Isles Of Thunder: Battle Worlds – Kronos

By Adam Smith on March 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am.

KING Art Games wrote the Walker-approved adventure Book of Unwritten Tales but they believe that pointing and clicking can be used for more than puzzles and conversation. There’s another genre close to their hearts and that’s where Battle Worlds: Kronos enters:

The time wasn’t right for a resurrection of classic turn-based strategy, but now we believe the world is ready.

Having watched the Kickstarter video, I do believe I am ready and you may find that you are too.

The target is $120,000, half of which has already been raised in the couple of days that it took me to write about the campaign. When I first saw a screenshot I thought it was of a particularly handsome RTS and pre-emptively cursed the gaming trends that had led us to a world without turn-based tactics. Then I remembered that XCOM had sold millions of copies a few months ago and that 90% of the projects that excite me on Kickstarter are turn-based – I can’t believe real-time games have died out so quickly!

A great deal of work has already been completed so the $120,000 is needed for a final push over the line rather than an opening salvo. Multiplayer will work asynchronously, or live over the internet or in the ‘hot-seats’ of old, huddled around a single computer. There will also be two single player campaigns and ‘challenge maps’.

The game is due at the end of the year, with a closed beta due in Q3 for backers and an open beta to follow shortly after. As this is almost precisely the sort of thing I scan Kickstarter and the wider web in search of every day, I’ll be talking to the team to find out more in the very near future. In the meantime, the Kickstarter page may contain the information you desire.

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57 Comments »

  1. Bhazor says:

    Says alot about me that I’ve been following this for a couple of days now but I didn’t even know that Heart of the Swarm was out.

    I for one welcome the return of our turn based overlords.

    • mouton says:

      I knew it was out a few days ago, but it really seems Blizzard skimped on marketing this time. Didn’t see it coming at all.

      Or maybe I just read RPS nowadays and they never mentioned it. Oh well, no loss there.

      • solidsquid says:

        I knew when it came out and still plan to get it eventually, but there just isn’t the same excitement that there was with WoL. It looks interesting, but it can wait until maybe next year when the backlog is a bit shorter

    • napoleon_in_rags says:

      I was wholly underwhelmed by Starcraft II, personally, even though Warcraft III was probably my favorite RTS of all time.

      This, on the other hand, looks great.

      • mouton says:

        Frankly, after playing Wings of Liberty, I have little interest to play HotS even for free.

        If anything, Starcraft2 is a proof that evolution in genres is a good thing.

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          Lamb Chop says:

          I was actually pleasantly surprised by the campaign in HotS compared to WoL. They fixed some of the mistakes they made in WoL.

          First of all, they limited the choice between missions so it follows a more coherent narrative.
          Second, they made the missions themselves carry more of the story as opposed to the frankly awful intermissions.
          Third, Raynor, the star of his very own YA damsel-in-distress rescue mission, takes a back seat to the development of Kerrigan and the swarm as an independent entity. It’s still poorly done but at least it’s not cringeworthy (except every time raynor shows up).

          The story still sucks, but at least it sucks about something that’s not offensive and entirely overwrought and it doesn’t get in the way of the missions, which are generally more tightly and designed and more interesting. One caveat: the missions are actually easier than WoL, which I corroborated with my friend who plays on normal and was really rusty, alongside my brutal playthrough.

          All that being said, TBS = so good. And not much at all like RTS.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    There is no D on the end of Advance!

    /grumblegrumble

    Looks all sorts of ace, though.

  3. Zeewolf says:

    I’m trying to avoid backing too much on Kickstarter these days, I’ve even managed to keep away from Torment. But this was too hard to resist. I love the Battle Isle-school of strategy games. Clean, simple rules. Tons of tactical depth. So sad that Wargaming forgot about Massive Assault when World of Tanks went big.

    • mouton says:

      I was actually swearing and cursing when I clicked the “become a backer” button on the Torment page. This is some conspiracy to get money out of me.

  4. CletusVanDamme says:

    Saw this last night, have set it up for a reminder 48 hours before closing. Between Dungeon Roll, Zombicide 2 and Torment Kickstarter’s seen quite enough of my money this month but this might convince me otherwise.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    Have been a sucker for hex-based TBS games ever since I played Full Metal Planete many aeons ago. Anyone remember that?

    Anyway, backed!

  6. subedii says:

    Battle Isle was one of my favourite games back in the day. And I also love turn based asynchronus multiplayer games with friends. So yeah, this looks good.

    Also, what the heck was with that muppet in the chair? I presume he’s handling the AI programming?

    • BTAxis says:

      I used to play Battle Isle PBEM. I sucked. But I’m still pretty excited about this.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      That is “Critter”, a character from The Book of Unwritten Tales.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Backed this yesterday, looks really good.

  8. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    Here, take all my money!

  9. SanguineAngel says:

    Oh god, it’s so beautiful. WHY, RPS?! WHY do you want me to be penniless?

    PS: the kickstarter link seems to just link back to this page

  10. Neo_Bahamut_19 says:

    Not only do I want to see this game, but you know what else I’d love to see?

    This game with an additional, RTS game mode. You could play matches in either the Turn Based mode or the RTS mode. With separate ladder rankings for each. So long as both modes are polished, it would be a great pair of game types to put in a single game. I’ve been on the tip of picking up a few of the more recent turn based games, but they’ve all seemed rather limited. Hopefully it reaches funding though.

    • CletusVanDamme says:

      God I hope that doesn’t happen.

      Not that I think it will.

      • Neo_Bahamut_19 says:

        I’d like to ask, why? Especially based on what was said. It’s not like we don’t have a shortage of good RTS’s out there besides, arguably, Starcraft 2.

        Kneejerk reactions are bad, yo.

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          c-Row says:

          I’d rather have them putting all their effort into turning this into a great TBS rather than dividing their work force between two different modes.

          • Neo_Bahamut_19 says:

            Almost as if none of what I said sunk in.

            “So long as both modes are polished”

            So long as both modes of the game would be polished, there would be no issue. Also, I may consider myself a pessimist/cynic, but I’m not in the “say no to everything” club as it seems many here are. How dare I suggest a pipe dream idea without expecting it to get smashed. Darn.

            Also, it’s completely obvious that each game mode would require different balance and possibly a few different units/unit functions. *facepalm* (Directed at Solidsquid, don’t feel like doing another post)

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            c-Row says:

            If we were in the “say no to everything” camp their Kickstarter wouldn’t have made more than 50% of its goal within the first few days.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            @Neobahamut – If they don’t really share mechanics or balance why do you want them included in the same game? They’re just a 2 game bundle at that point, they’d sell better separately.

            Development time doesn’t just appear out of thin air, either they’d have to have a bigger kickstarter/bigger pricetag or the games will both suffer from less polish. It’s fine to have a pipe dream that they could do both and be brilliant, just don’t expect to argue against the reality that splitting their attention like that would make a worse game than if they’d just maintained focus.

        • solidsquid says:

          The mechanics of turn based vs real time are pretty different, they’d need to completely re-balance the units for it to work as RTS. Better they release this one then use the profits to release the RTS as a separate game, which it would essentially be anyway, rather than try and combine the two.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Congratulations, you won the “most stupid idea on this page” reward.

  11. Craig Stern says:

    Oh God, this looks amazing. Is it bad form to run around dropping money on Kickstarter projects while running your own campaign? You know what, don’t answer that. I don’t even care; I’m backing this as soon as I get to a spot where I can use my laptop with an internet connection.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Excellent use of my natural curiosity, Mr Stern. You’re on my watch list and when I get more time I will look at your kickstarter page with great interest and very probably pledge since I am a sucker for that sort of thing

    • Hunchback says:

      I see what you did there

    • Tony M says:

      I just wrote a forum post comparing your pitch to Battle Worlds-Kronos. I’m not surprised you are interested in this game.

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      Makariel says:

      There is still enough room for more turn-based strategy, tactics and rp games :-)

  12. CuriousExpedition says:

    excellent trailer

  13. Hunchback says:

    here’s to hoping this will end up good!

  14. TechnicalBen says:

    Hope they do well. I’m actually more keen on this than the Total Annihilation reboot (although that was more exciting :P ).
    Single player and AI skirmishes are very nice additions.

  15. Moni says:

    Frozen Synapse, there’s another recent turn-based game. I sort of think the resurgence is because turn-based games are perfect for mobiles, since it’s easy to jump in and out of a game when you sit down on the bus.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Turn-based can also be light(er) on resources, since they don’t have to keep recalculating things (e.g. combat damage, AI movement) in real time.

  16. Grey Poupon says:

    That’s one well done trailer and at the start of the campaign. Not even some of the biggest of names have been able to get it right. Not right away anyway.

  17. caddyB says:

    Looks like M.A.X. I approve.

    I wonder if there is base building, that was a huge deal in M.A.X.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      If I remember correctly Battle Isle (and Advance Wars) is mostly about starting with pre-existing structures and capturing neutral or enemy ones… but I think Battle Isle also had some expensive units which were able to construct additional buldings in a limited way.

  18. Premium User Badge

    thebenshaw says:

    Single player.
    Story-driven.
    Campaigns.
    times 2.
    That seems pretty unpopular these days, but that’s me right there.

  19. reggiep says:

    Now that’s how you do a Kickstarter. For an example of how not to do a Kickstarter, see Civitas.

  20. bill says:

    My youth was mainly spent trying to install demos of hundreds of turn-based strategy games off cover discs, and then uninstalling them a short while later.

    But I feel I may be old enough to try a TBS game now.

  21. abandonhope says:

    It’s all, like, pastel-y. For Easter, no doubt. I can dig.

    $20 puts it into the ‘probably not’ category for me. There’s only so many of those I can let myself do a month.

  22. aepervius says:

    My fondest memory of a strategy game are battle island 1 and battle island 2. Sadly I lost the disc a long time ago. Now that is a KS i might back.

  23. Calculon says:

    Stop forcing me to hemmorrhage money RPS!!! My wife is going to be be writing you a sternly written letter about your exceptional prose, whiticisms and ever enticing kickstarter projects which Im lulled into supporting. You’ve been warmed (Wife aggro incoming)

  24. Premium User Badge

    Makariel says:

    I was backing that even before the video ended… Battle Isle and History Line were great games, Battle Isle 2 is up there with the very best turn based strategy games of all time ever (in my little world). Only Battle Isle 3 was a bit… meh… (Incubation was cool again, but more Space Hulk and less large scale battles).

  25. Hoaxfish says:

    I’d seen this elsewhere as screenshots, but though it was another RTS… since I backed Planetary Annihilation I wasn’t going to back this.

    Then I watched the video and they mentioned Battle Isle, and now I’m stuck thinking about how much is $20 worth.

  26. MrWolf says:

    So backed.

  27. sdancer says:

    I sucked too much at Battle Isle to back this, but when it’s released I’ll give it a try.

    Also: backing is preordering unless you’re just paying up for the small tiers for whatever reason, and we all know how that turns out.

  28. sabasNL says:

    Looks good

  29. b0rsuk says:

    How can I not support this ?

  30. Ragabhava says:

    My wife came running; worried why I was screaming ‘Baaattle IIIIISle ! ‘, she thought I was hurt or sumthin….