King’s Bounty Joins Facebook

By John Walker on May 25th, 2011 at 11:16 pm.

Will it be silly?

RPS favourite King’s Bounty, as revived by Katauri Interactive, has been providing us with huge amounts of fun over the last few years. It even gave Alec a wife. Albeit a dead one. So it’s with confusion that we meet news that publishers Nival have licensed the game from 1C and had a different team create a Facebook version: King’s Bounty: Legions. We’re genetically programmed to bristle at the thought of Facebook games, but we love playing King’s Bounty. This is a strange feeling.

The game is to be multiplayer, embracing the social nature of Bookfacing, describing itself as “a turn-based social strategy game”. The Summer release promises forty levels of an “extensive and witty storyline”, with quests, tactical turn-based combat, including PvP, and the troop hiring that defines the series. It’s all arriving in the Unity 3D engine.

And from the look of the screenshots, it’s not just the name that’s been licensed. It seems they’ve got all the assets from Katauri’s games too.

Naturally it’s going to be “freemium”, free to play, but with purchasable in-game items. What those items are we don’t yet know. If they’re belts with adventures inside, it’ll be tempting. This is coming from KranX Productions, a Russian team who focus on online games, and has nothing to do with Katauri, who are busy focusing on their MMO, Royal Quest.

The big question I have is: will it be silly? It’s a nuanced place that Katauri discovered with their charmingly daft games, and one I fear would be too easy to miss. Let’s hope that KranX get it, and get it right.

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37 Comments »

  1. yurusei says:

    Book of Faces + 5.

  2. xGryfter says:

    I tried Bookfacing once… I ended up with 3 stitches and a broken nose.

  3. Ergates_Antius says:

    Must…control…fist…of…death….

  4. pakoito says:

    It depends on how they’ll monetize. Badly, probably, so won’t play. New tendency of pay2win games annoy me.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I think there’s a lot of potential in a business model that involves calling your shareware/demo equivalent “free-to-play”, but then selling the bulk of the content however you want. Some MMOs are doing this pretty well. Play levels 1-10 for free, unlock the next ten for $5, and the next, etc.

      That preserves the dignity of everyone involved.

    • pakoito says:

      You mean like Minions of Mirth (http://www.prairiegames.com/). The game is the same as two years ago but they changed every reference to the word “demo” for “free”, and “full version” for “premium users”.

      I think it’s embarrasing.

  5. jamesgecko says:

    On the one hand, King’s Bounty multiplayer! The game begs for a play by mail option.

    On the other hand, it’s a Facebook game from a different developer with microtransactions. Not sure if want.

    • Fumarole says:

      I’d like to see a multiplayer King’s Bounty adopt the turn-based system used in Frozen Synapse wherein a player can play several games at a time with hours or days in between turns if they so desire. Of course this would probably only work in a purely combat-driven version of the game with the exploration & zombie matrimony (zombrimony, necrimony?) parts excised.

    • pakoito says:

      So you want play-by-mail Heroes of Might and Magic Duel mode.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      I want HoM in SIMULTANEOUS mode.

      That would be awesome.

  6. ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

    King’s Bounty: Arse-moured Privacyfest…

    A wondrous opportunity to trade 10 Vampires and a Royal Snake for several of your finest personal details, my camp Russian liege.

    And let’s be serious here about the true potential for online battles – how many Facebuck game-players will get past understanding the phrase ‘hexagonal grid’?

  7. Anthile says:

    O Katauri, what changes hast thou seen! This is not Space Rangers 3, nor King’s Bounty 2 and therefore inadequate.

  8. Gothnak says:

    Dear Mr RPS, can you please tell me the best Facebook games out there. I finished Tyrant, that was fun, but everything else is cack. There isn’t a single reliable website for Facebook game reviews. Sad times…

    This does look interesting, but god, freemium and microtransactions make me feel like giving it a miss even though i have bought all the King’s Bounty games so far. I wonder why i will happily pay £20 for a game, but not 50p for an item in a game.. Strange, i guess i’m just old.

    • qrter says:

      A website for Facebook game reviews… such a site could surely only be born out of the arsehole of Satan himself..!

    • Witrim says:

      Or it could make ppl like yourself reconsider and stop hating everytime you see the word facebook.

    • jconnop says:

      @Witrim
      Methinks you underestimate the steadfastness of our position regarding this matter, sir. Good day to you.

    • P7uen says:

      I’m sure we’ll get a WIT on Civivillation 6 or whatever, although I’m not afraid to say I have given up on that one already based on the last trailer.

      If you sit back and imagine a decent dev considering how you could use Facebook for a game, rather than for incentivizing monetization and marketeerafying opportunalilism, you’d agree there could be brilliant and convenient results.

      It’s like reverse Jurassic Park. Just because we haven’t made one, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t.

  9. Dozer says:

    If you started writing this article at 23:30 how did you get it posted at 23:15? Or was that another article?

  10. MythArcana says:

    Here we go again with luring valuable developers into the world of social corruption. I love Katauri and I wish they would make Space Rangers 3. Space Rangers 2 Reboot was the best game nobody played and the fans are screaming like crazy for another sequel. The King’s Bounty series was quite nice (being an avid Heroes fan to boot) and you can always see Katauri’s intricate attention to details in all their games – and that is indeed refreshing in this age.

    This leads me to this TwitBook influx which is bleeding into the game world, swallowing up the Civilization franchise and now this. It’s putting the U in the word dumb and I’m not having any of it. I miss the precious days when you loaded up a game without requiring Internet, and enjoying something with substance that would stay on your drive forever. Space Rangers 2 Reboot will always have a spot in D:\Games\ even if there were to be a sequel – it’s just that damned good.

    So, how about it Katuari? Sign up for the team with the Big Win and give us SR3! Or at the very least, please localize the DLC pack for English. Thanks in advance! :)

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      As proxy for John Walker, I dare you to read the article.

  11. Basilicus says:

    Sad face. I played 6 hours of King’s Bounty and regularly had:

    1. Graphical crashes-to-desktop
    2. Blue screens of death crashing my entire computer
    3. A bug that would take away the ability to tell a unit to attack or move in battle, meaning I could only win by counterattacks and spells.

    There were no agreed-upon community fixes to any of these that I could find. Put together, it was enough to put me off the game entirely. Which is a shame, because I absolutely adored – ADORED – it during those brief stretches when it would work.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Yes, well, maybe this one will make facebook ads twice as large for you, make your profile picture flicker, and prevent you from answering polls.

  12. Balm says:

    KranX used to make innovative games like Vangers and Perimeter.
    Sad to see him descent to facebook clickaramas and popcap-ish arcades.

  13. SirDimos says:

    I was about to say, “Where’s King’s Bounty 2!!”

    Then I remembered that not only did I never finish the first one, but I never even started the 2 expansions. BRB in 70-80 hrs to complain!!!
    >:(

    • Unaco says:

      And clearly you never accepted John Walker’s dare to read the article.

  14. Bungle says:

    The comments for this article got me to look up gameplay videos for Space Rangers 2. I had never heard of it before now. I’ve never heard so much universal love for a game before.

  15. necromental says:

    Bollcoks, I think I own this… If not on Steam Where would I have downloaded one of the Armoured Princess games? I’ve updated my PC and still haven’t dregged up all my digi games. It was advertised on an RPS bargain bucket.

    • adonf says:

      GoG maybe ?

    • necromental says:

      you win a prize sir, I will not be present on the comments of RPS for a whole day while I try to win a wife. Ta mush.

    • Unaco says:

      Unfortunately, I think the Zombie wife was in King’s Bounty: The Legend, and not in Armoured Princess/Crossworlds. I might be mistaken… I picked up all three, but only got time to play The Legend, so haven’t actually loaded up AP/Cw. Although you do play a female character in the latter, and I don’t know quite how liberal the game world is.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      In Armored Princess, you pick a husband.

      Still, it is the superior game!

  16. RegisteredUser says:

    F*ck Fagbook.

    That is all.