Have You Played… King Arthur’s Gold?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

It’s unfortunate that King Arthur’s Gold looks like Terraria, Starbound and the rest of that ilk. Because it is absolutely nothing like those games. What we have here is a tiny, heroic arcade murderfest between teams of 16 players on a medieval battleground that can be populated with huge towers and dastardly tunnels. It’s also the only game for which I’ve written a Steam review. Which must say something about it’s quality, but I’m not sure what.

Sadly, I’m not sure if there’s still players romping around on the servers. It went by relatively unnoticed in 2013. But if you did find a match, you’d be in for an absurd back and forth battle across hills, lakes and minefields. You can be one of three classes, Knight, Archer or Builder. The Knight can swing a sword and glide on his own shield, the Archer gets a handy grappling hook (and later on, fire and bomb arrows), while the Builder is the backbone of your team, gathering gold, stone and wood, and erecting fortifications to keep the enemy away from your Hall.

A match can go a couple of ways. Either one side storms the other and finishes it off quickly, or both teams settle in for the long haul, building towers, moats, pits and traps to keep the other side away. It’s these latter matches that make KAG so notable. It’s the only game, apart from the first Ace of Spades, that I would happily dig from one end of the map to the other in an effort to ambush the enemy. All at the risk of flooding the tunnel and drowning or running into their own tunneling squads.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was a peppy little thing. It had enough arcade action to tide over the constructive moments. And it was terrible to watch as the great wall you built caught fire from an errant flaming arrow, and crumbled into a pile of rubble. Terrible and excellent.

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13 Comments

  1. Vedharta says:

    Everytime games like this come up i wonder where Clonk went wrong. As it did everything (and more) games like this and Terraria do nowadays, except for the cliched faux-pixelart stuff.

    Clonk was a very extensive 2D side scrolling platformer sandbox game in which you controlled your Clonk’s (little dorky guys in work overalls) to build bases and mine the map for resources.

    Followed by a extensive tech tree of buildings, machines, vehicles and loads of cool weapons.

    Go try it: http://www.clonk.de old but awesome :-D

    • Nevard says:

      It might be something to do with the controls, from what I remember they were enormously fiddly and could lead to frustration.

      • widardd says:

        Also performance. Bombing through a lake and moving fluids could lead to 1 frame in 30 seconds. Yes, you read that right. :D

  2. Solomon Grundy says:

    King Arthur’s Gold was a hell of a lot of fun for me for several years. I can’t think of any other online team experience that is quite as fun for me… Oh, the bedlam!

  3. cheborra says:

    Does anyone still play this?
    I would love to buy it, but only if servers have players

  4. MM_rps says:

    Hey, this is MM, one of the main devs of KAG.
    The game is very much alive (at this moment there’s about 70 ppl playing, enough to fill a couple servers). We have a small but pretty active community. It went relatively unnoticed in 2013 but we sold over 250k copies and there’s new players everyday.
    Since that time much has changed and a LOT has been added.

    As I mentioned the community is very active especially with modding, so we’ve got new stuff like fully constructible MECHANISMS and other gimmicks. Also there’s a lot of big mods like a full ROLE-PLAYING mod and ZOMBIES mod.

    Some example mods: link to youtube.com
    Zombies mods: link to youtube.com

    • BooleanBob says:

      You’re the guy who made Soldat, right? Holy crap that was one of my favourite games once upon a time. I remember in Computing class we convinced the teacher to let us set it up to demonstrate locally networked computers in action.

      That would have been.. eleven years ago? Oh lord.

      • MM_rps says:

        Right :). Funny thing is my intention for the design was to make a game for “computer class” :D.

  5. Fabio Silva says:

    Everytime I see this game I’m reminded of the great King Arthur’s World on the SNES.

  6. vahnn says:

    No, but now I wish I had. But it’s probably too late and I’ve missed the glory days, like with Stellar Impact.

  7. dorobo says:

    Ye keep writing twenty articles about NMS.. so these types of games
    will be noticed more.

  8. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    Superb game. I sunk quite a lot of hours into this. It’s lovably nuts.