Preview: KingsRoad (PC)

written by Stephen Hanley on 1.3.14 kings-road

If I were to say to you “Facebook Game”, 9/10 people would think of the dirge of titles that are popular such as the likes of Candy Crush Saga, Farmville and so on. However, what if I told you that this game has inspiration from one of the most beloved RPG’s of all time, and plays just as well as the original?

KingsRoad is a free-to-play dungeon crawler RPG that defies everything that a Facebook game shouldn’t be. Taking inspiration from Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo franchise, the player will select from either a Wizard, Knight or Archer class and explore a world of action RPG built on using one button. You simply point your mouse where you want your character to walk (or hold it down for more control over your characters movements) and simply click on enemies to attack them. Simple and to the point really.

Part of the challenge of KingsRoad is balancing the simplistic gameplay with a variety of spells, abilities and items. You assign different powers and abilities to the various number keys 1-5 and use them strategically to get past your foes in combat. Using these powers consumes mana, however, which prevents you from spamming spells and facerolling mobs.

Similarly to Diablo, there is an endless stream of items gathered from the corpses of your fallen foes. It’s a huge component to these types of games and KingsRoad does it well with items ranging from equipment to potions and food. The equipment is color-coded by its rarity and offer up various stats boosts as a result.

Now at this stage you must be saying to yourself “well this isn’t anything *insert name of game of same genre* hasn’t done before.” You’re also quite right in that sense but it’s important to note that the game nails all the basics of the genre and does so well. As this game is a browser-based free-to-play game though, there are certain elements that are different from KingsRoad inspirations.

Despite being a free-to-play game, KingsRoad is actually quite lax on how much or how often you can play, especially in light of other free-to-play titles that have come out on mobile platforms. There is no restrictions regarding how often you can play and also there are no power-heavy item purchases that you could buy to unbalance your experience.

Instead microtransitions are kept to a minimum and are available to help enhance your experience such as extra bag or bank slots and unlocking skill points earlier than you should. The premium currency used can be earned in-game through completing missions so there’s not a huge reason to use actual money to purchase these improvements.

Additionally KingsRoad takes the idea of social gaming to a whole new level, unlike annoying your friends with game invitations you wouldn’t want. You’ll be able to group up with your friends (or strangers) to complete missions and by doing so you will gain more XP and better loot than if you would have completed it on your own. You can then also unlock “heroic” difficulty on all the game’s missions, adding a new element of difficulty to content you’ve previously completed. Missions themselves are broken into bite-sized chunks of 10-15 minutes, really lending itself to the aspect of social gaming without interfering in the quality of the gaming experience.

The only negative to KingsRoad I could find is that certain townsfolk can create items for you but they do it on a timer. These townsfolk can be upgraded to make better items as well, but this takes time too unless you spend some premium currency.

KingsRoad gives a new definition to the idea of social gaming by setting a new bar for what can be expected on Facebook. It is a beautifully crafted dungeon crawler with all the trimmings and very little restriction despite being free-to-play. If you’re a fan of Diablo or Torchlight, then get your mits on KingsRoad.

 

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