Have You Played… Kingdoms and Castles?

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

I spent a long, lazy weekend with Kingdoms and Castles and it was one of the most purely pleasant gaming experiences I had in 2017.

K&C is a town management game in which you place down homes, farms, and storage buildings, then defend yourself against occasional and mostly ineffectual viking raids and dragon attacks with castle walls and archer turrets.

Like the old Settlers games, the primary satisfaction of K&C for me wasn’t combat but growing my town. The simple, blocky art style is cute and colourful, and I spent a lot of time just swooping the camera in close to watch the peeps wander back and forth while they collected crops, visited pubs and walked home at night.

There’s none of the complexity of a citybuilder like Cities Skylines here, aside from a very basic happiness mechanic that’s partly informed by building adjacencies. Thank goodness. I love Cities Skylines but I’m glad to have an alternative. K&C is the citybuilding equivalent of a warm bath.

15 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I enjoyed this game. I found the combat got too difficult too quickly, if I recall correctly, but it was fun to plop down little houses and watch the people bop about.

  2. Someoldguy says:

    I enjoyed a weekend with it but haven’t felt the urge to go back since. I probably should.

  3. AmazingPotato says:

    It definitely condenses a city builder sim down to its fundamentals, but makes it enjoyable and fun. I class this as a good ‘chill out just before bed’ game; the only downside is there isn’t much longevity once you’ve played it for a few hours, other than starting a new town. Maybe this could be a game for RPS (and me, obviously) to revisit after another update or two?

  4. KDR_11k says:

    It’s nice but gets stale after a while. Even on the hard map it’s barely different outside of the happiness mechanic becoming a potential game ender. With random events hitting that number you can’t really control it much (the only short term measures you can take is reduce taxes or hold a festival, construction takes way too long to counter those events) though I haven’t lost yet.

    Like plague hits, get an instant happiness penalty regardless of your healthcare situation. Dragon falls on a house, get instant penalty for having homeless people because rebuilding takes time and you cannot have spare houses since all houses automatically fill up to the maximum.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    One of my more disappointing crowd funding experiences. There are free to play mobile builders twice as complex than this. Seriously, there’s just so little here it’s almost shovelware.

    When the game was released into early access I figured that it was early days, but we’d see a couple of years of iteration and expansion. Instead, it just popped into full release after seven months with barely anything extra beyond what was shown as the current state of the game in the crowd funding campaign.

    For the life of me I have trouble imagining why people’s standards are so incredibly low as to give this game any kind of a passing grade.

    And while I’m on a rant, what’s with the practical impossibility of planting new trees?

    • KDR_11k says:

      The Lord Levi statue spawns new trees.

      I think it’s the clear style and easily understood mechanics. Similar to Astroneer, that’s also built around style and simplicity.

    • kwyjibo says:

      It wasn’t a disappointment to Fig investors, who doubled their money.

      link to polygon.com

    • Rituro says:

      Isn’t there a forester-type building that naturally replenishes woodlands? I seem to recall that outside my kingdom’s walls, I’d dot the landscape with the occasional forester and watch as pine trees covered the land.

      Admittedly, it’s been a while since I played. I could be way off base here. I do remember enjoying the game for what it was, though.

  6. kitten says:

    What I really want is a more ambitious Banished. Unfortunately, K&C is not it. It was nice for a couple hours, but I won’t be revisiting it anytime soon.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Banished was certainly the closest I’ve found to a game with a genuinely satisfying modern Settlers feel.

      It wasn’t quite there though… I miss The Settlers’ rolling hills. Banished, K&C, the Anno games (from Bluebyte of all people!) are all far too flat! I want elevation!

      If Banished had variable elevation, and either much bigger levels, or infinite-procedural levels, I think it might have been approaching perfect for my tastes.

      • Someoldguy says:

        What I’d hoped for in Banished was actual missions with goals. The developer hinted that this might be coming as the game approached completion but what we got were environment manipulation tools to make different maps but no goals to go with it. I was hoping for some challenging scenarios e.g. a Fimbulwinter map where you had to expand despite there being no way of growing crops.

        • Rituro says:

          Having just reinstalled Banished this morning, I would love to see missions or a campaign mode. Even a mod pack from the Steam Workshop with some extra tweaks to the standard formula would be nice.

  7. WoodGuyThreepBrush says:

    Whilst I liked this, for what it was, once you’ve built everything (and there’s not much to build tbh), and spent two or three attempts to figure out how to balance food/population/resources I found it got boring very fast

  8. Bombuzal says:

    Graphically this looks hella’ like Stonehearth

    Ps.. RPS writers may note the use of the title attribute on that a tag. You can put those on images too.

  9. Cinek says:

    I for one would appreciate that… only without combat. Just with extensive medieval city building simulation.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>