Minecraft Devs Release Crown And Council Free

“Surprise!” holler the Minecraft mob at Mojang, announcing that they’ve just released a “casual strategy game of geopolitical drama” for free. Crown and Council is now up on Steam, offering streamlined turn-based strategy to build up and crush kingdoms. It’s a nice spot of fun for a Friday afternoon. Here, I’ll explain a bit.

Crown and Council is a fairly simple turn-based strategy game on small maps divided into regions. Each region you hold will generate one gold per turn. One gold is also how much it costs to send your army into a region adjacent to your own and take over it. Unless there’s a three-gold Fort defending it, increasing the number of attacks a region can resist. Then you get expensives ships which can attack anywhere, villages which increase a tile’s gold output, universities… they’re simple pieces, but combine to be quite pleasing.

75 maps are included, and it has a generator to procedurally create more.

Crown and Council is the work of Mojang’s Henrik Pettersson, who has been tinkering with it for a while since starting it in a game jam. It’s out now free on Steam for Windows. Steam’s got a trailer too, if you want a peek first.

Mojang have released a fair few small free games before, but this is the first to get a formal store release. Heck, this is the first Mojang-made game on Steam (Cobalt, which they published but didn’t make, is already there).


  1. dontnormally says:

    This looks fairly awesome.

    • Haldurson says:

      Having played the game, awesome is the wrong word for it. The UI is wonky, but even if it were working properly, the gameplay is not very interesting. At least with Risk, there’s a sort of tactile pleasure that comes from rolling dice, plus it feels less strategic than Risk (I didn’t really know that that was possible).

      • rexx.sabotage says:

        complains about free games…

        The first world struggles be real.

        • Haldurson says:

          I was not complaining, simply reviewing. The game was definitely worth the price.

        • KraiZor says:

          You’re complaining about people complaining. That makes you a double complainer.

          • krakenbacon says:

            You’re complaining about people complaining about complaining. That makes you a triple complainer.

      • rexx.sabotage says:

        Do this: walk to the nearest mirror, look into it, take out a Sharpie™ (or whatever your preferred choice in indelible ink markers is) and write this:

        “This is what is wrong with the world”

        Burn that image onto your retinas.

        Re-evaluate your life–Re-evaluate the very concept of life. Consider that you lead a comfortable life (comfortable; comparatively to the universes’s infinite potential for discomfort (and merely other people on this rock alone)) of privilege and pleasure–so much so–that you are afforded the luxury of lazily doling out criticisms–in some vain attempt to validate your wanting ego to a self-appointed jury of internetstrangers™–of a thing which represents the true phenomenality that is the result of some amazingly-mind-blowing turn of events that has happened by accident or design–that of which provide the very threads that make up this fabric you know as ‘reality’– a reality in which the miraculousness of these insane and fabulous events lead to a brilliant thing called ‘human creativity’ existing–and this astounding thing is provided to you in an act of what these improbable accidents/wondrous creations call, ‘generosity’–only for you to arrogantly cast doubt upon it’s true awesomeness. Consider THAT.

        Seriously, think about sending some of that money you are flippantly tossing at an internetgamingblog™ to a charity or, I don’t know, consider volunteering your time to those less fortunate than you. I mean anything, anything–besides injecting more useless negativity into the world. Anything. We are quite well stocked up on needless negativity.

        If you can’t (won’t) do any good, at the very least, do no harm. So, please (and this goes out to every internetwhiner™) quit yer bitchin’.

        • Zankman says:

          I just had to log in for the sole purpose of informing you that you are, indeed, some kind of psychopath.

          You have issues.

          • rexx.sabotage says:

            it is well that you have managed to maintain the smallness your world, kudos and sleep well! ;D

          • Ur-Quan says:

            Yeah I thought I had seen it all but this guy has some serious issues.

        • KaijiKun says:

          If you were as wise as you seem to have convinced yourself you are you’d know that time is a precious commodity.

          Haldurson kindly saved me from wasting my time with a game that I don’t think I’d enjoy playing.

          You, on the other hand, wasted my time trying to impress yourself.

          Good for Mojang for releasing this for free. I’m sure a lot of people have fun with it.

          • rexx.sabotage says:

            I was rather floored, actually, the poignant eloquence flowed like a river after a generous deluge. It’s a thrust right into the heart of the mediocre humanity and complacency that plagues the modern ‘person’ with it’s acknowledgement to the chasm that divides us between our (now more than ever) empowerment in individual agency and our herd complacency that is shepherded by long out-moded societal norms that have now been tempered with the advent of social media and it’s ubiquitous projection of normalcy for the sake of the perpetuity of an antiquated socio-economical condition in which the few rob the power of the many and are paid to do so.

            Truthfully, however, your time is your’s to waste alone, not mine. You choose to read this crap! I will concede that my pedantic argument is entirely masturbatory however, we can concede that masturbation feels pretty dang swell ;)

        • Zarathruster says:

          By your reasoning we’d have no grounds to critique any creative work, ever. It’s a pretty shallow world you seem to be championing.

          And did you really just lecture someone on their pointless negativity after telling them to write “This is what is wrong with the world” on their mirror? For daring to have an opinion on a videogame?

          Consider medication.

          • rexx.sabotage says:

            Nice, I am glad you noticed that hole in my argument, it concerned me as well but, I YOLO’d though it.

            Criticism has a time and a place–and that time is when the author asks more of you than the work they provided and that place is people of educated merits considering the work. It should be a discussion regarding suggested improvements to a work, not a lackadaisical celebration of where it falls flat. It is small to deride people in avenues which you have not explored. To argue that a critique of a critique is ‘shallow’ is to subscribe to a level of myopic cronyism that clearly affirms a lesser individual.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Holy tl;dr. You are really angry that somebody didn’t like a thing you like.

        • Haldurson says:


          I simply expressed an opinion. I’m glad that you enjoy the game, but seriously??? I never had the delusion that I was expressing anyone else’s opinion but my own.

          Just because something is given away for free doesn’t mean that it was worth my time. I have no problem with other people enjoying it. Good for you. Send some money. Encourage Mojang to finish it. Tell them how you feel about the game. But seriously, you are deluded if you think that there is something wrong with someone simply because he expressed an opinion that differs from yours.

          Just chill out and enjoy your free game.

          • Vilefuge says:

            While I agree with most of what you are saying. I believe the psycho has a bit of a point. Being Critical of something you pay for, donate to, or make some kind of investment is totally understandable. But if your just investing time into something GIVEN to you for FREE and of your own choice to take part in <— KEY SENTENCE HERE. Your just an entitled bastard. Giving Mojang a honest problem to work with that would make the game better is understandable. I end this by saying I am not a fan of Mojang and wont play this game myself on that bases. But if I did download a free software I wouldn't bitch about it.

        • gunny1993 says:

          Ughhh, do you write fanfiction or something? This is exactly the overly worded, yet shallow, text I’d expect from someone who has read too much Bram Stoker and didn’t really get the point of it.

          Pro tip: put down your thesaurus and actually try to figure out WHY you’re using these words, there’s no such thing as an exact synonym, everything has a place.

        • yusefsmith says:

          Man what

  2. davethejuggler says:

    That image made me think of Lords of the Realm. Man i loved that game! Sounds kinda like risk which i’m totally down with, might give this a go.

    I wonder if they used this as a way of trying out steam, and maybe minecraft will follow soon. Still blows my mind that that’s not on steam yet. I guess it’s doing well enough where it is though.

    • CarthAnne says:

      What with Microsoft’s latest efforts to monopolize PC gaming with its own Windows Store platform, I don’t believe we’ll be seeing Minecraft on Steam anytime soon, but I could be wrong.

      • Blackcompany says:

        MS has become synonymous with doing things you already know are a bad idea BEFORE they’re even made fully public: Windows Phone, GFWL, Metro UI. And now the new Windows store.

        It’s like they just don’t care that they’re throwing good money after bad on “late to the party (again)” initiatives…

  3. froz says:

    Game is ok for few minutes, but not much after that. AI is just terribly bad. For example, it always conquers empty tiles first, which is bad strategy on most maps. UI is clunky, but it got better after I saw a tip that right click will attack as many times as needed to conquer a region.

    I survived up until map 17. It has only a few regions, starting point in a island about 7 tiles size with 2 enemies. You have 3 gold, there is yellow with I think 4 gold and red with 6. Funny story, with those 6 gold, red was able to conquer my 4 tiles, including castle and build castle. That should require at least 7 gold. It happened at least twice (I retried this map several times). In another try, red would build university on his starting tile (wiping out his castle there, another mistake AI does all the time) and then it attacked at least 2 times (again, this should cost 8 gold and it has only 6 at start).

    I tried this map few more times, it’s possible to survive in the main island (with luck), but then the purple enemy had enough time to build up on other islands (1-tile sized). I don’t think there is any strategy to win this map, but I bet some people did it with luck.