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Knightcore Kingdom Review – Hardcore Droid

A True Arthuri an Legend

Knightcore Kingdom lets you live out the fantasy of engaging in strategic battles. An entire game unfolds in the span of 99 seconds. Sophomore developer Marscat Games, the studio behind Knightcore Universal, takes the complexities of strategic warfare and tries to condense it into a casual game, setting for themselves a not-so-ambitious task: How to make a strategic game meant for casual gamers.

Let’s settle one thing before we move forward, the story of Knightcore Kingdom is not great. The story takes place in Camelot and pulls inspiration from Arthurian Legend. This would normally be a criticism, but the story doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is leading your heroes and units into battle to fight against demons. Thus, protecting Camelot so you can rule and develop the lands after reclaiming them from said awful demons.

With strategy games like the Xcom 2 Collection in the app store, I am very careful about the strategy games I choose. They need to offer unique ideas or implement stellar game mechanics. Knightcore Kingdom somehow manages both in a fun way.

Casually Strategic

At its root Knightcore Kingdom is a fast-paced strategy game that promises to give its players a casual experience. You start by building up your heroes and units. This is done by leveling your heroes up with resources. You gain resources by battling for your land. You take three heroes and three units into battle, a battle which you have 99 seconds to complete. To clear the stage, you must earn three stars. This is done by dispatching all enemies, destroying all castles, and clearing the stage within 99 seconds. The clever part of what makes Knightcore Kingdom work well is; you need to level up your buildings in order to level up your units.

The majority of gameplay is spent building up your fiefdom managing resources, leveling up buildings and heroes. However, the most addictive part of the game are the battles. With a large-scale music production from the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra and glossy graphics, seeing my adorable army overwhelm my opponents was glorious!

Reclaim Camelot!

With the promise of not consuming too much of your time but still being fun, Knightcore Kingdom had me looking forward to every battle. Utilizing a rock, paper, scissors battle system as seen in various strategy games like Fire Emblem. Knightcore Kingdom calls this the counter relationship. Each hero and unit are one of three weapon types, melee, ranged or magic. Melee counters ranged, ranged counters magic, and magic counters melee. Each hero or unit with type advantage deals double damage. However, the tank and healer units are not included the counter relationship. This is where the strategy of Knightcore Kingdom shines. And this is as complicated as it gets.

Knightcore Kingdom tries not to overstay its welcome. It markets itself as “we have 99-second battles!” The fact of the matter is, can a strategy game achieve simplicity at this level while still engaging its audience? This question is one that Marscat Games tries to answer with Knightcore Kingdom.

Knightcore Kingdom Gameplay

99 Seconds of Brilliance

While I found myself skipping the story to get into battles faster, the success of how Knightcore Kingdom works is well-done. Making the battles small in scale, while giving strategic layers is good. However, adding resource management and Kingdom building into the mix is brilliant. Knightcore Kingdom needed both in order to hold my attention, and I found myself smiling with each and every battle.

Unfortunately, Knightore Kingdom isn’t perfect by any means. Throughout the vast campaign the game holds your hand the majority of the time. I found myself annoyed, wanting to get into the next battle instead of seeing dialogue for things that weren’t necessary. A good example of this is when the game presents you with how to use food, lumber and stone resources.

Despite these issues Knightcore Kingdom is a well-balanced game that offers its players a fun time. The fact of the matter is yes, Knightcore Kingdom isn’t deeply strategic, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s fun and its casual, this is exactly the intention. Knightcore Kingdom offers just enough strategy to keep you engaged but isn’t ambitious by any means. The truth is, it doesn’t need to be.

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