Kings of Dragon Pass (KOD) is a RPG and strategy game released on Steam mid-2015. The developers A-Sharp worked in coordination with the publishers Herocraft, known for other indie titles such as Tempest, Marbie Duel and Strategy & Tactics: Wargame Collection. KOD originally published and developed the game back in 1999, with mobile releases in 2014 seeing to the popular return of this game. The game focuses on being a strong narrative experience as it provides rich story and mythological fantasies. Players can only succeed in the game by balancing both survival and prospering as well as managing resources. A strong core element of this game is the player’s actions and decisions involving diplomacy and military strategy, which ultimately determines the success of the game.
In Kings of Dragon Pass you play as a barbarian clan throughout the generations. Every decision you make impacts decisions both immediately and long-term as your goal is to become both the leader of the clan and eventually Dragon pass – a region where the rest of the barbarian clans have settled.
The gameplay begins as players are briefly shown through a tutorial segment of the overall mechanics and resource management of the game. Players shown that your tribe settled in the Dragon Pass from previous turmoil. Players through the tutorial are shown why the mythology behind their tribe and their diplomatic stance on certain in-game lore. Such as which deity to worship, because this too impacts the games unique experience on each play through. At the core gameplay of the game, players have cycles throughout the year and at the beginning of each year players can allocate magic points to specific areas such as questing, war or diplomacy – as well as a variety of others. Seasons in each yearly cycle can be skipped, however if players fail to manage everything at the same time, it will lead to the inevitable downfall of the tribe. Learning the season cycles and how each season benefits the tribe is the first big step and one of the most influential in how the player’s experience the game, each encounter will show dialogue, art and chosen response. This comes onto the main core itself, choice. The developer A-Sharp emphasizes how choice is neither right or wrong, but can ultimately lead to victory or defeat. This is seen and felt throughout the game as diplomatic allegiances with one tribe can lead to war with another – each neighborhood tribe offering a unique ace in the hole such as wealth or military might. More mythological choices and unforeseen circumstances often creep up throughout the game where it adds an additional level of resource management.
If the resource management and tribe management of farming, diplomacy, trade, war, exploration, mythology and sacrificing sounds too much – the game gives seven advisors which often gives handfuls of helpful advice as each advice. Be wary however, many hold hidden agendas that would rather benefit that advisor more than the tribe itself. This is a great feature in a game that adds depth to its characters. It is a unique element of the game that adds thought and depth to the player as these seven advisors can be switched out at any time and offer expertise. Finally, events are scattered throughout the game when players send expeditions to explore the map, establish trades or prepare an army for attack or defense. These events can happen at any time and be caused by problems by the carls or common citizens. These events add a unique sense of replayability to each game because it is these events and interactions that makes the game unique.
King of Dragon Pass features only the ‘play’ option as a single-player game focused on adventures and replayability. Without a doubt, KOD contains enormous amounts of playtime and longevity. The controls are easy to learn but the game somewhat suffers from an insufficient tutorial. The tutorial fails to cover the enormous range of mechanics or the depth the game offers. After the tutorial segment many features of the game such as exploration or questing went unexplained. However, the user experience and interface from this the game offers great in-game assistance to newer player such as the Manuel and controls.
It is because of the enormous amount of resource managing and adaptability that the game presents a somewhat difficult learning curve for newer players to engage into. The steep curve will present a risk in itself as the overall game difficulty works well to give newer players and seasoned players an enjoyable experience.
In conclusion, King of Dragon Pass is a Strategy and role-playing game that stands on solid foundations. The game emphasizes a strong sense of book-style narration, with the strongest core element of the game being the rich and fantastic story told. The story develops and adapts to the player’s progress within the game. King of Dragon Pass is an amazing game that offers avid readers a new source for rich content. This game allows you to create your own adventure as mythology and fantasy collide together. If you are looking for a strong and deeply strategic RPG game focused on story, then King of Dragon is a must. With such a rich and well-tuned story, King of Dragon pass makes a unique staple in the epic fantasy genre that definitely deserves recognition.
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