Developer: Coatsink, Stumpy Squid, Fury Studios
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Simulation, Strategy
Publisher: Raw Fury
Kingdom Two Crowns is a game from the Kingdom series. You may have heard of Kingdom: New Lands which was a reworked version of the original game. As for Kingdom Two Crowns, it’s a sequel in the series. Kingdom Two Crowns is a 2D side-scrolling strategy game developed by three developers: Coatsink, Stumpy Squid and Fury studios. The publisher of the game is Raw Fury who has published other games like Atomicrops and Night Call.
Cooperative play is something that differs Kingdom Two Crowns from its previous games. You can experience the wonders of the game by yourself or with a fellow friend, locally or online. I appreciate the new multiplayer feature as it heightens the game’s level of fun. With the Dead Lands DLC (which is a free update to the game), players can switch between four new monarchs inspired by the game Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
You start your journey playing the role of a king or queen who rides atop their horse. You enter a realm in which you have to maintain your kingdom. Gold is very important in this game since it can be used to turn peasants into loyal subjects. You need to flourish your kingdom with many subjects and have them occupy a job to help defend your kingdom from the night terrors. As night falls, greedy creatures come out to steal your coins and crown, and once the crown is obtained by the pesky creatures, the kingdom has fallen. So it’s important to recruit, hunt, and upgrade your kingdom. You can also explore the depths of the mysterious forests where you will find loot, structures, mounts, and more to help you sustain your kingdom.
Kingdom Two Crowns consists of five different Islands. Each island has the same playthrough, where the Monarch establishes its permanent kingdom to survive the greed of the creatures. But the islands do differ from one another, both in size and difficulty. As you progress through the game and make your way to the next island, things will start to get more difficult. You will encounter new and stronger creatures that will try to steal your crown. For you to travel to other islands, you need a boat, and the boat on its own takes a while to repair. Once you are set and loaded on your island you can be ready to move on to the next island, but the longer you stay away from an island, your buildings begin to decay which can always make things very tedious.
The controls for Kingdom Two Crowns are simple and minimal. As the game is a side-scrolling game, meaning that you go from one side to the other, the only moving controls are moving to the left and right. You then have other controls like a sprint, drop, pay, mount special, and monarch special. Overall the controls work very smoothly.
When first starting Kingdom Two Crowns you are appointed with three “game skins” to pick from. What this means is that you have the original art style and then you have a reskin of the game where it includes Japanese style elements to the game. The Japenese reskin is called Kingdom: Shogun. What is interesting is that the Japanese style introduces things like a samurai as your character, a bamboo forest, different lighting, and other captivating details. The reskin of the game is very nice as it gives players a new perspective to look at. The other reskin is the Kingdom: Dead Lands one, where the atmosphere is more dreary and ominous.
The art style of this game, in my opinion, is alluring. Everything is very minimalistic, but it works so well with its beautiful pixel art aesthetic. The attention to detail put in this game is also incredible. The reflection that you can see off your character in the water, the little fishes that jump everyone now and then. Everything in the game looks so calm and wonderful. The trees are ruffled and the lighting is so well set too. You can ride through the forest and have it be where the forest background has light shining through peaks of the leaves. The grass, even the roots in the dirt, the bunnies, and the overall style of the kingdom is perfectly designed.
On top of that, the soundtrack and the sound effects are fitting too. I do have to say that the art style and sounds complement one another to create such a lovely atmosphere. Sound effects like the ping when the gold is used, the river running, the chopping of the trees, really helps the player feel like they are actually in the game. The music is also so calming, as you ride your horse through the forest, soft mellow music begins to play which sets this fantasy feel for the mood. The aesthetic of this game is beyond wonderful and so pleasing to look at and play with. It truly sits greatly with the standards of a “Kingdom”.
Kingdom Two Crowns, is an extremely enjoyable, pleasant, strategic game that has an appealing feel and looks to make the player want to keep playing. The game gives a wondrous experience, which dives into a fantasy stylized atmosphere that can be worthwhile on your own or with a friend.
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