Settlement Builder Kingdom Due For Release In October

The “indie renaissance”, for want of a less-hackneyed descriptor, of the past few years has brought with it a whole host of retro-inspired, minimalist sidescrollers. I’ve spotted many an internet commentator decry such pixel-parading, damning anyone who should take interest in such an “old-fashioned” style for reasons I never, ever agree with. Why? Well I’m probably an ersatz hipster-type, but, that aside, I love how pretty they are, how catchy the music is, and if there’s an entertaining game at the heart of it all then who really gives a shit if it’s pulling on our nostalgia or not?

Kingdom [official site], a simple settlement-building strategy endeavor is one of these games and will set up shop on October 21.

Here, look at this:

It’s pretty isn’t it? When Nathan first spotted Kingdom a couple of years back he thought so, as did Alice earlier this year. Now, how it looks and how it plays are obviously two very different things. What sounds interesting, though, is how Kingdom handles its single resource, coins. As King, coins pay for weapons, buildings, flags, tents, workers you name it. Simple, yes, but it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, particularly the deeper into the game you go.

In the meantime, here’s where you can play 2013’s prototype, and here’s a bit of the soundtrack to marvel at/get unreasonably angry about, depending on your stance:

Kingdom is due October 21.


  1. icecoldbud says:

    Pretty game, lovely music, if the gameplay even halfway decent I’m sold.

  2. Niko says:

    Hmm, I’m pretty sure you have to create a kingdom before you’ll be able to mint coins and pay people with them.

    • shde2e says:

      Everyone knows coins are harvested from the nearby wildlife/undead/bandits/dragons by young, brighteyed lads and lasses who pass through the area with their ragtag band of misfits while on a quest to save the world from the local Evil Overlord(TM) and his Minions of Doom, who also serve as a source of revenue by plundering liberating their stolen treasures for the cause of Justice!

      • Niko says:

        Okay, sounds Scientifically Plausible.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Someone on a D&D forum once theorized that all those piles of “ancient” gold coins that you find in dungeons are actually seeds that rely on monster/adventurer interactions to spread, the same way that squirrels unknowingly help disperse acorns.

        What do these seeds grow into? Dungeons, of course. Once they mature, they produce a new set of eggs, new monsters move in to hoard them, adventurers hunt the monsters, and the eternal cycle continues.

        • Niko says:

          That would make sense, because otherwise it feels like those fantasy world have more gold than copper, if everyone uses them.

  3. baozi says:

    The prototype is already pretty cool.

  4. Heavenfall says:

    Retro graphics -> 4k gameplay. It’s a funny world we live in.

  5. Captain Deadlock says:

    Looks like a one-dimensional version of Craft the World. That’s half the dimensions.

  6. Bernardo says:

    I spent many a “pause” with the Browser version instead of working… Looking forward to see how this pans out, although I’m a bit skeptical as to the size, as in the prototype, you can only steer the king and not jump to any part of your kingdom – which kinda limits your overview.

  7. mattevansc3 says:

    I don’t get angry about pixelated graphics like some people do but I’m not overly fussed on it either. The fact that its a trend is probably the biggest gripe.

    Sworcery’s pixelated graphics gave t a certain charm. I don’t feel the use of pixelated graphics in this game adds anything. If anything the amount of effort gone into the art style makes the use of pixel art “ironic” (aka Hipster).

    I’ll give the prototype a go but is there much to this game beyond get gold, buy buildings, weather mob attacks, rinse and repeat?

  8. grimdanfango says:

    The thing about pixel art is – it seems to be taken at best as some sort of appeal to nostalgia, as an intentional choice to make things look retro and old. That perception is borne entirely from our own preconceptions that mix “art” and technological progress within the medium of computer games, and tends to assume them to be the same thing, when they are demonstrably almost unrelated.

    Even if you appreciate its beauty, suggesting pixel art is used solely as an homage to past times is as silly as suggesting watercolour/oil paintings are no different to an inkjet print, except to capture a bygone atmosphere.

    Pixel art can be bad, pixel art can be incredible, and everything in between… regardless, it’s entirely capable of being, and remaining, a valid artistic style in its own right. It’s no longer bound by the limits of current technology, which to my eye, doesn’t make it look old, it just frees it to look however the creator wants it to look.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      I feel this way as well. I don’t like pixel art for the nostalgia. I like pixel art when it’s good pixel art, and how it can say so much with so little. Pixel art by itself does not increase nor decrease my chances of liking a game. Though I will say that some games would be better suited for pixel art and some not. When games actually try for nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake it’s often a huge miss for me.

    • Rumpelstilskin says:

      I think it’s a pretty bold claim that pixelated style has unconditional merit on its own, since it’s extremely hard to differentiate between inherent pleasantness to our perception system and the fondness we developed for it while playing early games. Human brains are highly malleable, and if people become “imprinted” with it while being reinforced by excitement of first exposure to computer games (notably, at a young age), it’s impossible to objectively judge it later. AFAI know, modern players tend to like this style a lot less (if at all), which means it’s a lot more “nurture” than “nature”.

      • theslap says:

        While I share OP’s opinion on the various qualities of pixel art (and I’m typically attracted to it myself), I think Rumpelstilskin has made a very valid point. My nephews and nieces do not care for most of the pixel art games that I’ve shown them but they seem really attracted to Minecraft-style art which I abhor. It seems that this is what they’ve grown up with and this is what they like now.

  9. santouryuu says:

    i sunk many an hour on the prototype,building walls to prevent green creepy monsters from my kingdom.was very fun,but there were some faults.mainly,the sure way to to not lose was to not expand much,and completely fortify only some walls.felt like a waste,as it limited the area you could play.hope the gameplay is improved.

  10. Risingson says:

    I really don’t understand the purpose of the opening of the article. And the game looks pretty.

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    Mikemcn says:

    I like the prototype but found the lack of control over my soldiers and farmers very frustrating. “STOP RUNNING INTO THE BAD GUYS YOU PIXELATED BUFFOONS!” Hopefully that will be changed in a full version.

  12. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I hope they give the player some amount of choice in how to build their kingdom whether that be large expansive or smaller more heavily defended and densely populated. Or making a kingdom focusing on trade or military force. I don’t know if the game even goes this deep, though.

  13. Lionmaruu says:

    I dont know why took them so much time to make a game that plays like one of those N* other “orthographic tower defense” games on “flash games websites” like kongregate…

    The thing with those games is, even if the game has enough depth in the construction mechanics the actual combat gets boring pretty fast. The graphics are nice and the music is nice but that’s not the only reason to play a game to me.

  14. racccoon says:

    Build your walls ten thousand thickness. Lol

  15. Ur-Quan says:

    Looks like the typical indie game as of late:
    Very beautiful but also very light on actual gameplay mechanics.
    I’d really love to see more indie studios bring out games with rich mechanics even if it means ASCII graphics in order to accomplish it.