Kingdom: New Lands
Top Critic Average
When it hits those lows, it's not unplayable, but it's dang close. I'm more apt to put it down after a particularly choppy run, but I still find myself coming back to it after a while. Despite its technical flaws, I still want to see all of the different areas, and learn all of their secrets.
Kingdom: New Lands is the same survival simulation game you'll find on Steam, but it feels even more at home on the Nintendo Switch. While the lack of tutorial and clearly defined goals can potentially lead to frustration and some difficult first starts, Kingdom's simple controls lead you right into an incredibly engrossing game. The gorgeous pixel graphics shine on the Switch's screen, and the changing of day to night, and summer to fall is not only visually stunning, it's an ever present reminder that winter is coming. Based upon the principle that nothing lasts, with each new game Kingdom asks: How long can your crown survive?
A deceptively simple idea that can become laboured and bewildering as well as oddly compelling, Kingdom: New Lands is certainly a curious take on the strategy genre. Its ambiguous, incredibly minimalistic nature will initially intrigue and could easily frustrate in equal measure. Fans of roguelikes or tower defence-style games may prefer more complexity, as the simple mechanics give you control over choices rather than actions and rely on astute observation and perseverance, rather than on skill or improvisation. There is a balance to learn and a set of rules to be discovered, but even with the admittedly gorgeous aesthetic - and progressing beyond the initial stages to where the dilemma of ambition over security ramps up - it may still not be enough of a pay off to reward your time. Definitely one to consider, albeit carefully.
Kingdom: New Lands starts off on a welcome note that seems to promise a wide and ambitious experience but other than its stunning audiovisual component, the game begins its descent too early on. While simplicity is usually something to praise, Kingdom: New Lands is too simple for its own good and this ends up harming it, especially as it also becomes too repetitive early on.
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The set up of randomly generated island variations makes every playthrough both exciting and scary, and the feeling of branching out and fortifying your base is very satisfying. This is not a very action-heavy game, but more a dynamic adventure with the highs of triumph and the lows of defeat all wrapped up in a beautiful simulation game. With a great challenge, subtle and organic strategy and a gorgeous presentation, Kingdom: New Lands brings an excellent title to the Switch, one you won't want to miss.
It’s an incredible sense of discovery that soon sees Kingdom: New Lands become such a remarkable experience. It can be confusing at first, for sure. But, as you start to piece together all the systems that are at play, this standout addition to the Nintendo eShop soon becomes fiercely compelling to the point that you can happily sink countless hours into it at a time. Just keep an eye out for Greed.
It’ll take you many many tries to get a full build going and get off the island, but when you do it’s so rewarding in a way that feels like a true victory. Kingdom: New Lands on Switch is probably the best version of the hit indie game. Once you’re in the new lands, thinking you’ve already done so much to get there, suddenly the game becomes even bigger with even more things to do. For $15, it’s well worth the spend, and comes highly recommended.
While Kingdom: New Lands is hardly a perfect game the experience you get to undertake playing it is fresh and new, blending elements of tower defense with real-time strategy and resource management. As long as you understand the limits of what you can do and you’re willing to explore, experiment, and initially fail quite a lot it offers something unique and challenging to the Switch lineup.
You spawn as a randomly generated king or queen inside a wild, untamed wood with nothing more than your crown, your steed and a sack of coins. As you gallop through the side-scrolling forest, you pass a stone structure which spells out “Kingdom.”
Kingdom: New Lands is a diamond in the rough that is just a few extra tweaks and refinements away from being another sparkling gem in the eShop lineup.