Gaming - Kingdoms and Castles

Always king of our gaming reviews, the Defective Inspector writes up his report on Kingdoms and Castles on Steam...

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of trying out Kingdoms and Castles by Lion Shield. You can see the footage here but beyond the Let’s Play I spent some alone time trying out the title to get deep into the gameplay without the watching eye of the camera. What kept hitting me was how enjoyable and wholesome the game was, so I have decided to spend this article convincing you, the reader, to follow in my digital footsteps.

Kingdoms and Castles’ game style is in the name. You build a kingdom and defend it via castle. It sort of reminds me of a squishy version of the Stronghold franchise where you prime goal is to build a thriving hamlet while also ear marking potential threats. Throw in a happiness resource value and there is a reasonable but manageable challenge. What makes Kingdoms and Castles stand out is the logistics of your expansion must be balanced with future planning for things like defence and unexpected water raids.

Now earlier I called the game wholesome for good reason, everything about it is pleasant. The world is created by a rather charming solid colour palette splashed onto a basic 3D structure, there is not a single drip of pretentiousness about the way it’s made or played. Much like many basic block games (no name drops) your creativity is truly the limit as no two hamlets will look the same. When I check screenshots of other people’s gameplay I notice how everyone has their own way of building up the town, which is magnificent. Logistic focused games can accidently fall into a “optimum” trap where creativity is lost to brutal efficiency.

Your slice of land is an also bit of a micro environment where the seasons change altering your gameplay, albeit slightly. You see it has a comforting summer/winter seasonal rotation which is coupled with a weather mechanic. Simply put, when it’s summer you grow/store food and when it’s winter you feast on your reserves. It’s slightly more complicated than squirrel life as when it rains you feel the effects of flooding, depending on how you’ve built the farms. I’ll save the details for your own discovery but it’s worth considering how irrigation works. -nudge nudge wink wink-

Much like this article however, this game is short lived. While I enjoyed my time playing camera-less it didn’t take long for me to realise two things. 1. I built a very poor empire, logistically speaking, and 2. It didn’t really matter all that much. Resources produce at a fairly bountiful rate and the unexpected Viking raid only really surprised me the first time. Once you’ve been bitten once I was made shy and so I panic built towers and walls. Once the big bad Dragon came around I was accidently ready for what should have been terrifying opponent. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy every moment up to that point, but it did feel like a sudden emergency stop in my enjoyment.

Despite being a little bitter about reaching some sort of game glass ceiling I enjoyed Kingdoms and Castles. I mean it’s £7, without an offer, so to expect a giant saga is incredibly unreasonable and what I did play was really good fun. I think the future of this title depends how creative I want to be and potentially a modding community should the gates be opened. Well… Unless they plan to make a- OH HOLY CRAP A BETA UPDATE WITH MORE CONTENT! WITH BOATS!

Usually I sum up here, forget that, I got more Kingdoms and Castles to play! Just buy it, you know it makes sense.

Find Kingdoms and Castles on Steam

Follow the Defective Inspector on Twitter @DefectInspec

Image - Steam

Watch the Defective Inspector's Let's Play videos of Kingdoms & Castles

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