Publisher: Raw Fury
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Strategy, Adventure & Simulation
Release Date: 14th of September, 2017 (PAL & NA)
For the players who desire a build your own kingdom like game on Nintendo Switch, after making its way to a number of other platforms and being a bit of a hit on a couple of them, one such title has arrived.
Going by the name of Kingdom: New Lands, KNR is a 2D side-scrolling simulation adventure that quite frankly, is not one of the easiest games to get into. While it is indeed true, some players can fire up this retro beauty up and lose themselves in it for hours and return to it happily the next down, the sad truth is such a thing only happens to a rare breed of gamer and I am clearly not it. But before I go ahead and “bash” this game via a proper explanation, first let’s cover its premise to ensure you have a full idea of what this game entails.
Kingdom: New Lands plants you in the shoes of a monarch, a solitary King who must carry the crown to new lands. Although despite being solitary, he is accompanied by a horse, which he happens to ride everywhere. As royalty, it is your duty to voyage to new lands, build settlements and amass an army capable of taking on all the horrors, in which you’ll face and that’s pretty much it, except while it all sounds simple in theory, the exclusion of it is anything but simple. So just as soon as you are able to commence playing, you will be urged to move right, follow a ghost, collect a couple of coins and light a fire.
Once the fire is lit, after holding the A button long enough so as to apply the required number of coins, next the ghost compels you to buy a couple of Bowmen and then Craftsman, so that building can commence and then the short lived tutorial tells you to Build, Expand and Defend and then you’re left to your own devices. The ghost leaves you and you are left with the few pieces of coin you have in your possession and whatever burning questions you have in your mind.
If there is one thing Kingdom does very well, it’s telling you the bare minimum of details before leaving you to figure out everything for yourself and if you happen to do the wrong thing, a game over could be on its way as every decision you make matters. Sure building the boat so that you can sail off to a new location is great and all, but such things require a lot of coins and honestly, while it is a necessity, so is recruiting new villagers and giving them a new purpose.
The settlement/kingdom in which you create is not safe, so never assume that is for even a second, for there are monsters that in the night time, will charge your settlement, devastate the structures you create and dispose of your guard, but if you think that’s the worst they can do, you’re mistaken. The gold/weapon stealing demonic-looking antagonists require something far more valuable than gold, they desire your crown and if they are successful in their efforts of knocking it off your head into water, or just onto land and then steal it before you can reclaim it, it’s game over!
Yes ladies and gentleman, Kingdom is something of a roguelike and when your kingdom falls for its ruling monarch (a Queen is playable as well,) having lost their valuable headwear, you will be forced to start again from scratch and build your settlement all over again, whilst trying to ensure you do not repeat the mistakes from your previous playthrough and it’s not easy.
Kingdom: New Lands is a game that will test you. A game that will constantly force you to decide between what you need more and what you want more and even when you invest some serious hours into the game, it only takes a single error to bring about your immediate downfall and while that isn’t a bad thing if you like that kind of thing in a game, but for a lot of gamers that’s reason enough to stay away from it.
If you have the determination and time to invest into Kingdom: New Lands, it might not ever be a game you can truly conquer, but every time you play it, you will eventually get that little bit closer to global domination, but not everyone will and while some things about this game’s graphics really pop, like the lighting from the moon and the way rain falls, Kingdom is not a game I can easily recommend. Not when on the same day Kingdom came out, as did a number of other Switch games that are available at lower prices.
THE VERDICT: 5/10
*Review Key Provided by Raw Fury