“A solitary Queen carries a crown to a new land…”
With this opening line, the players King or Queen begins their quest to establish their reign in this pixel simulation game.
Released August 2016 by Raw Fury, Kingdom: New Lands is a very minimalist game in almost all aspects. The fundamental goal is to create a long-lasting kingdom which spawns many regions and to do this you must utilize all the resources & people at your disposal.
The player has a very little effect on the game itself beyond recruiting new people or using gold for building or upgrades and that gives it a very Clash of Clans feel, except instead of the potential for other players to attack you, for there is no multiplayer, there are various creatures of increasing difficulty.
The player acts more like a watchman over the kingdom, even during these attacks at night, you are unable to really order them to do anything and instead, hope that you have created a sufficient number of soldiers to defend you.
The draw of this game for me was its retro feel. The 2D format and pixelated art reminded me heavily of earlier games like the original Lemmings & the music only added to that feeling, providing welcome sound in a game where there is really no voice acting or noises beyond the occasional actions of your citizens.
Rated E (10+), this is a very inoffensive game that does bear some similarities to mobile simulation formats and does require gold to level up, but there are no microtransactions.
The player must decide where best to put their gold instead, waiting until it has been produced by their kingdom and the only violence is when the kingdom is being defended at night, this being neither graphic nor frequent.
Available free to players with the Game Pass, or $14.99 for those without, Kingdom: New Lands really isn’t for everyone, there is no storyline beyond forming your kingdom and it is essentially a game of keeping your crown away from monsters.
The tasks you perform can be repetitive and overall the game isn’t one you are likely to play more than once unless you wish to gather all the achievements or push your kingdom as far as the game will allow.
If you are a fan of kingdom games and like the retro look this might be for you, however this is not an in-depth game where you will find yourself able to build a technologically advanced city, instead this a gentle nod to those games in a simple way that seems more like a labour of love by the developers than an attempt to be groundbreaking.
There are many games I would play first, however, so if you are able to, I would consider trialing it with the game pass as I am not convinced it is worth $14.99, especially when there are so many games out there which are cheaper and more in-depth.
I personally will probably play it again as I am a fan of kingdom creation games, I like its basic look and the graphics appeal to the part of me that still loves early 90’s games.