Kingdom Two Crowns is the latest installment of the Kindom Series, moving away from it being a rogue-like with some changes to the gameplay and adding co-op multiplayer to broaden the appeal. While this is true in most part it is not without its issues which I’ll touch upon a little later.
In Kingdom Two Crowns you take on the role of a monarch who has to build their Kindom from scratch, dealing with hiring subjects and providing them jobs, such as hunters and builders. Hunters will go outside of the kingdom and hunt for rabbits and deer, providing much needed income for you to build your Kindom and defensive walls, a task performed by your builders. All while being weary of nightfall as during this time you’ll be attacked by the Greed, a band of creatures who are after one thing, your crown.
In previous titles if you lost your crown that would be it, game over and you would have to start over, where as in Two Crowns, if you die, you can restart with your Kingdom sort of how you left it. You’ll need to re-build defensive walls and hire subjects again, but anything that was previously unlocked will be available, including later islands.
Hunting isn’t the only way to provide an income. As you expand you’ll have the opportunity to build a farm and hire pikemen (these are spear weilding subjects that will fish during the day) you can also venture out into the wilderness and find a few finite chests filled with coins. You do need to be careful however, as you can only carry a certain amount of coins, shown by the coin bag in the top right of the screen. Overfilling it will cause coins to spill out and often fall into the water, so management is needed here.
You will also need to be careful of running out of money as seasons come and go, especially during Winter where there will be no rabbits or Deer to hunt so it’s ideal to get your Kingdom to a level where you get the treasurer, give this NPC coins to stow away in the castle to help you through the harsh winters.
As the game progresses the Greed become much more powerful, with more of them attacking come night time including new variants such as Floaters, who like to steal your archers, leaving you very vulnerable. The main objective of the game is of course to rid your Kingdom of the Greed which can be done by performing a specific attack on what is known as the cliffside portal, this is the main domain of the greed, and once you start the specific attack you must be ready as there’s no turning back once you do so.
You can also visit new Islands to further expand your Kingdom, to do this you must find the ship and re-build it. You can also re-visit previous islands if you so wish, ideal for going back to a well established Kingdom for the Winter. Visiting new islands provide more challenges, such as more Greed to deal with, Vagrant camps being further away (these are where you hire new subjects) etc. As well as new mounts to find, and NPC’s known as Hermits who grant special upgrades to certain buildings.
It’s very involving and honestly quite addictive, there’s also two variants of the game to play, mainly just re-skining of the game with the exception of one subject, the Pikemen, being replaced by Ninjas in the Shogun Biome. No doubt the biggest change to the series is the addition of co-op, though this is a double edged sword, while much more fun to play, there are some issues that need addressing, there are quite a few bugs for the client when playing in co-op, things such as purchasing tools/weapons for the subjects not appearing yet the money is still taken, buildings/walls not displaying properly or not allowing to upgrade. They’re not apparent straight away, and seem to appear over time. We circumvented this by communicating what was needed where and how many coins we had and passed what was needed to the host to sort things out, which was all fine but almost renders the second player as nothing more than extra pockets for the host. Something that needs addressing sooner than later.
Visually I cant fault KTC, it has a glorious pixel art style that flows beatifully throughout, and wonderfully reflected by the water that’s along the bottom of the screen. the audio is OK, not alot going on sound effect wise other than the firing of arrows, the squish of the greed when they die and the panting of your mount. The music is where it’s at though, as it provides a great atmosphere throughout the game, playing melodic tunes the complement the different time periods nicely.