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Game Review: Kingdom Series

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

Resource management games are tough to tackle from all ends of play but ultimately the same in concept. They’re all about managing workers, resources, and more to create a sprawling metropolis, theme park, etc. When you’re done, you maxed out on everything, you think to yourself…welp, time to start again. And you do so, completing a cycle of building up and tearing down only to build up again. This concept isn’t new, but fascinating to return to, which makes this game series addicting and interesting to try out.

The Kingdom series, developed by Thomas van der Berg (Noio) and Marco Bancale and published by Licorice and- later- Raw Fury, is a randomly generated resource game where you play a monarch and create a lasting kingdom to defeat the dark monsters that threaten your rule. You must maintain your kingdom as long as you can, either by going to different islands in New Lands, working together with a friend in Two Crowns, or surviving alone in Classic. Then again, nothing lasts forever.

The premise of the game is you play as a King or Queen on a horse and you build a kingdom using coins. You start with two walls on either side of your kingdom, an archer, a builder, and a goal in three parts: expand, defend, survive. You gain coin by killing wildlife, cutting down forestry, finding chests in exploration, and farming using farmland. The purpose of your Kingdom runs is to survive as long as you can with the resources presented. You can move quickly across a wide land using your mount of choice, either leisurely walking or sprinting. Be careful with sprinting; until you can reach a patch of grass, you are forced to walk until the recharge is completed. It could save you from an attack from a monster trying to steal you crown. If it does, game over.

There’s strategy with the Kingdom games; you must maintain how far you’re pushing back the forest to put up walls and farmland, weighing the risk of how many villagers you want to assign as archers, builders, knights, or farmers, or catapult engineers. You must ask, “is it worth taking on more people, do you want to potentially lose villagers or traders by cutting down trees,” and, “can you spend the necessary resources to expand your kingdom?” On occasion, you can sacrifice coins to altars to improve bow attack, wall strength, or crop growth. This was the extend Kingdom had in Kingdom: Classic, with you destroying the enemy wormholes before they overwhelm your kingdom, forcing you to start over.

In Kingdom: New Lands, the same gameplay applies, but your kingdom expands to other islands as soon as you unlock the boat. With each new island, the game difficulty increases but unlocks wall and building upgrades. The only downside to this mode is you have to rebuild the boat with more coins with each island you unlock. But, after that, you can freely go back to different islands to support older island kingdoms you previously unlocked and rebuild with your new resources. Instead of coins, Gems can be used to unlock Altars and new Mounts like the Stag or the Griffin. New mounts help you travel great distance with minimal recharge or push back enemies for breathing room.

Two Crowns adds the ability to play drop-in-and-out couch or online co-op with a friend. Different technology types from armored archers, wolf mounts, and new farmers are available. With the aesthetic addition of Samurai and the new and free Dead Lands DLC, Two Crowns is a nice way to introduce new players to the game. The only downside is either you have to be in the same room or have someone own a copy of the game for Co-op mode.

Kingdom is one series that you can pick up easily for rainy days or being cooped up in quarantine. Whatever game you choose to play, you will find that it is essentially the same game with major or minor gimmicks. I’ve had a blast playing Classic and New Lands, though I believe Two Crowns can be the best gateway for newcomers. With the new entry of Kingdom coming soon, it’s only a matter of time until we return to a new cycle of rebuilding.

The Kingdom series is priced at $4.99-19.99 from Classic to Two Crowns. It is rated Everyone 10 and Up and available on all consoles, PC, and Mobile.

-Written by Johan Wyckoff

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