When it comes to massively multiplayer online games, Plarium have carved themselves out a nice little niche on the mobile platform. Their strategy games lend themselves well to being played on phones and tablets, with just enough depth to field some real strategic gameplay, while remaining simple enough to dip into while on a commute, or when you find yourself with five minutes to spare. Throne: Kingdom At War is no different in this respect, and follows the same formula that is shared by it’s siblings, such as Vikings: War Of Clans. This has turned out to be a great tactic for Plarium, as having similar games running on the same engine has allowed for popular features, functionality, and other tweaks to be deployed across multiple games at once, improving their whole roster in one fell swoop. But how does Throne: Kingdom At War actually play? Is it much fun? Let’s take a look.
Throne: Kingdom At War starts you off as the Lord of a kingdom, one of many scattered throughout the land, and as such you are tasked with leading your kingdom to expand and prosper, while fending off any other kingdoms who are foolish enough to get in your way.
Meeting other players doesn’t always have to mean war though, as building alliances is just as important as putting other players back in their place. You can be the most brutal and intimidating Lord in the land, but without friends by your side, your numbers may not look quite so impressive when you are fending off attacks from all sides. Building strong relations is a must, if you don’t want to find yourself as an easy target for other marauding armies.
Having friends in Throne: KAW isn’t just about numbers on the battlefield either. Players can trade resources too, allowing for allegiances that work together like a well oiled machine. If your friend needs help in battle but you can’t spare the troops, perhaps you can help them in another way by selling them resources at an extremely generous rate, and in return, you can hope they return the favour in your hour of need. And herein lies the beauty of Throne: KAW. Playing this game feels like a complex version of multiplayer chess, with added diplomacy thrown in to boot.
As you start to build your town, you would be forgiven for thinking that this game is quite sedate in the beginning. The game quickly explains how to build your town, the way resource gathering works, and finally, how to venture into the wider world and expand the reach of your kingdom. It is at this final step when things get really interesting.
A quick word of warning. You will make enemies in this game. And not just in the sense of enemies that leave your conscious thoughts as soon as you close the game down. I’m talking about enemies that will have you scheming to rob, pillage, and destroy them, whilst you are sipping your morning coffee. You will make enemies that, to be quite honest, irk you to the point that you will want to wipe their sorry excuse for a kingdom from the face of the earth. These enemies will frustrate you. They will cause you sleepless nights. They will become the bane of your online existence. And defeating them will be the reason you love playing this game so much.
This personal aspect of Throne: KAW cannot be understated. It simply feels great to take down one of your mortal enemies, leaving them weaker, and knowing that the balance of power has swung in your direction. There are PvE aspects to the game too that are good fun, but let’s get real here, it’s the other human players that make this game so damn irresistible to play. Before you know it you find yourself embroiled in new rivalries, and the longer you play, the more intricate the inter-kingdom political scene becomes. This is generally when you start to realise you need allies. Without allies, you are asking for trouble.
Graphics and sound
For anyone that has played the other games in Plarium’s roster, you should find the look of the game to be quite familiar. Graphics are clean and pretty looking, while running well on lower-end hardware. Your town is depicted in a beautiful isometric window that never feels cramped, and as you zoom in you can see your villagers utilizing the various buildings you have erected, such as troops training in the barracks.
As for the sound, the backing tracks are perfectly suited for the time period, and SFX are varied and seem to be employed well in all the right places. Just as with the graphics, the sound never gets too ‘busy’, but is a well suited accompaniment to a game set in an alternative middle ages.
Worth a try?
Throne: Kingdom At War is most definitely worth a try for fans of massively multiplayer online games, and will appeal equally to any strategy fans. For those that have been on the fence about these sorts of games should also be pleasantly surprised by how easy the game is to learn. For those curious, check out this gameplay video created by Plarium themselves. There is also a multitude of information on the Throne: Kingdom At War official website, from FAQ’s to game guides, and the latest news.
While there are in-app purchases to help speed your kingdom-building up, the game is perfectly playable without spending a cent, so if you are someone who likes the idea of pitting your kingdom building and battlefield skills against thousands of other players from around the world, it’s difficult to not at least recommend giving Throne: KAW a try. You will make friends, and you will surely make enemies too, but you will certainly have a lot of fun doing it.
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