Though it wasn't the first game of its kind, Angry Birds was probably the spark that set the tumbling-buildings-game-world afire. Since it appeared on the indie scene a number of similar clones followed in Angry Birds' wake, one of the latest being medieval-themed King's Game.
Lamely-named? Perhaps. Lame as a result, though? Nope.
King's Game is a tale of war. You, the red king, have decided to wage a series of offensive campaigns (or possibly defensive? BOTH SIDES HAVE BUILDINGS) against enemy forces. Sometimes you're doing this to rescue your overly-copious stock of captured fair maidens, but most of the time you just don't like the other side. Let the slaughter begin!
Story? Meh. Barely exists. Game play? Angry Birds clone, but a mutant of the familiar format. King's Game has the same objective as usual: knock down enemy structures with a minimum of projectiles, taking out their troops in the process. The rub HERE is, if you don't knock the enemy down in the first turn, the vile king on the opposite side of the field gets to fire back.
Even worse, he gets the same craaaaaazy ammunition as you. Gasp.
Point, click, drag, release. All you need is a mouse. King's Game is a little more difficult to aim than some other games, as it only shows you the trajectory and power of your last shot, but you'll get used to the mechanic - and the heavier gravity - in a flash.
Simple, goofy-lookin' characters abound in King's Game. Clean, neat… perhaps a little too buxom in the case of the women (bras don't exist in this world?)… overall unremarkable. The game zooms in and out as you aim your projectiles, and the graphics get a liiiiiiittle jaggy at the normal viewing range. Unfortunate.
Standard medieval combat themes for background tunes. Nothing magnificent or original. The game's true audio brilliance lies in the little characters themselves, boasting adorably mischievous little squeaks and squawks in victory and defeat alike.
Despite returning enemy fire, King's Game isn’t tough to beat. In order to maximize your score you need to earn crowns, and earning a crown usually requires beating an enemy with a handful shots. With some fidgeting and a bit of luck, this is an easy objective on most levels - especially when you earn an upgrade that gives you an extra shot before the enemy fires back. As of this writing there appears to be an extra set of stages under development, so perhaps the challenge will be expanded. As it stands now, though, the enemy often won't get a shot off before you beat the level. Kinda puts a damper on the extra mechanic.
One thing about the level layout struck me as rather odd, however. The levels are grouped into three categories: basic, rescue, and rush. The first has you crumbling towers, the second requires you to kill all the enemies without killing fair maidens, and the third dispenses with the fair maidens and returns to the original format - though you more or less MUST kill the enemy in one hit to earn a crown. No leeway.
Why's this troublesome? Er… the rush levels are a hell of a lot easier than the rescue levels. I'm not entirely sure what happened there, but, some shuffling might be in order.
King's Game is fun. It's not perfect, but it also doesn't have any debilitating flaws. It should eat up an hour or two of your time, and is enjoyable enough to replay.
PLAY KING'S GAME