The King's League Defense

The Kings League Defense

In between the monthly League battles, you can send your party off to go on quests and earn rewards, train to boost their skills or conquer other territories. All of this takes place in a nicely done overhead map view with a simplified user interface for managing your party and resources. All together, King League is a well made title with a solid gameplay system, a substantial challenge for players and nicely done animations that allow you to see your team's combat abilities clearly.

The Gameplay

As previously said, the game runs on a real time calendar -every 30 days, the kingdom hosts a King's League tournament that the player's party must participate in. The performance of the party will determine the placement of the player in the rankings and ultimately, whether you will be able to challenge the King or not. If you are not the top ranking competitor, you will need to wait until the next King's League season before having another shot at the King.

The days can be spent in various ways, depending on your needs. Recruiting does not require any personnel. This is an automated function that will require a bit of time and gold -at the end of the recruitment action, the player will be presented with several candidates that can be recruited for the party (be advised, early in the game, be sure to set aside penty of gold before choosing to recruit -if you blow all your gold for scouting new fighters, you might not have enough gold left to hire them). If you are lucky, some unique fighters will appear, it is highly advisable to recruit these characters as they tend to have very high stats even at lower levels.

One may also choose to have their troops train and exercise. Which kind of training chosen depends on the player's preference. Various training regimens will increase certain stats -some will only increase health, some focuses on attack; there are more expensive training regimens that will increase more than one stat. While these tend to be more expensive, they are actually more worthwhile to spend resources on.

Of course, players can also choose to engage in combat. This can be done either through side quests or by choosing to expand the territory. Quests tend to be easier, provide a decent amount of reward in the form of resources and allow you to see how effective your team is in small skirmishes. Expanding your territory means attacking someone else's -so expect a decent fight at the very least. At later levels, expanding will require you to fully prepare a good squad capable of dealing plenty of punishment while withstanding some damage. And like the tournament battles, losing means a penalty in fame -which means that if you lose too often, your league ranking will also be affected.

Once the days pass and the month ends, the time for the King's League tournament will begin. This is similar to the territory expansion battles but expect the opponents to be significantly stronger (particularly when you reach the battles near the end). Again, fame is a major element that is controlled by your performance, so getting a win will certainly help maintain your standing (or increase it if you have suffered a loss).

A Good Challenge

The game provides accessibility to player for being simple to control and easy to understand. You also get the benefit of being first ranked by default -which means that the game will be more about maintaining your position as opposed to clawing your way to the top. That being said, staying on top of the hill is no cakewalk. After the obligatory easy battles at the start of the game, the developers have thrown in some pretty interesting party combinations of mages, knights, archers and clerics (in various mixes) that will force you to create not only a balanced party -but one that should be able to adapt easily to various enemy formations.

Resource management also plays an important part in the game -gold is used to purchase upgrades, recruit members and pay for monthly salaries. Meat is used to fund training -which should be maximized as often as possible. Both meat and gold are used to fund expeditions and quests -as your party will have to embark on a journey for a few days.

Beautifully Done

One of the things we certainly loved about King's League are the graphics. The visual style for the combat scenes are quite simple: small animated 2D flash characters fighting on a static background. Though if one is to be specific, it is "small smoothly animated and wonderfully drawn 2D flash characters" -and by wonderful, we mean the kind of artwork that deserves its own plush toy. The game takes apart all seriousness in story, gameplay and delivery, which means that players get to focus on enjoyment over anything else.

Why you should play it...

One thing we did not mention throughout the review is that King's League is a simple management game. Once the battle starts you will have no control over any character or ability -which means that all you can do is train your troops, send them on battle or increase their levels. Aside from that, it all becomes a juggling act of time and resources. While this may seem like any ordinary management title for most, the fact is that King's League has managed to provide a truly enjoyable game experience with its visual style, simplified combat and addictive game-progression system.