The story is a simple one: Red’s store of nuts has been stolen by evil squirrels, and players will guide him through the Kingdom on his quest to recover them, meeting and being aided by several friends along the way. While it won’t win awards for originality, the story of Red’s Kingdom is elevated by its affectionately crafted animation and cut-scenes, presenting characters that would live comfortably in an ongoing universe of Saturday morning cartoons.
It would be a shame to confine the visuals of Red’s Kingdom to the smaller screens that fit in your pocket and work bag, denying them a chance to shine on the big flat screens of our modern lounge rooms. Depicting the simple puzzle mechanic with such detail and charm as Cobra Mobile has achieved, completes what would otherwise be a simple exercise of swiping, and instead creates a full video game that feels complete and valuable beyond those mechanics.
Gameplay involves swiping up, down, left, or right, in order to progress from one door to another, overcoming obstacles that gradually increase in complexity. Red uncovers abilities to aid him on his quest, and the story and visuals help to create more of a sense of purpose rather than merely ticking off a series of puzzles.
I haven’t paid much attention yet to games that require only a Siri Remote to play, for the reasons outlined in my opening paragraph. When gaming on Apple TV I’ve preferred to spend time with more traditional gaming experiences. Red’s Kingdom however, feels like one of those more traditional gaming experiences, even if it is seeming to hide behind such a simple mechanical premise. Cobra Mobile’s efforts have resulted in the crafting of a game that actually sits comfortably with a foot in both worlds of mobile and console; a rather unique position to be in, and a welcome addition to the Apple TV catalogue.
In A Nutshell:
Red’s Kingdom’s simple puzzle mechanics are elevated to a rich, full video game experience thanks to lovingly crafted visuals, characters and story.