Build an infrastructure, train and upgrade units, and defeat others in battle in this great RTS game
- Strong RTS-style gameplay
- Ranking system lets you track your prestige level worldwide
- Battle against AI (PvE) or other opponents
- Receive gifts from friends, for consecutive logins and more
- Complete quests to earn prestige
- Vast upgrade system for units, infrastructure and buildings
- Inclusion of microtransactions for gem currency
- Game lacks realism with static environments, buildings and units
- Absent RTS elements including real time battles
Kingdom Force is a free real-time strategy game available for PC, developed by Thank Games, which puts you in charge of a vast army in the Middle Ages tasked with conquering the world. The game can be played on your browser or downloaded as an executable file.
Core Gameplay and Mechanics
Browser games of this kind have been gaining popularity in recent years, and with good reason. Real time strategy games combine both the tactical skills required to out-think opponents and the organizational skills required to efficiently distribute resources. Combined with a solid interface, upgrade system, and core game mechanics, Kingdom Force brings all of this and more to the genre.
The main objective of the game is territorial management, from which other objectives derive. For those unfamiliar with RTS, from an overhead position you must command all forces under your control to collect resources, build and upgrade structures, and produce units you can use to lay siege against your opponent, all while defending yourself against constant attack. Controls use a point-and-click interface.
At first, a tutorial mode will teach you about the basic features of the game, asking you to build various different types of buildings. Doing so will earn you prestige. This solidifies your position as king. Next, you will be able to recruit various types of heroes to fight for you, each with their own specialties. The game then introduces you to technologies. These are various types of infrastructural activities which can be upgraded using the Academy building including architecture, planting, smelting, mining, weaponry and more. Upgrading them will cost money, food and other resources. This adds a sense of realism to the game, allowing a player to weigh choices based on their current resources.
The most important feature of the game is your army, which is what you will use to fight. These can be trained slowly to increase their level, or they can participate in battle. Battles are either against real opponents or PvE. When following the online tutorial, the game will direct you towards PvE. A simulated battle will then take place. One feature of battles which disappoints me here is the lack of input on the part of the player. Before entering a battle, you can select the region to fight in as well as troop deployments, but there is no dynamic in-game features of the battle.
By upgrading and levelling up your structures you can build more powerful units, better infrastructure, and earn more resources. Doing so will allow you to participate in even tougher battles, earn more prestige, and so on
For an RTS-style game, gameplay is quite strong. While you are not taking an action, the game remains still, with no prospect of invasion and therefore no dynamic elements. This can be seen negatively, but the game operates much like a game of chess, where each move is in preparation for another. By upgrading and levelling up your structures you can build more powerful units, better infrastructure, and earn more resources. Doing so will allow you to participate in even tougher battles, earn more prestige, and so on. As you earn prestige, you will move up the ranks in the 'Rank' section, updated daily. The game also has a Friends and Enemies list, containing people who will help/ interrupt your battles.
For completionists, this can become a highly rewarding and addictive process. The game will even reward you with gems for logging in on consecutive days. For many, though, it is far too linear. The static nature of gameplay also makes the game far less dynamic and exciting for some, myself included. In a sense, the game does not operate as an RTS title at all, since it is not grounded in real time, strategic thinking.
Visuals, Graphics, and User Interface
Visually, the game is quite colorful. Building and terrain textures are individually well defined, though high definition graphics are not expected from an RTS title. Battles utilize the same graphics engine, with special animations for certain units. Units themselves have fairly good definition. The surrounding environment such as plains and rivers remain static, with no animation whatsoever. This is quite negligent from a design point of view since it takes from the realism of the game.
The user interface for the game is quite basic, containing your character information in the top left, a set of menus on the right for Shop, Items, Mails, Rank, Friends and Help as well as a large menu on the bottom of the screen. This is most important, displaying your current resources (Food, Iron, Stone and Wood), money, strongholds, and a series of tabs you can use to create and upgrade your units and technology.
While playing the game, certain other issues were encountered. While building structures, the game provides you with the opportunity to finish them instantly at the cost of a single gem. While this might not seem like a lot, continuing to do so will cause you to run out of gems - which leads to microtransactions. Despite this, the time it takes to build structures is never too long and if you're patient then it's not a big problem.
Overall, Kingdom Force is a highly entertaining game with strong RTS elements. Build structures, forge an infrastructure, level up buildings and units, create an army and participate in battles with AI and other users. Graphics and visuals are impressive to a degree, but the static environments and the lack of any kinds of advanced animations (other than in battles) makes them kind of a waste. Furthermore, the inclusion of microtransactions takes from the longevity of the game. Certain RTS elements are also absent including a real time element to battles and engagement with the environment. Overall, the game is fun for the completionist in us, containing endless numerical goals to achieve for buildings, units, prestige and ultimately your ranking. If it's something you enjoy, I recommend downloading it.