Title: Kingdom
Platform: Windows, Mac, Steam, iOS

Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: Strategy, Sim, rogue lite

Players: Single player


Written by Whistler 9th November 2015














The King is dead, long live The King…

The sun sets and I can only hope my men will hold out the night.

Kingdom is a side scrolling strategy resource management sim where you with a crown on your head and a couple of coins on hand must forge your kingdom from the sweat of your brow.

Balance is the true essence of Kingdom and where it generates tension to send the flow in motion. The game utilizes a single currency required to purchase and upgrade all the tools you’ll need for a thriving kindom. Coins are used to purchase all manners of tools from building or upgrading structures like walls, to paying for bows, hammers and scythes and even to purchase the services of the local populace (after all a Kingdom is nothing without it’s people).



























Its slow pace allows you to settle in while you get to grips with the inner workings of your fledgling Kingdom and the slow methodical burn allows for some nice zen-like relaxation, until it wakes you up with your first blood moon that is. There’s a somewhat nice sense of progression as you expand your mini empire and start to see your investments flourish though does make game over all the more of a harsh punishment.

A common method for elongating a game’s lifespan, Kingdom utilizes some rogue lite elements. Should the time come, and it will, that you lose your crown to the shadows that lurk in the woods your Kingdom will fall into darkness. Upon game over your progress is reset and it’s time to start from scratch again, however given how long it takes to so much as get a foothold in the lands the harshness of a complete reset just took its toll.

Sure the first few times the mistake falls on the player, whether you focuses too much on archers or perhaps didn’t fortify both sides equally. But eventually it results in hours of wasted time where you’ll fail with no lesson learned. You can imagine after two or three times this tedium begins to takes its toll.


I felt that Kingdom overly relies on its main source of difficulty. Bar the very basic controls nothing is explained to the player; not the goal, the properties of certain structures, nor how stupendously brain dead your army is.

In fact Kingdom is often far too simplistic and committed to its bare-bones approach that it often seems as odds with the player.



























Even once you’ve finally learned Kingdom’s tricks the game starts to spark and shows just how much isn’t going on. As your territory expands traversing the map from side to side becomes an increasingly obnoxious task. While at first I enjoyed the minimalist interface (in that besides a coin count there is none), I loathed is as my kingdom grew larger, the lack of any kind of map, how many archers I had or if we were under attack.

Alas despite a beautiful visual aesthetic and some creative gameplay methods Kingdom falls short after its first initial hours. It overly relies on ham-fisted methods for artificial difficulty and runs out of content far too quickly to justify multiple playthroughs. While lacking Kingdom is certainly an interesting title that if expanded upon could provide for a fantastic sequel.


Pros:   

Creative approach to the genre,

Creates some nice tension,

Mystery builds intrigue.


Cons:   

Becomes a dull slog,

Underwhelming end game,

Relies on player’s lack of knowledge for difficulty,
Low replayability.


Final verdict,

Kingdom impresses at first hand but becomes its own enemy with a 5.5/10.


Written by,

Whistler


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