What if they update it again? Kingdom: Double-New Lands Two.
I had spent a lot of time with the original version of Kingdom and it wasn’t really worth talking about. A quirky little timewaster that I very much enjoyed. Wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it to you. Couldn’t even be bothered to write a review first time round. It was a nice little game.
So here we are with, what’s very clearly an upcoming review of that dreary lil’ game with an update. You know what I’m doing right? I’m trying to alienate you. This isn’t a game for you.
Go on. Look at it.
Not worth your time. Just some pixel-art horse, innit. Hop it sunshine, nothing for you here.
This is going to be a big exciting bastard of a review. Quick, play this track incredibly loudly! Now!
Look at that extravagant horse action! Each land’s randomly generated, but it always adheres to the same set of rules. Yeah, rules! A neat touch is that the King or Queen’s randomised as well. Yeah, neat!
Super slo-mo side-scrolling expeditions: equitation-style!
Traversing the land is a simple matter of keeping your finger wedged on the stick and eventually you’ll come to the end of the land. Nope, it doesn’t go on forever. The grand term “New Lands” aren’t just for show, as unlike the original version there is a goal this time round.
Your King or Queen’s superpower is chucking money around like any respectable monarch. You are limited to trotting or sprinting, collecting that paper money and squandering unearned cash in any matter you see fit. Well, depending on whether you want to chop down a tree or hire a farmer. You can’t purchase a solid gold Bugatti or anything, although now I’m thinking about it, that would improve the game somewhat. Unlike other so called Royalty careful planning is the watchword here. You can easily scupper yourself without much thought.
Naturally, finding out how to expand whist surviving the nightly onslaught of ghouls makes for some interesting trail and error gameplay and if those creatures do breach your defence and smack the crown from your head, it’s game over. I mean, how do they know you’re in charge, right?*
Each play-through broadly plays out the same, but each run reveals better ways of doing things. You’ll have to improve as the challenge stiffens at a fair ol’ pace. Well, not at a pace. It’s dreadfully slow. I mean, that horse can only run so far before wheezing like an arthritic smoker with polio.
*The horse? The fact you’ve been telling them what to do all this time? Inbreeding?**
**Oh c’mon, it’s a game. Let it go. It’s a great concept.
The biggest hurdle with this game is that you’ll soon work out there is a set way of doing things. After you’ve worked out the basics, you’ll have to wait for the very toughest challenges before any sense of urgency kicks in. Kingdoms is a game where you very slowly go through the motions. This doesn’t stop you from obsessively running back and forth though.
The next Top Tip is sponsored by Flava Flav – “Eat dat grass horsey; running an’ shit. Boyi yeah running the hulu hoops, marzipan an’ shit.”
One of the reasons you keep returning is the drip-fed singular surprise, with the discovery of a new (but same) land. Plus the game is very pretty with the ever changing weather effects and seasons, which makes running through the mundane stark land strangely therapeutic. It’s amazing how a modicum of focus can change an interesting little aside into something you (stupidly) need to persevere with.
A score? What are you talking about? This game’s sucking the life out of me. It’s so slow, but I can’t stop playing it. It’s actively stealing my life force. Don’t buy the bloody thing. You go left and right, over and over again. Left and fucking right! Here’s ya reward, more of the same, now say thank you. Stick your score up your arse.
No so much of game but a time displacement device.
What have I been doing all this time?
Ok fine. A real score and one last FA-DOOM!
Not so much of a game, but a time displacement device.
Kingdoms keeps things simple and does just enough to keep you invested.