I had received Kingdom as a gift during its first release back in 2015, and I played it for a good six hours then put it down again. This past weekend I ran in to my usual ‘what to play’ dilemma and while scrolling through my Steam games I noticed not only did I own Kingdom, but also Kingdom : New Lands. Indie game developers Raw Fury has created an expansion for their initial release and gave out free copies of it to owners of the original release. I enjoyed the first Kingdom, so I delved in to see what changes were made.
And changes there were! Kingdom, at its essence, is a 2D side scrolling time and resource management game. Play as a King or Queen who has arrived on rich and lush lands for the taking. As with many things in life, the gold coin is the driving resource. Use these means wisely to recruit followers, provide them with tools for jobs and expand the reach of your realm. Kingdom : New Lands introduces new features allowing players to indeed travel to new lands to face more challenging obstacles.
There is not much in the way of hand holding as this game does not require it. It is very simple in that you must generate resources and use them strategically to advance your kingdom. From a sparse campfire and huts to a mighty stone castle. While the mechanics are simple, the challenge comes in using the resources. You can only move left and right on the map and your horse can get tired, making your time very valuable. Do you travel to the left to upgrade your walls in preparation for an attack? Or do you travel to the right to gather more followers from a nearby settlement? You are encouraged to spend your coins as your pouch is not bottomless, if you have too many they begin to spill out behind your character and sometimes fall into the water below, never to be seen again.
As your progress through the game and expand your kingdom, managing tasks and time becomes crucial as things become more spread apart. One wrong judgement on a blood moon where baddies come to swarm can be devastating. Your ruler cannot defend himself, if your walls are breached the only option is to fall back and usher more defenses to your aid. If you are struck your crown falls to the ground and you are given a chaotic moment to pick it up again. Should the crown fall into the wrong hands then you are usurped from your thrown. No crown, no King and it is time to start over.
Defeating portals where baddies spawn from is one triumph, however moving and conquering new lands is the real goal. Exploring new lands as soon as you arrive gives you the greatest advantage. This allows you to plan how and where to use resources and find hidden treasures or buffs for your followers. In this new expansion you can rescue a dog that becomes your companion and get new mounts with armor to ride upon. After 9 hours of my kingdoms rising and falling I am still finding new content to unlock which just makes it more fun to play again and again, each time refining my strategy. I can’t wait to see what Raw Fury will put out next.