Review

Kingdom Elemental Review (PC)

Kingdom Elemental consists of a nice combination of real-time-strategy and tactical elements that when coupled along with its charm, makes up for its sub-par graphics. Whatís even more impressive than this indie titleís charm and solid gameplay is that it was all done by one man. For more information about the creator of Kingdom Elemental and head of Liberation Games, visit our Interview with Scott Thunelius.

Even at the beginning of the tutorial, the narrator quickly switches from the James Earl Jones wannabe voice, and makes a quick stab at just about every other game that uses over dramatic voice acting.


Although the smallest, the other levels donít get much bigger The game has a giant flaming bear, what more could you ask for?

The Campaign sports very simplistic gameplay, but at the same time it also carries a huge amount of depth with it. At the beginning of each round you are given a certain allotment of gold for which you can purchase units. Whether itís using the Swordsman unit as a damage sponge to buy time for your heavy hitting, but highly delicate Archers; or going for a one hit TKO with Wizards, youíll need to purchase your units wisely, and put together a balanced team using the diverse arsenal Kingdom Elemental offers. Even on easy the game is quite difficult so careful preparation is always a plus. Once you play through the first few levels the Skirmish mode is unlocked which will put you through randomized battles which should keep you entertained for a while.

Once you have your team youíll face off against all sorts of creatures from goblins to the undead, heck youíll even face off against a giant flaming bear. Enemies come at you in waves and a timer is displayed letting you know when the next wave will come. After you defeat all waves you complete a round, and after all the rounds have been completed within a certain location youíll proceed to the next location to repeat. Sadly, locations are very small and enclosed, much like an arena. I personally would like to see Kingdom Elementalís gameplay on a much larger scale. Each unit offers a unique power or service and finding the right balance is key. Rarely will you have at least one of each unit in your battle. Picking two strong unit types to counter the enemy along with a Cleric for healing usually will be the way to victory.


This Cyclops is one of many foes youíll battle against Using the Swordsman as a damage sponge buys your archers time

The interface is as easy as it gets. The left mouse button controls all unit movements, selections, and attacks. During combat hitting the space bar will freeze the game allowing you to use any of your unitsí powers. Without the pause power you would not be able to keep up with pace of the game as it is quite frantic. The camera is equally simplistic. Holding the right mouse button down while moving will allow you to smoothly rotate the camera 360 degrees, and using the click wheel zooms in and out.

Although a bit cartoonish and blocky, the visual style is good. You can easily tell classes of units apart whether itís the enemy or your own force. Most units have multiple attack animations and, *gasp* this game actually has hit detection, a rarity among its kind. Even though constricting, the environments also look nice
with each having its own setting and mood. The audio is hit and miss. The background music is incredible, but the narration between locations is horrid.


The boss battles are surprisingly some of the easiest A diversified roster of units is made available

This is one of those games where you feel like the developer actually put effort into the game not just to make a profit, but to make a quality product that can be enjoyed by all. With its undeniably excellent gameplay, and easy pick up and play feel; Kingdom Elemental is a must have for any fan of the genre.

Top Game Moment:
Realizing how the simple the interface was created to be without sacrificing any of the gameís strategic depth.

Comments

By chiery (I just got here) on Oct 07, 2009
chiery
The sound, graphics, and overall feel of the game just add up to a game with a real presence. It's an exemplary example of the kind of quality game that an indy game company can make. www.sheeparcade.com