on launch," a Steam news post read. "There are only three of us, so sometimes things take longer than we'd like to. However, releasing a solid game enjoyable for every city-builder fan out there remains our top priority, it'll just take a little longer."

The early access version of Laysara will have six scenarios available at launch, taking place across a variety of mountain maps. A map could take anywhere from a couple of hours into the double digits to complete, depending on how avalanche-avoidant you manage to be. You can do these in the standard scenario mode, or dive into challenge mode for some bite-sized toughies. If (like me) making things pretty is more your thing, the early access release also comes with a free build mode. 

There's no campaign mode yet, with Quite OK Games saying it'll be added with the game's full release. As for when you can expect that, the game's Steam page estimates it'll be "around 6-12 months" before Laysara makes its way out of early access.

I'm excited to dive in, having previously tucked into the game's demo last year and listing it as one of Steam Next Fest's best offerings. City-builder enjoyer Chris Livingston has also had his eye on Laysara, listing it as one of the seven games in the genre he was most excited for in 2023

"I've wanted to play this since the moment I first saw it, and the demo does not disappoint," he wrote. "Building a city on the side of a mountain is intriguing enough already, but being able to zoom out, revolve the camera around the mountain, and then zoom back on the other side is amazing. 

"Throw in the challenges of resource management and moving materials around steep cliffs, and the threat of natural disasters like avalanches, and Laysara: Summit Kingdom should be at the top of your city building wishlist."

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.