For The King Paves Way For Kickstarter Ascension

“EXPLORE”. “DISCOVER”. “SURVIVE”. “OR DIE”. For the King [official site] trailer’s a bit on the bossy side, but I suppose after you surpass your Kickstarter goal by more than double with 21 days left on the clock, then you can afford to be more forthright than not. It’s a roguelike which pairs a hexagonal travel map with zoomed-in, turn-based fights, and you can find gameplay trailers below.

For the King is stylised with a low-poly world and, in either single player or online co-op, players can explore a vast procedurally-generated fantasy world on land or by boat, punctuated by the standard roguelike fare of loot and brutes.

Story-wise, the king’s mysterious death has forced the queen to call upon the everyman and everywoman of the day – that’s you – to step in and sort things out. By things, I mean skeletal knights and golems and the like, and if the game’s Kickstarter video is anything to go by, quests into cavernous dungeons are plentiful. You know the ones – the grueling quests that culminate in the capturing of an over-powered weapon, or perhaps by going toe-to-toe with an over-powered adversary.

Aside from the obvious homage to retro RPGs, IronOak Games’ game designer Colby Young is the mastermind behind tabletop board game Black Gate, thus it’s of little surprise the team arrived at a fantasy roguelike as their first video game venture. What’s more, the rest of the crew boast years of experience, having worked on titles like Turok, Ryse and the Need For Speed series. Whilst three of the game’s stretch goals have already been met, such as the inclusion of pets, two remain – the last of which will add hot air balloons to the mix. Nice.

You can follow For the King’s progress via its Kickstarter page and you can check out a teaser trailer which shows more of the lovely art style here:


  1. Kohlrabi says:

    Is it just me, or does the artwork look pretty much exactly like Massive Chalice? :O

    • islipaway says:

      It’s just you. The rendering style is similar (untextured models with faceted edges/hard normals) but the pallet and style of the world and characters is quite different.

      Game looks pretty dull, art grabs attention but hex based overworld and jrpg combat are a huge turn off for me. The 1st image in the trailer evoke something that the rest of the video fails to deliver on.

      • SamLR says:

        Glad I wasn’t the only person who watched that video and went “meh”.

      • Boothie says:

        i kind of like the artstyle, that said the second i saw the “line up and take turns bitchslapping eachother” combat i gave up on it too.

  2. Frank says:

    Hm, hex-based world maps are ace, but I’m no fan of JRPG combat… In that, it reminds me of Armello — great looking art and strategy layer, but almost squandered on card-game core mechanics.

    • islipaway says:

      I think they have their place, but when the trailer invites you to Explore and Discover and you’re just presented with a hex map and jrpg combat, neither of these things lend themselves to those actions.

      If this was a Zelda like game in this style I’d be right in about it but I guess it’s just a matter of differing tastes.

      • L.Calrissian says:

        yes, one never explores or discovers anything in civilization, or endless legend, or age of wonders, or hereos of might and magic, or boardgame mage knight, or any roguelike for that matter. only first person shooterz have exploration, amirite?

  3. Aetylus says:

    If they have managed to capture the magic of the map exploration stage of Civ, along with the meaty yet casual strategic elements of Curious Expedition or Renowned Explorers, plus a nice art style, I could see myself loving this game.

    Quite a few Ifs though.

  4. Xzi says:

    I’ll play devil’s advocate here and say I’m actually happy to see a roguelike with JRPG-style combat. That’s another gameplay style to add to my roguelike bingo card.

    A copy of the game for $15 seems reasonable. I’ll consider pledging if my Kickstarter budget isn’t completely taken up by Divinity: OS 2 this month. Lol.

  5. L.Calrissian says:

    a cooperative roguelike with jrpg combat? oh hell yes!!! i would sell out my best friends to the empire for this game.

    • Xzi says:

      Yeah co-op is definitely nice and not a feature we typically get in roguelikes.

      • L.Calrissian says:

        can’t think of another multiplayer jrpg, can’t wait to play with han and chewy

  6. racccoon says:

    NOoooooOoOOoOoooo not HEX!
    Get rid of the HEX and got me
    But..If its not in the way for too long I may suffer it.
    Otherwise the game looks good.

  7. rickr000 says:

    The trailer does look great, lovely art style!

    But as much as I love new games coming from experienced teams, it’d be great to show some love to the little guys. The Jotun article was great – that shot to the top of my must play list! With so much on Kickstarter and big names on Early Access (where launches have less fanfare) some tiles are falling through the cracks. Darkwood is one – an incredible mix of genres and essentially a 20hr complete experience right now. As cool as Ark, Long Dark, Flame and the Flood, Subnautica etc are – they come from experienced devs. Would be great to see what some of the new talents are doing out there.