Rule the Kingdom by Game Insight
Prolific publisher of city builder titles Game Insight is back with yet another very unique twist on the city builder genre called Rule the Kingdom. This time around, Game Insight took the mashup approach to gaming and produced a city builder with RPG style conquests and a little medieval fantasy all rolled up into one.
You'll start the game by building out your kingdom, but the goal is very different from previous Game Insight titles. Your kingdom exists to buy, train and feed your workers and your soldiers, and you'll need the best soldiers and goblins that money can buy as you travel the map on the more than 1,000 conquests and battles that the game offers.
How it works
Rule the Kingdom is 2 parts RPG, 1 part city builder wrapped up in a medieval fantasy story about the Lord or Lady of the kingdom. Your game begins in the tutorial phase where you'll be guided through reclaiming your kingdom after it was overrun by monsters.
You must reclaim and rebuild your kingdom, unite rival kingdoms for your fights, and clear the woods and villages of all sorts of monsters. The game offers over 1,000 battles in a total of 12 levels, and you'll meet all different types of enemies along the way.
I've really liked the themes that Game Insight has introduced, and they've managed to come up with another new idea for a city builder: make the city building a sideline and focus on the RPG aspects of the game. While you can't ignore your kingdom, you spend much more time worrying about skeletons and other monsters.
The game was different enough that I really appreciated the tutorial phase, though the price to complete the learning phase is really high. The key virtual currency in this game are the blue crystals, and you're left with very few of your initial bank when the game begins for real. As the game plays on you'll be able to earn more, but in the beginning you'll earn few.
The battles begin right away against the skeletons and the monsters, and you'll face your first boss monster fight in the first adventure that you start. Your troops are loyal to the end, and many of your troops are going to fall along the way. You'll use the gold coins and resources from your kingdom to hire and train new soldiers for your fight.
Though the Play Store reviews gave pretty low ratings based on the social networking nag screens for every accomplishment that you achieve, Game Insight seems to have finally learned their lesson about this and removed them. In my three days with the game I didn't get a single popup asking me to post to Twitter or Facebook.
Speed: 3/5 - Time penalties for not spending crystals to speed up tasks are excessive in this title.
Features: 4/5 - Would have liked less predictable outcomes in some of the fights.
Theme: 5/5 - I liked it. The theme is detailed without being overwhelming.
Overall: 4/5 - The game plays very well, like you'd expect from Game Insight.
- Odd, yet highly entertaining mix of game genres.
- Ability to hop to different parts of the map without having to complete each challenge fully.
- City largely takes care of itself. You have to collect goods and gold coins as well as hire and train your different soldiers, but your city will always be standing when you return to it.
- After the tutorials are complete you are left with too few crystals.
- Time penalties are excessive if you choose not to speed up tasks.
- Items that you buy with crystals are a bit pricey.
- Spend your virtual currency very wisely. Items are pricey and you don't earn much gold or blue crystals from your achievements.
- When you are in a new map area, always approach any ruins or other areas that have sparkling lights. These are small tasks that allow you to earn useful items.
- The Mini Orb of Protection is your friend and will keep your Lord in the fight longer. They are fairly inexpensive at 50 gold coins a pop, so see to it that you don't run out.
- Don't ever be afraid to run. If you're about to take a big beatdown, tap the map icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen and change your location. You'll save yourself the time or the crystals that it takes to heal your Lord if you are knocked down in battle, and the fight can be resumed later when you have stronger troops or a higher health level.
- Keep your reserve troops full at all times. The game slows considerably if you have to wait out the hour delay between hiring each type of soldier. As soon as you can, start training new soldiers.
- Don't forget to use your magic spells when you are going up against the boss monsters. The magic spells don't kill the boss monsters instantly, but they speed up the process greatly. Don't waste magic spells on the little guys, you'll need them for the bosses. If you don't defeat the boss monsters quickly, they do a lot of damage to you and your troops.
- Wait to buy virtual currency until you find the Ruby Pyramid. Your reward for finding it is a 30% bonus for any gold coins or crystals that you buy.
This isn't just another Game Insight city builder, this was an interesting and entertaining trip back to my RPG days gone by. I liked the battle aspect of the game so much that at times I forgot to go back and check out the progress being made in my kingdom. It has been a fun and very enjoyable game to play.
The game seems like it starts out slowly and that it won't be challenging enough, but hang in there. You'll find that the challenge increases and the game becomes more intense as you progress into the third and fourth levels. I haven't advanced past level four, but I imagine that the skill level only goes higher from where I am.
Though I have only done it one other time for a game review, I actually took advantage of my 30% bonus and bought gold coins and crystals for this game. I intend to keep playing it.
Google Play Store Link | Rule the Kingdom