By Richard Jewell
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on August 9th, 2016 on Xbox One and Steam
Developer: Noio Publisher: Raw Fury
The title is all about building up your base and its defenses so you can protect yourself from the greedy monsters that come out at night and rush your camp, trying to steal your crown. Bad monsters! What’s a monarch to do? You only have two special abilities. You spend your entire adventure on horseback, which I find quite fitting, as true royalty like to spend the least amount of time on their feet as possible. Holding down the right trigger allows your noble steed to sprint, which is very useful for speedily carrying you AND your crown away from the grubby hands of those pesky monsters. Overuse it, though, and your horse will exhaust himself and you won’t be able to sprint again until he recovers, turning you into an easy target for any monsters lurking nearby. You are alone in a strange land, with no allies and surrounded by monsters that creep around in the dark looking to steal your crown, with no way of defending yourself. How is a king supposed to be able to sleep at night? This brings me to your second, and most important ability in any king’s arsenal; money! Why do anything yourself when you can pay someone else to do it for you? This is the main mechanic in which the game is built on. There are plenty of beggars camped out in the woods. Once you pay them a coin, they turn into a loyal peasant and they walk back to your camp. Back at your camp, you have the option to buy them equipment based on what role you want them to play. Purchasing a hammer will turn them into a builder, which is important to building up your bases defenses, repairing them after monster attacks, and expanding your camp. Purchasing a bow will enable your peasant to become an archer, which is a necessity when it comes to defending your base from the monsters. They will also hunt animals in order to furnish you with extra coins. There are more options for making the most out of your newfound peasant army, such as becoming farmers and knights, but you must upgrade your camp first.
There is a bit of a learning curve to this game. There is a bare-bones tutorial at the very beginning of the game, and that’s it! This game doesn’t hold your hand, doesn’t offer any further instructions, and it doesn’t bother to explain anything to you. For example; there are mysterious shrines dotting the island. They take coins to activate, but what they actually provide unclear, at least until you have experienced enough of the game to figure out their effects. I know it’s not for everyone, but I enjoy a game that makes you work out certain things for yourself. The flow of the game is simple. Build your camp’s defenses and expand your land. Then destroy the portals the monsters pour out of or move to the next land by building the ship. It sounds easy, but the game gets harder as the days pass. More monsters, stronger variations of monsters, and even the world can defeat you if you carry on too long. The game has excellent replay value, and even as I’m writing this I want to turn it on for a quick game to see how many days I can survive. It’s a good fit for anybody who likes to just jump in and play, with no story or preamble, or anyone who enjoys tower defense games. I highly recommend it.
Final Score: 8.5/10
+Gorgeous pixel graphics
+Nice Chip-tune Soundtrack
+Good replay value
-Steep Learning Curve