Kingdom – Games of 2015

 

Kingdom

The biggest hurdle that most indie games have is standing apart from the crowded new release list. As a gamer it’s a goddamn crap shoot to even figure which trailers and screenshots that I’m going to give a second look. This is a great problem, but it made me mistakenly think Kingdom was something very different than it turned out to be. Thankfully, that’s why we have friends who play games and after seeing my friends list give Kingdom a shot, I dug in a bit more. Kingdom quickly kicked my ass, but it’s an absolute pleasure to play.

Even on the surface level, the pixel graphics are deeper than their screenshots let on. They are literally deeper because the layers of animation just seem to never stop, from fogs to sunrises to subtle watery reflections, Kingdom is beautiful. Well, it’s beautiful up until the point that bodies start littering the landscape. It turns out that this just isn’t some linear story where you walk your horse across your Kingdom from left to right. Like the graphics, there is a lot going on here. Kingdom is an intense resource management roguelike where the world hates you and your citizens.

Running back and forth between the two fronts of your camp/castle to make sure you have enough defenses up around your money making enterprises feels easy at first. As Kingdom says, nothing lasts. It’s amazing how quickly everything can turn to shit once enemies start attacking. It’s soul crushing, but it always feels correctable. Time to find another King or Queen and start over again. Thanks for the ride, Kingdom.

Stay tuned for more Games of 2015 this month as we build towards The 2015 Grimmys – Horrible Night’s Games of the Year Awards.