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Kingdom, A Sidescrolling Strategy Game Released For Linux, Some Initial Thoughts

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Kingdom is an interesting looking 2D sidescrolling strategy/resource management game, and GOG provided a key for me to take a look.

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About the game
Kingdom is a 2D sidescrolling strategy/resource management hybrid with a minimalist feel wrapped in a beautiful, modern pixel art aesthetic. Play the role of a king or queen atop their horse and enter a procedurally generated realm primed to sustain a kingdom, then toss gold to peasants and turn them into your loyal subjects in order to make your kingdom flourish. Protect your domain at night from the greedy creatures looking to steal your coins and crown, and explore the nearby, mysterious forests to discover curious and cryptic artifacts to aid your kingdom.

My thoughts
It’s a bit weird really. I like the idea of it, but I’m just not sure about the execution.

Performance
Zero issues for me. It’s not graphically heavy, but it seems to offer no graphical customization either.

Graphics
I like pixel graphics, but these are really quite simple and we are treated to so damn many pixel games nowadays that they really have to stand out to me—which Kingdom’s graphics do not. They are still really quite lovely, just not really noteworthy on any graphical mark.

Gameplay
Initially it’s a pretty interesting experience, as a strategy fan it was quite exciting to see it done differently. The gameplay can get tiresome pretty quickly once the initial “ooo I can build here” wears off, as it starts to remind me of the facebook-style city builder games, you know the ones where you have to keep clicking everything to get your money. Except this time all you’re doing is holding left, or right for a while at a time to travel across the screen, and watch your horse picking up money all over the place.

It’s actually a little deceptive, as it’s a Tower Defence game in reality with some extra bits and bobs thrown in. Your king/queen needs to survive, and you build up towers each side. From the description the developers give of the game, I expected a lot more to it. You have less control of what’s going on than other strategy games, your only real interaction is dropping gold coins, and selecting pre-defined areas to be built on. You have zero control of your loyally purchased subjects. It if had a fair bit more customization and control over what's going on, I would have found it far more interesting. It's hard to like a strategy game where you control hardly anything apart from movement.

You only get one chance too, as it’s very much a perma-death experience. If you are stupid enough (like me) to get hit even twice, game over. In a strategy title where you’re spending time building everything up I really don’t like that.

Final thoughts: A very nice idea, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

Find Kingdom on GOG (thanks again for the key), and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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The comments on this article are closed.
mao_dze_dun 22 October 2015 at 6:08 pm UTC
There we go. Much obliged )). I like the game a lot. It does boil down to tower defense but overall is a breath of fresh air. Considering it's only 10 bucks I think it's worth buying. Plus, I have the feeling the developer(s) will be adding more interesting content soon.
scaine 22 October 2015 at 11:45 pm UTC
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I got this tonight on a whim and spent five hours straight on it. The tactics are little obtuse, but this is waaay more than a Facebook game. As mao_dze_dun points out, it's a new style of game and it's definitely worth two pints of lager. I agree with Liam that the graphics aren't bad, but they're not fantastic either. They do a job.

But the strategy! Lots of subtlety around how far you expand your borders. Too far and neither you nor your vassals can get to the action quickly enough. Too small and the horde isn't thinned out before it reaches you.

Also, archers gain you money, but towers (which consume an archer) don't, but are almost immune to attack. A tower on the outside of your wall is better than inside (which is counter-intuitive) because it doesn't have to shoot over the wall.

Leave a tree between you an a camp for as long as possible so that you have a nearby source of recruits. If you chop the tree down, the camp vanishes and you lose recruitment capability.

And the balance between builders, soldiers and farmers is tough to balance too, particularly given the big hordes every ten days.

No idea what the shrines do. Nor the churches. I'm also uncertain what unlocks the tower upgrades you get later on. Was it the number of builders I had, or is based on the day? No idea.

So, it's a bit of a learning curve, but I survived until day 39 just there and I only have only one regret. I need to go to bed now, cos it's coming up 1am... :-)

No worries though. I can be a queen again tomorrow. Er, king. Hail to the King, baby.


Last edited by scaine on 24 October 2015 at 12:07 am UTC
JudasIscariot 23 October 2015 at 7:16 am UTC
scaineI got this tonight on a whim and spent five hours straight on it. The tactics are little obtuse, but this is waaay more than a Facebook game. As mao_dze_dun points out, it's a new style of game and it's definitely worth two pints of lager. I agree with Liam that the graphics aren't bad, but they're not fantastic either. They do a job.

But the strategy! Lots of subtlety around how far you expand your borders. Too far and neither you nor your vassals can get to the action quickly enough. Two small and the horde isn't thinned out before it reaches you.

Also, archers gain you money, but towers (which consume an archer) don't, but are almost immune to attack. A tower on the outside of your wall is better than inside (which is counter-intuitive) because it doesn't have to shoot over the wall.

Leave a tree between you an a camp for as long as possible so that you have a nearby source of recruits. If you chop the tree down, the camp vanishes and you lose recruitment capability.

And the balance between builders, soldiers and farmers is tough to balance too, particularly given the big hordes every ten days.

No idea what the shrines do. Nor the churches. I'm also uncertain what unlocks the tower upgrades you get later on. Was it the number of builders I had, or is based on the day? No idea.

So, it's a bit of a learning curve, but I survived until day 39 just there and I only have only one regret. I need to go to bed now, cos it's coming up 1am... :-)

No worries though. I can be a queen again tomorrow. Er, king. Hail to the King, baby.

If by "shrines" you mean those little brown buildings you find out in the wild then those allow you to unlock stone construction and more tower upgrades along with more castle upgrades.
scaine 23 October 2015 at 7:46 am UTC
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JudasIscariotIf by "shrines" you mean those little brown buildings you find out in the wild then those allow you to unlock stone construction and more tower upgrades along with more castle upgrades.

Ah, right. I thought they were little churches. So that's how I got my upgrades. Cool. So what do the big statues do then? I've found a guy with a sword and and with a hammer. Presumably worker upgrades? But if the shrines/churches are the key to better buildings, how do your workers get upgraded? They seem to have three levels too.
123buck 23 October 2015 at 9:22 pm UTC
Sorry Liam but I can't respect the opinions of some one who writes "You’re king/queen" instead "Your king/queen". I'm gonna like the game.
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