Since partnering with Thomas van den Berg (AKA developer noio) two years ago, over 600,000 monarchs “have ventured into the realms of Kingdom and Kingdom: New Lands, recruiting loyal subjects and discovering helpful hermits across the globe,” Raw Fury revealed. That’s a healthy number.
Dressed in truly stunning pixel art, Kingdom: New Lands is a game about giving and receiving. Players will guide their horse left and right, traversing the field of play and throwing coins at objects to trigger activities in order to earn more coins. This simple premise soon becomes deep and complex following a short tutorial. After learning the absolute basics, you’re on your own. And that’s partly what makes this title so special.
The lack of hand holding is a double-edged sword, causing Kingdom to be daunting, while at the same time enabling a joy of discovery and a sense of mystery as new mechanics are discovered. Do you build up both sides of your stronghold or just focus on one to begin with? Or neither, and instead pour all your funds into creating an insurmountable army relying on pure numbers? What does this banker do? Does it matter if I remove these trees? Will there be consequences? As the seasons change, how best to survive winter? What are these mysterious statues in the middle of the forest?
Work by day, fight by night. As the gloriously animated pixel art reflects your monarch’s torch in the rippling waters during nightfall, prepare to see your defences tested, for it’s at night that the enemy attacks.
An Internet search will yield many guides to lend a helping hand, and I’ll admit I’ve used them more than once. Even so, I’ve still not managed to survive past the game’s first island, although it’s been a hell of a lot of fun trying.
Kingdom: New Lands plays nicely with just the Siri Remote, although I’ve been using a controller, as it always just feels more natural. Also, gameplay is saved via iCloud, and being a universal game, you can continue your journey across your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, with one purchase netting you a download for all three devices. Brilliant.
With five islands at present, the update teased by Raw Fury promises a sixth. “But be warned,” says the publisher, “this will not be easy.” Uh oh.
Also on the way is a Halloween event. “Jack-o-lanterns, a haunted moon, and a special new mount will be patched in for a limited time only,” teases Raw Fury. I have to admit I’m an absolute sucker for seasonal game updates, as are many, so I can’t wait to see this already beautifully depicted world costumed in pixelated Halloween.
As always, we’ll keep you posted when we hear about a release date for the update.
Until then, Happy Birthday, Kingdom!