Kingdom: New Lands
- Beautiful pixel art style graphics
- Very simple to play but difficult to master
- Excellent soundtrack
- Highly immersive atmosphere with minimal UI
- Minimal tips and help can make game quite challenging for beginners
- Lack of control over AI can be annoying
- Gameplay can get bore and repeative over time
Kingdom: New Lands is a great RPG indie title which has received excellent reviews since its launch in 2016 for the PC market. It is a part of the Kingdom series and was recently offered for free by the Epic Games store. It has also experienced some very attractive specials on its Steam page recently where has received excellent reviews from players. Here we take a dive into what the game has to offer and what you can expect if you decide to take the dive.
Hands on Impressions
For starters, the one thing that sticks out about Kingdom New Lands for me is its simplicity. The second thing that sticks out is how challenging and complex the game is. The game developers have done an excellent job of creating a game that is simple to get into, but extremely challenging and complicated to get good at. This is the perfect challenge for many gamers and is certainly a reason why the game can be so enjoyable and has enthralled so many fans since launch.
The artwork and graphics compromise of pixel art with some artistic flare and are beautiful despite their simple nature. The game is extremely minimalist when it comes to in-game menus and overlays, and this combined with the beautiful graphics make for a highly immersive experience that had me on the edge of my site more often than not. This is in no small part due to an enchanting soundtrack that enhances the mood and atmosphere of the game perfectly.
The premise for the game is that you are a new ruler setting out to create a new Kingdom. Not much more of a hint is given from there. You find yourself in a strange world that at first seems quite peaceful and calm. That is, until you find out that there are monsters that appear at night to attack your stronghold that you keep at bay at all costs lest they destroy your entire Kingdom. Despite its simple nature, Kingdom New Lands was able to keep me at the edge of my seat more than any game in the past half a decade which is no small feat. Forget about next generation graphics – the world “feels” real, and with it so do monsters which are constantly out to get you.
As you slowly find your feet playing for the first time, you’ll soon realize that losing and starting over from scratch is a huge part of the learning experience. I took the liberty of not reading any guides or help online in order to experience the games challenges and all their glory, and I’ll admit I was not disappointed. You must constantly learn about how the world around you works and tweak your strategy to figure out the best way of defending against the monsters which are constantly at your door.
In this sense the game is quite similar to a tower defense game, only in a complete fantasy world that’s a lot more beautiful and enchanting than any tower defense game I have ever played. The addition of also exploring and finding new adds also adds to the RPG-esque fantasy experience.
Where the game falls short in some ways is its simplicity means a lot of tasks are automated by the AI based on certain conditions which are quite hard to control. This made the game very frustrating for me in certain situations. This is made more apparent by the difficulty of the games, which gets quite hard quite fast with minimal tips are guides to help you through it. For all intensive purposes, you are on your own in this fantasy world and it’s up to you to figure out how to survive.
All in all, I had a huge amount of fun playing Kingdom: New Lands and it was both pleasantly challenging and enjoyable. The game ticks all the right boxes for anyone looking to escape into an immersive fantasy world, and its simple controls make it very easy to get absorbed into. It’s also extremely challenging and rewarding to get good at. Although we had to knock off a couple of points for a few areas of mild frustration, Kingdom: New Lands comes highly recommended.