REVIEW: Kingdom: Classic

A unique side-scroller colony sim game with a bit of tower defense element. Build your kingdom and protect your crown!

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Survival, Colony Sim
Developer: Noio, Licorice
Publisher: Raw Fury
Release date: 22 Oct, 2015

Intro

A king or queen was tasked to create a new kingdom in an empty land. Roaming around with their trusty steed, people are recruited, armed with tools and weapons, and fought monsters known as Greeds who are trying to steal the crown every night. Kingdom: Classic lets you experience the whole process in a side-scroller colony sim game where you have to survive enemy attacks every night and eliminate incoming threats to win.

Graphics

The game uses pixelated graphics in a side-scroller view. Instead of presenting us with plain backgrounds and a character that is simply walking on the land, the game provides a body of water below the land that shows the reflection of anything above it. The reflection isn’t static either – it will change whenever anyone or anything moves.

Although some spots don’t have anything except the plain sky background, some areas will be darker whenever there are a lot of trees involved. The area will be much brighter after more trees being cut, removing some parts in the background. Grasses that are used for your archers to hunt will also grow in empty lands, providing more background in some areas.

Weather and day systems are also implemented in the game. Although the latter one is one of the core mechanics of the game, the first one is mostly there for the aesthetic. Sometimes, the weather will be cloudy, making it hard to see the sun to keep track of the current time. It’s amazing to see how a lot of details are put in a simple game like this.

The Game

Gameplay

The game will start in the daytime, giving you an option to follow a tutorial or skip it to save time. Tutorials are pretty clear in explaining basic mechanics such as recruiting vagrants, arming recruits with tools and weapons, building a wall to help you from night attacks, and sprinting with your steed. However, the tutorial doesn’t cover much from there. You must figure out the rest of the mechanics yourself, which are a lot more than you imagined.

Short tutorial is offered at the beginning of the game.

Most of my playtime was spent figuring out how the game works. I didn’t know I had to start the game over from the beginning if I lost my crown. Objectives aren’t clear enough and I ended up roaming around every time to recruit vagrants since I didn’t know anything else I was supposed to do. Every run is different – most placements in the map will be randomized each run and you must explore the map again to figure out where everything is located.

At some point, you might want to expand your territory. This can be done by building a wall further from the base, requiring you to cut trees that are spread almost everywhere on the map in the process. However, you might end up in a decision between cutting the trees near vagrant camps, making them disappear completely, or skip it and try to find another tree that you can cut, which might be impossible since some trees can’t be cut unless if you cut the previously mentioned trees first.

Enemies

Enemies will attack your base at night, changing the game into some sort of a tower defense game with you as the base. If your defenses aren’t good enough, you will be attacked, making you lose coins if you have any. If you don’t, say goodbye to your crown, since if you’re not fast enough to reclaim it back, you will lose the game and have to start over from the beginning.

Enemies will come at night to claim your crown.

The game never stated it, but you must destroy all portals to win the game. Four portals are evenly placed on each side and enemies will also come out from it, even in the daytime, if you are close to it. You should be careful with them since they also can steal your crown in this state.

Although it might be confusing at first, attacking portals are simple. You need to prepare a knight, which is the only class that can do the attacking, and order the attack from your furthest wall on the side that you want to attack. This wasn’t clear enough in the game and I had to spend hours just to learn how to do it properly – I even thought that I need to build walls close to the portal just to attack.

Once the knight succeeds with their attacks, a counterattack will be initiated. Enemies’ counterattacks will be stronger whenever you destroy each portal and you must be able to survive the attacks to win. The game doesn’t give you some sort of accomplishment when you win though – you’ll be presented with the same screen that you got when you die with a slightly altered text.

Length and Difficulty

The game isn’t that hard once you get the gist of it. However, you need to be ready to deal with the frustration and vagueness of almost everything in the game. Strangely, the game thinks that you already understand how the game works from the basic tutorial that was provided when you start the game.

You’re expected to die a lot to understand how the game works.

It took me hours until I understand how the game works. This happened when I tried to get the “Survive for 100 days” achievement, which took ~16.6h to finish, including the crash that I got when I had to start over 40+ days of progress.

The actual playtime depends on how fast you can destroy the portal. For instance, I finished the game in 25 days to get a certain achievement in ~4h. There is nothing that the game has to offer unless if you’re into achievement hunting; there are a lot of optional achievements that require you to do a certain action to finish.

Problems

The game has FPS drop once you spend more nights in the game, especially if you aim for the “Survive for 100 days” achievement. It seems that the game doesn’t remove projectiles and unclaimed coins efficiently since the game runs better after you restart the game. However, the game becomes terribly slow by day 95, to the point that I got 1 FPS, especially at night time. My game crashed once because of this and strangely, the game decided to let you save only when you quit the game and I had to lose 40 days+ of progress because of this.

Specs

Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Verdict

The game might be confusing and frustrating at the start, especially with the permadeath and the lack of tutorials. However, it proves itself to be enjoyable once you get the hang of it. Sadly, there is nothing that the game has to offer once you finished the game although the price is cheap enough to justify this reason.

Written by
aquatorrent
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