Kingdom: New Lands
Top Critic Average
Publisher: Raw Fury
Genres: Simulation, Strategy
Kingdom: New Lands builds upon the award-winning gameplay and mystery of Kingdom by introducing an abundance of new content to the IGF-nominated title while maintaining the simplicity and depth that legions of monarchs have come to experience and enjoy. Travel to the New Lands and welcome the deluge of new mounts, merchants, and vagrants that call these isles home, but be wary of the new obstacles that threaten your arrival -- for not just the greedy creatures block your way but even the environment itself can defeat you.
Be brave, ruler, and fight to the bitter end, lest these New Lands conquer you instead.
Kingdom: New Lands Release Trailer
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?
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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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.