Becoming a King worthy of the Crown
Kingdoms and Lords is an online multiplayer strategy simulation game that lets you create and manage your very own virtual kingdom. As the King or Queen of this newly founded kingdom, you are tasked with managing resources, building cities, amassing armies and protecting the people. Players must also forge relationships with other kingdoms – both AI and player controlled. While the responsibilities of a leader are daunting, having the opportunity to become a king or queen is something we cannot pass up.
From Humble Beginnings
You start off with a small town under your rule. But despite your domain’s simple stature, it has a lot of potential for growth thanks to your land’s abundant resources. These resources are both a blessing and a curse. As the threat of war looms, other kingdoms surrounding you have taken notice of you and are planning on invading your land to claim it for themselves. The once peaceful continent where your kingdom lies is in dire state due to the rising of the ancient evil that plans to take over the world. As a Ruler, it is your job to defend against invaders and evil lords that come knocking at your door.
Behold the Lands You Own
Kingdoms and Lords is quite a stunning game compared to other online multiplayer strategy games out in the market today. The developer, Gameloft has clearly made it a priority to hire some talented artists to provide the game’s art and designs. Pretty much everything in the game is animated, from infantries guarding your castle to the dog running in the yard of someones house. Seldom do we see such abundance of animation in these types of games. Normally, only certain structures show animations, and they only do so to confirm activity or activation of certain events, such as creation of soldiers or other units in the game. Providing so many in-game animations add to the player’s overall experience and enjoyment.
Listening to the Tunes of Life
Music and sound effects add to game’s overall experience. Not only do they help in the player’s immersion in the game they also help in setting the mood for the game’s events and story. Kingdoms and Lords has enough sound effects and a decent amount of good music to keep players immersed in the game’s virtual world. The game’s music fits the theme of the game exceptionally well – we felt like we were actually in medieval times. The sound effects used during battle sequences are also quite convincing, giving it some level of authenticity you would come to expect in a real battle.
Building Cities and Amassing Armies
Managing resources is the key to building a successful empire. You should always have a game plan when it comes to building structures in games such as Kingdoms and Lords. While some of your resident advisors, Lisa and Shaara, might have suggestions on how to build and manage your kingdom, it is still up to you to decide what to do in the end.
Pretty much all actions done in the game require energy, represented by the red and blue flag with a lighting symbol at the top of the screen. You only get a certain number of turns each time you play Kingdoms and Lords, thanks to the limited amount of energy given to you. The energy refills after a certain amount of time has passed. The maximum energy capacity can also be refilled and increased after increasing your player level or by purchasing energy crystals with Diamonds – Gameloft’s premium item for Kingdoms and Lords. The limited amount of energy provided in the game serves to balance out certain aspects and while it does serve a purpose we feel that it reduces the fun factor and makes it more of a chore rather than an enjoyable experience.
Skirmishes on the Battlefield
Another thing we genuinely liked about Kingdoms and Lords is the Battle System. The game lets players battle in skirmishes that resemble a traditional turn-based role playing game or RPG, unlike regular online strategy games that only shows text messages providing information on what the outcome of the battle was. There is also a lot of strategy involved in Kingdoms and Lords’ battle system. Each combat unit you create has its own attributes and certain pros and cons. Some units are weak against others, knowing which type of units to use against a group of enemies is essential in winning battles in Kingdoms and Lords. The game also provides a lot of variety when it comes to your infantry. Players can create Swordsmen, Axemen, Samurais and even Paladins, just to name a few. Not to mention combat units that are on horseback such as Cavalries and Knights. The sheer amount of combat units in Kingdoms and Lords is truly impressive and gives the game a lot of variety in terms of strategic gameplay.
Each type of combat unit in the game has a skill tree that can be upgraded. Improving the attributes of each unit you have can totally change the outcome of each battle you fight. Some of the skills can only be unlocked after meeting certain requirements in the game, such as your current player level. Nothing is free in life, and the same can be said for Kingdoms and Lords. Players will need to save up their if they want to learn new skills for their combat units.
Diamonds are a Game Developer’s Best Friend
Diamonds are Kingdoms and Lords premium items. They are used to purchase powerful combat units and unlock certain aspects of the game. While it is normal for game developers to include these premium items in order to generate more revenue, we were a bit dismayed at how Gameloft was constantly rubbing the need for diamonds in our faces. The game is still quite playable and fun without purchasing any of the premium content though. Players will just need to play longer and better since they can not rely on the premium items and unique combat units to make the game easier. Not using the premium items in the game does not make the game less enjoyable it just makes it more challenging for us. Unfortunately, for those who wants to see and experience everything the game has to offer purchasing Diamonds is the only way to do so. It is a good thing that there are alternative ways of earning Diamonds in the game, besides purchasing them with real money. Players can also earn Diamonds by installing certain applications sponsored by Gameloft or even by purchasing promotional items and services.
An Invitation to the Ball
Players are rewarded for inviting their friends to play Kingdoms and Lords. Once you and your friends have established your own virtual kingdoms, you can visit each other’s royal domain. You can even help each other progress throughout the game. Players can help their friends in building structures by speeding up the construction process, they can even help plant crops. This form of cooperation between two neighboring kingdoms is one the reasons we love playing Kingdoms and Lords since you can also earn gold, acquire resources and even increase your level by helping others. Unfortunately, the dreaded energy issue is still there even during the event of visiting a friend’s kingdom.Players will have a limited number of turns to help their friends and must wait for the energy capacity to fill up again if want to continue helping their friends.
After Becoming the Lord of the Kingdom
Gameloft’s Kingdoms and Lords is certainly a excellent game to play and experience, especially if you are a fan of online strategy simulation games. The game has some of the best visuals we have ever seen in an online strategy simulation game, especially if you are playing the game on an Android device with a 10 inch screen. The game’s only real flaw is that there are far too many premium items. Still, the game is highly recommended for fans of the strategy simulation game genre.